Gardening Tips > June > What and when to water your garden

What and when to water your garden

This time of year during warm, dry spells it is important to make sure the plants in your garden have enough water. If you are confused about what and when to water we share our top tips.

When and how often you need to water the garden depends largely on the soil type

  • A clay soil – typical to our local area, needs watering less regularly because it drains very slowly but needs a heavy application of water because the soil holds a lot of water within its structure. Be aware that this soil type may still feel damp even when beginning to dry out
  • A sandy soil – requires more regular watering as it drains and dries our very quickly. A little and often approach is best
  • A loam soil – if you are lucky enough to have a loam soil, less water is required because water will drain well and dry out at a moderate rate

Perrywood’s top tips on how to water your flower (or veg) beds

  1. Try to water in the evening or the very early morning when it is much cooler meaning that less water is lost to evaporation straight away
  2. It is important to pick the right time to water, as it’s better to water the soil before drought sets in. A good indication is to dig into the soil at a spades depth. If the soil feels dry then watering is probably required for some plants
  3. If the soil is very dry and plants are showing signs of wilting then drought has already set in, water the area profusely making sure all plants receive a thorough watering and keep watering regularly
  4. Dig in compost and scatter mulch [add link] over the surface to help soil retain moisture

Which plants you need to water

  • Established trees and shrubs – rarely need watering as they will have developed a good root system making them drought proof. However, watering during dry periods should improve their growth. Trees and shrubs planted less than 5 years ago will not yet have such an advanced root system so will need more regular watering
  • Newly planted areas – should have top priority as they will be very vulnerable to water stress.
  • Herbaceous perennials – to keep flowering plants at their most productive frequent watering is required. It is a good idea to choose drought resistant plants.
  • Pots, Containers and Baskets – all plants not directly in the ground will need constant watering throughout the year. During hot, dry periods, often up to twice a day. Try not to let containers dry out completely, keep pots in a shadier position and use trays or saucers to retain much needed moisture.
  • Vegetable plots – to achieve the best yield, watering is important to make sure the crops are not affected by drought stress. Leafy crops such as lettuce must never be short of water, whereas onions require little or no watering. Most other crops need watering during sowing, transplanting and as the fruits, roots or tubers are developing.
  • Lawns – during droughts it would take a vast amount of water to keep a lawn in top condition so rather than wasting valuable resources we suggest mowing on a higher setting and less frequently. A lawn will soon recover once there’s been some rain.

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