When you’re trying to get the right watering schedule together for your nursery, lawn or garden, there aren’t any definite rules to ensure your plants will thrive. In some cases, you’ll have to make a judgment call based on the type of plants you’re taking care of, while also considering weather in your area and the condition of the soil. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to water the plants and how often to water them if you check your soil.
Watering Plants From the Nursery to Your Garden
If you’re tending to plants in a nursery, it’s best to lift every pot before adding water to it. Once you get used to taking care of the nursery plant, you’ll learn how heavy the pots should feel if the soil of the plants has adequate moisture. If you discover that the pot needs to be heavier, you should water the plant slowly until all the soil has been touched by the water and water is running from the bottom of the pot. Once you see water coming from the plant bottom, lift the pot again to make sure the heaviness is correct. Once you’ve nurtured the plants in the nursery consistently, you’ll be able to transfer the plants to your garden to increase curb appeal while allowing the plants to grow in a more natural environment.
It’s also important to make sure that the water is not running along the sides of the plant, since this likely means that the center of the plant and the roots are not getting enough water. This can be the case if you’re adding too much water, or if you’re watering too much at one time. It’s more effective to water the plants slowly and to make sure the water reaches the root zone, no matter what type of plant it is.
Checking Soil Quality
While you can’t “lift the pot” to ensure that your plants are adequately watered when you’re caring for plants on your landscape or in your garden, you can use a moisture sensor to ensure that you’re giving the plants enough water, and to determine when it’s time to water the lawn or garden. You can also push a spade in the soil next to the plant and pull it back. When you pull it back, you’ll see how the soil looks, which allows you to see if the soil is grainy. If you feel moisture 6 to 12 inches into the soil, you don’t need to add more water.
Ways to Water Your Lawn
There are several ways to keep the lawn thoroughly watered, so you can choose a system that works best for your watering schedule and the type of grass or plants you’re watering.
Portable sprinklers are a great choice if you’re looking for a cost-effective method for keeping the grass watered. Sprinklers have the ability to distribute water over a wide range, so you should choose a sprinkler that fits the shape and size of the watering zone for your lawn. An impact or rotary sprinkler is best if your watering zone is circular or if you have a larger yard.
Sprinklers that oscillate work well for smaller lawns, since these appliances send a fan of water through a rectangular area. The sprinklers revolve and shoot water through jets in a circular motion to make sure all parts of the lawn are watered.
You may also want to get an irrigation system. This system is controlled by a timer, so you can water the lawn or your plants efficiently without wasting water. You can set up a schedule for watering your garden or lawn at a time that is most convenient for you. Since the irrigation system conserves water, you can use this system if you travel often and want to make sure that your landscape is getting enough water even when you’re away.
Best Practices to Water Your Lawn
Once you decide on the watering system that is right for you, it’s best to focus on the root zone so you can water your grass and plants effectively. Keep in mind that the water is for the roots of the plant and not the leaves, so when the foliage is wet, this wastes water and can cause the leaves to develop infection and disease.
Be sure to only water the plants as necessary. This is one of the best reasons that automatic timers will come in handy when you want to make sure your yard is lush and healthy. The timers also allow you to adjust your watering schedule for the rainy season to prevent over-watering, since this can lead to root rot.
You should water your plants thoroughly and deeply, as well. Annual plants and lawns have roots in about six inches of soil and perennial plants and trees have their roots about 12 inches into the soil. It could take a few hours for the water to travel to those roots, so use a shovel or your fingers to check out the progress of your watering.
It’s best to water in the morning. This way, if water gets on the foliage, the plants will have time to dry out. It’s harder for plants to get diseases when the leaves stay dry. You should mulch everything as well; the mulch will cut down on surface runoff and slows down the soil evaporation process.
Use the right tools for watering, as well. If you want to water efficiently at the root zone, it’s best to use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose for watering that is more precise than the sprinkler.
It’s very important to be aware of the watering restrictions in your area when you’re figuring out the best methods and schedule for keeping your landscape healthy. You should know what to do if there is a drought in your area to ensure that your plants will continue to thrive.
Droughts can be devastating to the environment, which means that your lawn may suffer and cause damage to the plants that you’re growing. Conserving water helps you do your part to keep droughts from having more of a negative effect on your lawn or garden.
Keep your sprinklers away from the sidewalks, driveways and streets so that the water actually gets to the soil instead of being wasted by falling onto cement. Keeping the sidewalks from getting wet will also help people walking by your home to avoid getting wet.
Even if you’re watering your lawn during a short drought, if the grass keeps growing, mow the lawn on the high side so that the roots will have some shade. Don’t water as much during the drought, but water long enough so that there is a root system that is both deep and strong. When the grass isn’t getting enough water, grassy weeds are likely to grow and can be hard to get rid of. If you live in an area that experiences droughts often, you may have to make some changes to the landscape by growing plants and shrubs that are tolerant to drought and resistant to pests.