Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Every living thing needs water.  But the challenge is what is too much, and what is not enough.  People are always asking my recommendation on how to water my garden.  I say it's a bit of a talent.  It takes many years of observation.  I am not even without error on occasion.  But this is what I know.  Plants both drink and breath from their roots.  So it's good to water deeply then allow the roots time to breath.  It helps to know what kind of soil you have.  I like to observe how well the soil that I'm watering is absorbing.  The best scenario is the 3 second rule.  Take a hose, water and count how long it takes to absorb.  This is why I take time to prepare the soil before I plant.  I strive to reach the 3 second rule.  Another factor to be aware of is how cool is it.  What works in 50 degree weather is not going to work in 80 degree weather.  Shade is different from partial shade which is different from full sun.  Knowing the needs of each species is very important.  A Hydrangea loves lots of water but a Rose prefers to be on the dry side.  One more thing to be aware of is how old the plant is and how deep are the roots.  So once you have taken all these things into consideration you can begin the watering process.  Water deeply, wait a day or two or three, dig down 6" - 1' to see how moist the soil is.  This technique gives you clues.  The plant itself gives you clues.  Flagging is a term used when the leaves start to hang down.  A little of this is not necessarily a bad thing because the roots will start to search for water by going deeper into the soil.  The deeper the roots the longer the time between watering.  If the plant starts to yellow because you waited too long, that is a bad thing.  Even a little of that is OK but like I said observation is key.  Observe your landscape after you water.  Everything should be stout and reaching to the sky.  Sometimes when you over water you don't see that, and sometimes their leaves will yellow which will throw you off.  Stout and reaching to the sky is what you are looking for.  It takes a special eye for plants.  Hope these tips help you in you watering techniques.

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