Hello everyone this is Fenil and in this article, I’m going answer to when is it best to water plants, and this is a very common question everybody keeps asking.
I see lots of comments under my articles such as succulent article, cucumber article, and potatoes article that everybody keeps asking how much I should be watering my plants and all how often I should be watering my plants but guess what there’s no set formula on how much and how often to water the plants.
It all depends on all other conditions such as your soil, your temperature, how much rain you’re getting, how much sun you’re getting, how warmer it is, and what kind of plants you’re growing.
4 Key conditions to know when is it best to water plants
So let’s cover those points one by one and find out when is it best to water plants.
1. Depends on your soil that when to water your plants
Now if you have sandy soil it’s going to let a lot of water go through the soil, it’s going to have very high drainage. If you have clay soil it’s going to absorb a lot of moisture.
So if you have sandy soil you have to water more often, if you have clay soil you have to waterless. So it all depends on the kind of soil mixture you have. Now you might have different types of soil. You might have sandy loam or clay loam or some other types of soil.
So the best way to find out how much moisture is in your soil is to use a moisture meter.
If the moisture level is already at 80 to 90 percent you don’t need to water there’s already a lot of moisture in your ground. So you only need to water if the moisture drops below 40 percent. So this is a very good and very precise way to know the moisture level in your soil.
Now after you check this a few times you’ll automatically begin to understand how often you should be watering your plants depending on your soil and depending on the climate or whether you’re in.
So if you know it’s very hard and depending on your soil what type of soil you have you’ll know you should be watering every other day or if the weather is colder the weather is becoming cooler you’ll know that you need to water every 4 to 5 days.
Now if you don’t have a moisture meter you can always scratch do 2 to 3 inch below your soil level and see how much moisture there is. You don’t want to have so much moisture that if you pick up you know a handful of your soil and squeeze it and water comes out that’s very bad for the plants it will make the water stagnant under the roots and it will drown your plants.
2. Depends on Temperature for watering plants
Now if it’s very warm outside obviously the soil is going to dry out much quicker if it’s colder than the soil is going to retain a lot more moisture. So you might need to water more often on warmer days as compared to colder days.
Also, the weather plays a very important role as well. If it’s very sunny outside well the moisture is going to dry out much quicker, if it’s cloudy or it is raining well the weather is actually going to provide us with a lot more rain.
Now in fall, I love to grow fall gardens because in my region we get a lot of rain and fall all over the winter so I plant my radishes, turnips, potatoes all kind of fall and winter vegetables in October and sometimes I don’t even have a need to water at all.
Last year I only water my fall and winter vegetable garden twice and that was at the beginning of when I first started planting. All throughout the winter, Nature flooded enough rain and I didn’t have to water at all the nature just grew the vegetables.
3. Depends on the kind of plants you’re growing
Lettuce is going to consume a lot more water than some other plants. Now tomatoes you might think might need a lot of water but if you give a lot of water to Tomatoes they’re going to produce a lot of foliage and they’re going to stop dropping the flowers. I did experience that last year I almost give a lot of water to my tomato plants and I started seeing that the tomato plants weren’t dropping flowers.
So tomatoes do really well if you’ve watered deeply and you’ve water less frequently. Also, we have clay soil here so I only have to water my tomato plants once a week and I’ve water very deep, I water at 1/2 a gallon an hour for at least an hour. So I have my drip line emitters set at 12 inches so each plant is getting about a gallon of water in an hour.
Now the amount of water each plant needs depends on the type of the plant and also how big is the plant. When the plants are little when they’re little seedlings they don’t need as much water as compared to when the plants are big and the tomato plants become over 4 to 5 feet tall they need a lot more water when they’re about 6 inches tall.
So a general rule of thumb for little seedlings or little plants provide about a cup of water and only water when the soil begins to dry out. For plants that are bigger water about half a gallon to one gallon per plant depending on how big is the plant and only water when the moisture level starts to drop below 40 to 50 percent now that leads us to our next point.
4. Depends on how you’re watering your plants
If you’re watering deeply or you’re just watering on the surface no matter what you do, do not water your plants from top-down, don’t be standing with the hose and putting water on top of your plants.
There are three main reasons to not do that:
- The water is going to make a problem with the flowers. Watering from top-down might make the flowers drop or it might make the pollen drop.
- Watering from the top is going to create a lot of moisture under the leaves or around the leaves which is going to provide an incentive for insects to have harbored and even breathe there. So it will increase the insect population or even fungus number.
- Water droplets create a little magnifying glasses so when the Sun lights hit it might even burn the plants. So watering from the top is never a good idea.
You can water your seedlings from the top because you have lots of seedlings in one little tray and it makes it very convenient to water all the seedlings from the top with a sprayer. However when your plants become bigger and they start to produce flowers that’s when you should not water from the top that is when you should always water from the bottom.
So no matter if you’re growing plants in your garden outside, in your yard, or if you’re growing plants in containers never water from the top always water from the bottom and the best way to water is drip irrigation because it’s the most efficient way to water and it allows the water to settle and penetrate deep into the ground and the water does not runoff.
Flood irrigation uses a lot more water so there’s a lot of wastage of water in flood irrigation. So always use drip irrigation and water very very deep.
So let’s also discuss when to water your plants
Never water your plants during the heat of the day during full Sun, always water your plants in the evening or in the early morning so the plants have enough time to soak up all the moisture from the soil and they’re ready for the heat of the day.
So whenever you’re wondering how much and how often to water your plants always consider all of these factors pay attention to your soil, pay attention to your plants and pay attention to all the factors involved and then water your plants.
Depending on all of these factors you might only need to water two or three times a week, depending on how hard it is during the heat of the summer you might need to water every other day. But you need to check your soil, you need to pay attention to how much moisture in your soil and what kind of plants you’re growing as well. I really hope you enjoyed this article.