One of the biggest chores in the garden, besides weeding, is keeping pots, flowers, and vegetables watered in dry weather. If you are feeling overwhelmed by this height-of-the-season watering, you don’t have to be! There are some easy ways to keep flowers, fruits, and vegetables looking and producing their best even when the weather turns hot.
Some of these tips require a bit of planning in the spring, and some you can implement right away, but all will make your gardening life simpler!
5 Ways To Make Watering Your Garden Easier
1. Lay soaker hoses in beds, borders, and garden rows. Then simply hook them to your main hose and let them soak the ground for two to three hours every 5 to 7 days, depending on the location (for example, beds under trees will need more moisture) and the weather. Less frequent, deep watering creates healthy, established roots that can withstand dry spells easier.
Extra tip: Invest in “quick connect” hose ends that make hooking the main hose up to the soakers a snap – literally.
2. To make the soaker hoses even more efficient and keep moisture in, lay down newspaper or cardboard on bare, moist ground, top with the soakers, and then cover all with a layer of dark-colored mulch. In the vegetable garden, lay paper on the paths and cover with straw.
Extra tip: This is also the secret to a weed-free garden!
3. Use only large pots for flowers – and keep them close to your house for the easiest access. How large? Keep all your pots at least 12 inches in diameter, but aim for 16 to 20-inch pots that can hold more soil and will require less watering.
4. Add water absorbing crystals to your pots when you’re planting the flowers. This is a sanity-saver and really the number one tip to lush pots that don’t require daily or twice daily watering. Each pot needs just a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on the size. The crystals absorb water and then slowly release it back into the soil, keeping the water at the plants roots longer.
5. Use a kiddie pool for vacation watering instead of paying your neighbors (or imposing on your family!). Place all your smaller, liftable pots into the pool and fill the pool with water. Your pots will take the water up from the bottom and stay hydrated for up to five days.
If your vacation is longer (like a full week) the pots may become waterlogged and show some browning, but they should bounce back once removed from the pool. The optimum amount of time is really three to five days, though I have used this successfully for week-long vacations.
Do you have any watering tips you’d add to this list?