Walks around the neighborhood and trips to my gardens have proven one thing, you are not watering enough. Is she talking about watering again? Yes! Because it’s that important
Watering By Hand- Why I Love and Hate It
I water by hand. Do I enjoy it, sometimes. Is it a good idea? Most of the time, no. I love hand watering because it gives me an excuse to go to the gardens to “work.” I also like hand watering for new gardeners because if you really look at how you water, how the water reacts to the soil and then evaluate your watering with test digs, you see first-hand what it takes to water a garden well.
I do not like hand watering for those who hire professionals to manage their landscapes. Chances are, if you have a company caring for your yard, you don’t have the time, consistently, to care for your yard including watering, as it needs to be watered all season long. Proper watering for the trees, shrubs, lawn gardens, even the home’s foundation is in jeopardy if left to hand watering by a busy family.
Your landscape needs 1-2 inches of water a week. Of course if it’s hot, dry, windy, you have a young landscape, new trees and shrubs, you may need more water.
My Watering Tests
With a rain head attachment, water a spot in your garden until you feel like it’s enough. While watering, look to see if water is soaking in immediately or running off and pooling in areas around the garden.
When I hand water most parts of the courtyard in my garden, the water immediately soaks in because I spent a lot of time amending the soil. The mulch never gets tight and dry, impeding the absorption of water, and the soil is amended to easily accept new water.
Test dig. How far has the water saturated the soil? The deeper the better. We want roots, especially of trees, shrubs and perennials to penetrate deep into the soil where they are less likely to dry out. If you water too little, roots grow shallow, close to the surface putting undue stress on the plant and may lead to its death.
Turn it on as long as you normally would but place a water gauge in the area, first. After you are done with your normal watering protocol, check the amount of water in the gauge. Now, do a few test digs. Did the amount of water recorded by the gauge actually soak into the ground or did it run off? Did you water long enough to distribute enough water into the gardens?
What To Do
Care for your soil. Amend it, loosen it, create a soil structure that allows for excellent drainage and air circulation.
Fluff your mulch, use pine straw or, if the topography is flat, use pine fines.
Consider built-in irrigation. We will create zones within the landscape so each area is watered as it should be, no more no less.