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Tips For Plant Watering

June 3, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

Plants can absorb food from the soil only if is is in ‘solution’. So in effect, plants must have damp feet in order to eat.

Adding several inches of surface mulch helps to keep soil moist as well as to suppress weeds.

Vegetables need a lot of water, as they are about 85 to 90 percent water.

Watering must be faithful. If stunted by water shortage, many vegetables never grow normally again.

Watering needs to be generous. Almost all vegetables produce much more with abundant water than with a skimpy supply.

For a minimum, your garden needs about an inch of water a week.

Once your plants are well started, give them a good soaking rather than morning and evening sprinkles.

Avoid frequent shallow waterings, which only encourage roots to stay near the soil surface.

For that ‘deep’ watering, you want to water until the soil is damp, but not soggy, to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.

Before watering, push your finger into the soil all the way to the second knuckle. If it feels dry at your fingertip, your plants need water. In other words, if the soil is dry at a depth of about 2 inches, it’s time to water. Even if the surface is dry but the soil is damp at a depth of about an inch, don’t water yet!

In warm weather, water in the morning to give plants a chance to drink up before the hot sun or strong winds evaporate the moisture.

If your plants’ foliage begins to brown at the edges and fall from the plant, you may be overwatering.

Improving your soil’s moisture-holding capacity is as simple as mixing organic material, such as compost, into your beds.

 

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