10 Golden Watering Tips for Your Vegetable Garden
Vegetables can get a bit wilted when starved of water. You should ensure your vegetables have sufficient water to stay fresh and attractive. We have found that most gardeners fail to water their vegetables properly; they leave the watering aspect for rain alone which is disastrous.
It’s about time you got serious with a proper routine for watering your garden with a metal garden hose and spray nozzle or a complete irrigation system along with an oscillating sprinkler and smart sprinkler controller before your plants start looking droopy. Vegetables are mainly made up of water and they need a lot of water to survive even after they have set fruits. Consider the water content of some of the most popular vegetables in gardens:
Zucchini has about 95% water
Cucumbers 96% water
Tomatoes 93% water
Green Cabbage 93% water
Broccoli 91% water
Green Peas 75-79% water
And Carrots 87% water
It is clear from the above water content of these vegetables that leaving the watering needs to rainfall alone would not suffice. There has to be a dedicated watering routine in place to effectively meet the needs of these plants.
To help you meet the water requirements of most vegetables, here are 10 golden watering tips for your vegetable garden.
#1. Best Time to Water Vegetable Plants
The best time to water vegetables in the garden is in the mornings while it is still very cool. Watering plants early in the morning will allow water to reach the roots with minimal loss due to evaporation.
Watering in the mornings will allow water to stay although the day because it must have penetrated deep into the soil and effectively trapped between the pores.
Also, watering in the morning will help your plants with enough resistance to deal with the midday sun.
#2. Don’t Depend on Rain Only
By now you should be aware that rainfall alone isn’t enough for vegetables unless you live in the tropics where there is an abundant of rainfall day in day out. Although many gardens can get sufficient rain during the spring and early summer when the weather starts getting hot, rainfall alone isn’t sufficient.
#3. Selective Watering
The popular saying here is that you should only water your vegetable garden when it’s necessary to do so. However, bear in mind that vegetables need a lot of water to stay fresh. Pay close attention to seasonal changes and you will be just fine.
#4. Water the Base of Your Plants
If you are going to use your hand to manually water your garden, try to aim the watering can at the base of the plants close to the soil level. The base of plants is where most water is needed. That is where all the action and foliation takes place.
#5. Water Slowly
Most gardeners are carried away by watering the leaves, thinking that’s all the plants need. Although watering the leaves is good you should also aim to get the roots and parts that aren’t seen wet. Water taken up by the roots reaches all parts of the plants, so make watering the roots a top priority.
However, problems can arise if you focus the full blast of the hose nozzle towards the roots. Please, employ a slow but steady approach to watering your vegetable garden.
#6. Watering 1 inch per week
Yellow leaves are a sign that your vegetable plants aren’t getting enough water. To curb this crisis most gardeners approve one inch of water per week on the average. This is just an average number and doesn’t generally apply to everyone.
How much water your plants need will depend on these factors:
- Plant type: Tomatoes and peas go in season during hot summer days while others go out of season when the days start getting hot. In other words, different plants require different amounts of water to survive.
- Humidity: The environment’s humidity is a strong determinant of how water evaporates from the soil. Low humidity means the environment is dry and thus much water evaporates from the soil. This means you will have to water your plants more to make up for water loss. The opposite is true for high humid areas.
- Temperature and soil type: The higher the weekly temperature the more water your plants will need and the lower the weekly temperature the less water they will need. Soil type also influences the amount of water your plants need
#7. Practice Proper Irrigation
You might need to override the set timer for irrigation when rain is due. There is no point watering your vegetables just after it rains. Adjust the irrigation timer frequently to suit the time and weather conditions.
#8. Mulch Your Soil Regularly
Mulching your vegetable garden soil will help it retain much moisture. Maintain about 2-4 inches of mulch soil around the base of your plants so that when you water them the roots can access it easily.
#9. Bigger Vegetable Fruits Call for More Water
Because vegetables are mainly made up of water, the bigger the fruit the more water they will need. Take for example the large size of a watermelon, they will need more water than your regular tomatoes.
If you have a mix of vegetables with both big and small fruits, it’s best to water the thirsty larger ones first using rubber garden hoses before paying attention to the smaller ones. Remember not to waste the water on the leaves but direct your watering energy to the roots.
#10. Remove Weeds and Avoid Watering Under the Heat of the Day
Weeds are a common problem with most gardens. If you don’t want much competition for water between your vegetable and unwanted plants, weed the yard regularly. Lastly, avoid watering your vegetable garden under the heat of midday. The heat of midday will more than likely suck the water off the ground.
On that Note
Thanks for reading thus far; we hope you found these 10 tips helpful. These watering tips are the safest to keep your plants healthy and fresh with minimal damage to roots and leaves.
Consistency is key to observing a bumper harvest. However, do not over water your plants. Too much water sitting around can promote the growth of fungus which is detrimental to plant health.