From a tidy box garden to a lush, poolside topiary, plants can make any house feel more like a home. They can beautify any environment, provide shade, and can sweeten the air around you as you relax in the backyard with a good book.
But no matter how large or small your plants are, they all have one thing in common—they need water to live. Proper plant watering habits can be the difference between a beautiful home environment and being surrounded by a withered collection of dead, moldering sticks.
So how does water affect plant growth? Is there such a thing as watering too much? How do you know when it is time to water your plants? These are all important questions.
We all know that plants die if they don’t get water, but why is that the case?
The role of water in plants is as a medium for nutrients. A plant’s roots burrow into the soil, where the nutrients the plant needs can be found. But without water, those roots can’t absorb those nutrients.
Basically, water picks up the food the plants need from the soil and is then absorbed through the roots along with those food particles. Those nutrients, combined with air and sunlight, allow the plant to engage in photosynthesis—the process which keeps the plant alive and, as a byproduct, converts carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen.
By removing water from the equation, you deny the plant access to the food it needs to power the photosynthetic process. The plant could be in the most nutrient-rich soil in the world, but without water, it will still wither and die.
It is true that there are some plants that need very little water to survive, such as a cactus, but it will still need some water sometimes to stay alive. When you ask, “what is the importance of water in the soil” that is the answer. It is the only way plants can absorb the food they need to live.
This is not to say that you should over water your plants. Too much water can lead to root rot or fungal infestation. There is a happy medium between under watering and over watering. It can be different from plant to plant, so it is important that you learn what plants you have and how much water they need.
Once you know what kind of plants you have and how often they should be watered, you can start watering them regularly. But there are a few things that you can do to help ensure that your plants are getting the most from your efforts.
The first thing to remember is that plant watering does nothing if the water doesn’t get to the roots. A surprisingly common mistake people will make is watering leaves instead of focusing the water where it needs to go—the roots.
The time of day you do your garden watering also makes a difference. Watering in the morning or the evening reduces moisture loss from the soil due to evaporation. You ensure that more water gets where you want it to be.
Another way to ensure that your water goes where you want it is to use a watering wand for individual plants or watering systems for the garden that direct water to the roots. Anything that helps you get water to the soil and not caught up in the leaves of a plant is a good thing.
To avoid over watering plants, it’s a good idea to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. You don’t want to let it get too dry, but taking time between waterings can save your plant’s life. Even with potted plants, allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings can do a world of good.
With that in mind, be aware of how the surface of the soil is absorbing the water you pour. If the surface of the soil is too dry, water can run off or puddle instead of getting absorbed. By watering slowly, you ensure the water is going right where you want it.
Some of the above tips mention taking the time to let soil dry out before plant watering, but how do you know when it is time? There are a few ways to check whether your plants are in the ground or in containers.
When the weather is dry, soil can appear to be dry on the surface but still be moist underneath. To avoid over watering, use a wooden dowel or your finger to be sure. Simply insert your dowel or finger into the soil a few inches.
When you pull your checker out, if it has soil clinging to it, there is still moisture under the surface. If it comes out clean, the soil is ready for more water. This simple check will help keep your plants healthy and thriving.
The reality of many people’s lives is that they don’t have time to dedicate to hand watering all of their plants throughout the week. If someone works for a living and has a large variety of plant life at their home, they may only be able to give plants one-on-one care on the weekend.
These people should not be denied the joy of a lush, green environment. There are options for them to have the plants they want and still live their lives. But there are also certain traps they will want to avoid.
For example, sprinklers designed to water lawns are not necessarily good for watering gardens. The high arcing water of a lawn sprinkler results in water getting caught on leaves, not making it to the roots where it is needed.
Additionally, a high volume of water on a plant’s leaves can leave it open to fungal infections or other plant diseases. So a lawn sprinkler could do your garden more harm than good.
Self watering garden planters are an option. These are raised garden boxes that use perforated pipes to water plants from below the surface of the soil. They require less activity from the person who owns them but do confine plants to a garden box.
If you have worked with a landscaper to create an environment full of varied plant life, you may consider an automated irrigation system. See what they recommend and how that can work for you and the plants you want to surround yourself with.
Remember that your trees will need watering, too. Especially when they are young. Depending on the kinds of trees you’ve planted, they may require a significant amount of water compared to other plants in your garden.
One thing that can help is taking a perforated hose, wrapping it around the base of the tree, and letting the water soak into the ground while you take care of other things. This gives the root system plenty of soft soil to grow through and ensures that your tree has the water it needs.
As always, be aware of over watering, though. Check with an expert to see what the recommended frequency of watering is for the type of tree you’ve planted.
The plants we surround ourselves with should bring us joy, calm, and enjoyment. Plant watering is an activity that allows you to engage with these plants and with nature. Gardening as an activity is meant to be relaxing.
By following the above tips, you can have yourself a garden full of fresh veggies, beautiful flowers, towering trees, or whatever suits you the most. Whether you have a single garden box or an amazing poolside jungle, plants offer so much and ask so little in return.
HFS has one-of-a-kind loan programs and world-class service as shown by 1,500 + 5-star Reviews. HFS’s platform loans are personal loans which mean NO EQUITY is needed and all loans fund 100% Direct-to-Consumer. HFS performs a soft credit check to present you with full loan options. You can check your rates HERE
with NO IMPACT TO YOUR CREDIT. Whether you want to finance the pool, deck, landscaping and more, HFS is your trusted partner for the best loan and customer service in the home improvement industry. APPLY NOW HFS – “You Dream It, We Finance It”.
Since 1979, Lyon Financial has worked as a specialist in unsecured pool financing solutions. Unlike many banks and credit unions, our experience is unique to swimming pools, not just any type of loan. Your call will always be answered by a live, knowledgeable representative, eager to offer solutions. Partner with the industry’s leader to make your backyard dreams come true!