Posted on Mar 01, 2018 | by J Kirkpatrick
Watering correctly saves time, money and plants. And with many areas now implementing water restrictions, it may be time to re-evaluate your watering practices. Shallow, frequent watering leads to shallow root system and high water loss through evaporation, while watering deeply will encourage roots to reach deeper thereby producing a deeper, healthier root system.
Most of us know the best time of day to water is early morning before temperatures rise giving your plants a healthy drink before they have to face the heat of the day. Early morning also tends to be a time of lower winds, thus reducing evaporation.
There are exceptions to every rule, and if your area gets abundant rain, then deep watering will not be necessary. Nor is it necessary for plants that do not develop deep root systems, like lettuce, spinach, onions, green beans and most annuals. Shrubs with fibrous root systems, like boxwoods, viburnums, gardenias, hydrangeas and lilacs also will not benefit from deep watering.
Plants that appreciate a long, deep drink include:
- Zucchini & Squash
- Fruit Trees
- Camelias & Rhoddendrons
Deep watering is generally done once every five to seven days, depending on conditions. Sandy soil holds much less water than clay soils. Larger plants consume more water than seedlings (but seedlings must be kept moist). Hot windy weather dries out the soil.
There are many devices for watering and each has its pros and cons.
- Oscillating sprinklers are great for lawns - but can be very wasteful, up to 50% can be lost to evaporation or drift
- Root feeders are useful for trees and shrubs but must be used properly. Roots that are active in water uptake are near the drip line, not the trunk and usually in the upper 12 to 18 inches of soil
- Soaker hoses are great for flowerbeds and vegetable gardens, as the leaves are not wetted
- Drip irrigation - avoid the tendency to overwater. Usually you can water one to two hours once or twice a week to cover most plants
- Hand watering delivers water directly to the plants eliminating waste.
We think our new product, the Water Tulip, will be a perfect solution to giving your tomato plants that deep drink they love with a beautiful piece of art you will love!
Tomato plants do best when you can water deeply and keep the moisture available to the roots consistent. This prevents the cracking you often see in the fruit. Watering the roots rather than the foliage, also allows for late-in-the-day watering without the worry of creating the perfect environment for powdery mildew.
Add a good liquid fertilizer, like our AlgoPlus Tomato formula, and you have a winning combination.