How to water your garden correctly: Expert tips to prevent common mistakes

Watering plants
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Following the proper cultivation conditions, a key consideration for horticulturists is maintaining appropriate watering routines, season after season. While it's unquestionable that water is crucial to plant growth, it doesn't make gardeners immune from making watering errors.

It's a common misconception that all plants require the same amount of water - different plant varieties may need significantly different water amounts. Too much or too little water tends to result in plant growth issues, possibly leading to plant failure.

To steer clear of these problems, gardening expert Muhammed Haq from Norfolk Garden Buildings has offered insights into five standard mistakes when watering plants and how to avoid them, reports the Express.

Too high water pressure.

Most residences are fitted with hoses directly connected to the main water supply, often causing the overlook of potential impact of water pressure on plant integrity.

The professional suggests that gardeners should "keep the pressure low" to prevent leaf injury, soil disturbance around roots, or destabilising the plant base.

Make use of an adjustable nozzle and first test the pressure away from the plants before watering them.

Neglecting the use of mulch.

For those planting in yard beds or containers, the addition of mulch is always recommended. There are numerous benefits, including weed reduction and better soil health.

However, one standout benefit when it comes to watering is mulch's capacity to maintain soil moisture.

Muhammed explained: "Mulch serves as a barrier that keeps moisture inside the soil, prevents additional evaporation, and protects plants from mechanical damage. It also prevents you from using excessive or unnecessary water, keeping your bills low and your use within local water use restrictions."

The gardening guru then highlighted a common blunder, stating: "Watering at the wrong time of day is one of the worst mistakes you can make" during the warmer months.

He advised: "It's important to establish a consistent watering routine for your plants to get used to. The best times of day to water your plants are in the early morning at sunrise, in the late afternoon or early evening, and then finally in the late evening before you go to sleep."

Muhammed cautioned: "Be careful - watering them when the sun's at its hottest is detrimental as it will probably cause the water to evaporate before they are able to properly absorb it."

For those who opt to water their plants in the evening, he warned against wetting the leaves, as foliage covered in water overnight can lead to an increased risk of fungal diseases. When watering plants, it's "essential" to ensure the water reaches where it's needed most - the roots. Many gardeners fall into the "simple (though significant) error of watering only the leaves and flowers", neglecting the roots.

Muhammed highlighted: "If the water is only on the foliage, it will likely evaporate before it gets to the roots where it is absorbed." Moreover, damp leaves can become a breeding ground for fungal diseases, as these organisms flourish in moist environments.

Gardeners should also be cautious when watering from above, as they "run the risk of disturbing the soil", potentially spreading fungus and bacteria around the plant's roots.

Under or over watering.

The balance of watering is crucial; too little or too much can be harmful. Over-watering can lead to "lysis", where cells take in so much water they burst. To prevent this, Muhammed advises ensuring pots have drainage holes, avoiding watering before rain, and sticking to a schedule.

Conversely, under-watering hampers plant growth. Gardeners should keep the soil consistently moist by checking it with their finger an inch or two down.