A beautiful flower garden is the dream of most homeowners. To keep your blooms looking their best requires weeding, feeding, and proper watering. Most people can handle the first two chores fine, but often make mistakes when it comes to the third. To help, here are some tips for watering your flower garden.
Do not just spray your flowers with a hose. This puts moisture in all the wrong places. Plants need water at their roots, and excess water on blooms and leaves can encourage pests and mold. Also, using a hose can damage petals and the blossoms will not be as attractive.
Use a watering can, soaking hose, or use a wand on the end of the hose to disperse water gently. Try to get the water to the roots without disturbing the soil. Too much pressure can blow the dirt loose, exposing the roots and spraying dirt on the flowers.
If you have no other choice than a hose, try placing it at one end of the row of flowers. Let the water flow, and when needed, move the hose to the other end.
Do not over water your flowers. Too much water can kill them, drowning the roots and causing them to rot. Know how much water the flowers in your garden need, monitor rainfall, and if in doubt, check the soil by sticking a finger into it. Soil should be damp but never muddy. If it is dry, you need to water.
Know what type of soil you have in your garden. A heavy soil, or one that is rich with clay, retains moisture better than a light one. Light soils mean that plants need to be watered more often, while plants in heavy soils can go longer between watering.
And make sure that your soil is well drained. If roots are sitting in puddles after a rain, you may need to elevate the garden or take other steps to increase drainage.
Sprinklers are not the best way to water a flower garden. This is especially true of timed systems. These can deliver too much water to the roots. Water flowers only when they need it, and only in the amount needed. In most climates, this is a total of about an inch per week. If your area is receiving that much rain or more, you probably do not need to add any water unless your soil is very light.
If you live in a drought prone state where water rationing is common, set out a container to capture rain water to use on your garden. Remember to keep it emptied, though, because stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Do not water during the hottest part of the day or at night. Early morning and early evening are the best times to water. During the heat of the day, the water evaporates too quickly to properly nourish the roots. And at night, the water does not evaporate quickly enough, leading to excessive accumulation.
Mature plants need less water than young ones. When first planted, flowers expend a lot of energy to establish a healthy root system. During this period, their water requirements are higher than they will be as they grow. Depending on the particular flower, roots are usually well established within two weeks of planting.
If you find that your soil is drying out too quickly, consider adding a mulch such as pine bark. This will help retain moisture, and has the additional benefit of reducing weeds.
By following these tips for watering your flower garden, you should save time, save water, and still have lovely blooms.