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With our busy schedules and limited budgets, it can be tricky to fit watering the garden into your day. I know for me, that I try to fit it in when I can in the day, but I also want to do it at the most efficient time, to save water and have the most positive impact on the plants. Leaving me asking… when is the best time of day for watering the garden?
Common garden advice is to water your plants in the early morning, to reduce evaporation of the water in the heat of the day and the risk of diseases forming due to damp leaves at night. Below we will dig into why this is the case and what alternatives are available if you cannot water in the morning.
1. Why is the morning the best time to water your plants?
In the morning, the temperature is lower, and any water given to the plants will have time to absorb into the soil before it is evaporated into the air. The plant will also have time to get a good drink before the heat of the day hits it, making it more resilient to the temperatures of the day. This is much better than watering a plant that has wilted in the days heat in an attempt to restore it.
2. When is the worst time of day to water plants?
During the heat of the midday, watering plants could be inefficient as much of the water will be evaporated into the air. In the evening, you risk your plant developing diseases such as Powdery Mildew, as the water will sit on the leaves and not have time to dry before the temperatures drop. In very cold climate this could be even worse.
3. How to water your plants
With the exception of plants that need to be misted, it is ideal to water plants at the root. This allows the maximum water to get to the roots, and reduce the amount of water gathering on the leaves which can lead to disease.
4. Alternative Garden watering methods
Perhaps you work early in the morning? Like to sleep in? Or just cannot water the garden at the ideal time. Is all lost? No way! Here are some ways that you can water your garden at any time during the day without risk of disease or wasting water.
- Sub soil watering with Clay pots – According to Permaculture Food Forest the use of clay pots, or ‘Ollas’ to irrigate the garden, can significantly increase your vegetable yield. You can find these online on sites such as ETSY.
- Sub soil watering with Clay pipes – a documented efficient watering system but most likely expensive to implement.
- Sub soil watering with Plastic Bottles – simply cut the base off a bottle, flip, half bury and fill to irrigate (Post on how to do this coming soon)
- Drip irrigation – Expensive but long lasting. Drip irrigation can water the soil directly avoiding water on the leaves and allowing you to water throughout the day.
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