You Ask, We Answer: When Is the Best Time to Water My Garden?
You’ve planted your flowers and veggies, trimmed your shrubs, and coaxed that particularly finicky plant back to life. In short, your Connecticut garden is starting to really thrive, and to keep it that way, you’ve been watering it regularly. But did you know that when you water your garden matters? To help keep your plants healthy this summer, read on–and get ready to learn what the best time to water your garden is, and why.
When is the best time to water my garden?
It may be tempting to give your garden a nighttime drink. After all, it stands to reason that water would absorb overnight and leave plants looking happy by morning, right? But the best time to water plants in your Connecticut garden is actually in the cooler morning hours.
According to Iowa State University’s Horticulture and Home Pest News, “Early morning (5:00 to 9:00 am) is the best time to water the garden when using a sprinkler, garden hose, or any other device that wets the plant foliage.” By watering early in the morning, you don’t have to worry about the water evaporating in the hot midday sun; you’re also giving the water the opportunity to soak into the soil so your plants can drink deeply, which will help them withstand the heat of the day ahead.
In addition, nighttime watering–especially when it soaks the foliage of your plants–can lead to fungal growth, because the water sits for too long on the leaves in the cool of night.
My plants are wilting. Should I wait until tomorrow to water them?
Of course, there’s an exception to every rule. If you forgot to water your plants in the morning or Connecticut is in the midst of a heatwave and you notice that your plants are wilting in the middle of the afternoon, it’s best to give them a drink as soon as you notice. If you just got home at the end of the day and see your plants are drooping, go ahead and give them a watering; it’s still better than making them wait until the next way for some relief. If possible, focus on the roots and soil so the foliage of the plants don’t get wet and stay wet overnight.
Aside from wilting, how do I know it’s time to water my plants?
If your plants aren’t wilting, that’s great news! But they still may need watering to prevent them from doing so, and to give them what they need to keep growing strong.
If you put your finger in the soil and it’s dry 2” below the surface, it’s time to water your plants. Give them a long, deep drink, concentrating your efforts on the soil and roots to deliver the biggest benefits. Consider adding a layer of mulch around your plants that’s several inches thick to help prevent water evaporation throughout the summer. As a bonus, mulch can also help keep weeds from overtaking your garden–and it looks beautiful, to boot!
With some mindful timing around how you water your Connecticut garden, you can keep it healthy and thriving, all summer long.