WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO WATER PLANTS? - WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO WATER PLANTS?
WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO WATER PLANTS?
A well-kept garden is something that requires a certain amount of effort. Those of you lucky enough to have a garden at home will know that besides applying fertilizer, pruning, cleaning and many other tasks, the most important thing is watering that satisfies each plant’s needs: it’s not something to do haphazardly. Plants can make better or worse use of the water, depending on what time you water them.
The best time to water outdoor plants depends on the time of year. The main thing to bear in mind is that the hotter it gets, the faster the water will evaporate. For this reason, in the summer months, if you water a plant when the sun is shining strongest, the soil will quickly dry up again, especially if the plant is in a pot that has been standing in the sun. Also, the leaves could burn if they are wet, as water drops on them can act as tiny magnifying glasses.
So, during the warmer months, it’s advisable to water first thing in the morning. At dawn, evaporation is minimal, so plants and grass don’t need so much watering. Alternatively, if you can’t do it so early, you can do the watering late in the evening, when the sun is setting and has lost its midday intensity.
The story changes in winter, when the cold arrives, and temperatures are much lower than in Summer because water can freeze and crystallise the roots of plants. So, at this time of year it’s best to water during the day but avoid direct sunlight on plants during watering.
In short, the weather is the decisive factor for choosing the right moment for watering your plants. At Canal de Isabel II we are aware of this, and a few years ago we launched the program No Need to Water Today, a free alert service that tells you whether you need to water or not depending on weather forecasts.
DESIGN YOUR GARDEN TO BE MORE EFFICIENT
Now that you know about ideal watering times, which helps you use water in a more rational way, here are some useful tips for making your garden more efficient:
- Group plants according to their water needs so you can use a more efficient irrigation system.
- Get to know the microclimate of your garden and select the plants that suit it.
- Choose native plants that only need a little watering in the warm months.
- Try to protect your garden from the wind. Use windbreaks to avoid losing the water you use for watering.
- If you do have grass, try to cut it to a height of about 5 cm, to keep enough moisture around the roots.
- Use less fertilizer, to reduce the need for water.
- Design the garden with as little lawn grass as possible, as lawns need a lot of watering. Artificial turf could be a good alternative.
- Put fertilizer on the lawn when rain is forecast so that the fertilizer dissolves with the rainwater and you don’t need water the lawn to dissolve it.
- Uses automatic drip irrigation systems to water trees and shrubs.
- Use the right amount of water for each type of plant and avoid runoff.
- Irrigate plants close to their roots.
- For spraying, design the position of the sprinklers, their flow rate, and the area they cover, correctly.