Best practices when watering your city garden
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While having a garden seems easy, there are some good practices for watering your garden properly. Even when you are living in an apartment you are not fully protected by the elements and still need to have some idea of maintaining and growing plants properly. Below we share some advice for watering your garden appropriately while you are living in the city.
The first practice is to be aware of your plants. If you are paying attention to plants they will always have a way of telling you when they need water. This will always happen whether they are living in your home or outside. They’ll show signs of wilting or changing colors among other things. What’s also important to note is that not all plants need the same amount of water. Some require more and some less. For example, if you are growing a standard vegetable garden, onions are not in need of a lot of water compared to carrots. What is also important to be aware of is the age as well. Much like with us, the older the plant is the larger it grows. However, the plant will need less water during those times compared to when it was younger. The big reason being is the roots are smaller when younger and need time to grow.
The second thing to be aware of your soil texture. This texture is a ratio of sand, clay, organic matter, and silt that’s in the soil. According to the Washington State University Extension, by increasing organic material by 5%, the soil quadruples its ability to hold water. What’s also key here is that organic matter can also store water and provide insulation against both hot and cold. Organic matter can be made by taking advantage of compost and even adding mulch to it. All you need to is place an inch or two inches of the mixture on the surface of the soil around your plants and you are good to go. You want to be starting off small with this so you don’t get any mold or fungus problems later on.
The third practice to consider is deep watering. What this means is watering a plant to the point that the water soaks down at least 8 inches below. What this does is that it encourages a plant to dig its roots deeper down to get nutrients. This isn’t applicable if you’ve got plants all in pots inside, however you can still consider this in some capacity in the event you want to transplant them some day or want a sturdy and healthier plant. The idea behind this practice is to soak your garden once every week to the point where you have a depth of six to twelve inches and don’t water until you notice the first few inches starting to dry out. If you are unsure whether it’s a good time or not, consider the finger test. That is taking your finger and sticking it into the soil until it’s buried to the knuckle. If the soil is moist, don’t water. If it’s dry, water it.
There are many techniques to consider with watering but at the end of the day as long as you are aware of what garden you are growing and generally what your plants are going to need, watering should be easier.