Garden Tip of the Week #2: HOW MUCH WATER IS TOO MUCH
HOW MUCH WATER IS TOO MUCH WATER
One summer, when I was about 12, my aunt grew giant pumpkins. The ones that are 50+ pounds. I remember she told me each pumpkin plant needed about a gallon of water if she wanted them to be big and strong. Y’all!! Plants are thirsty af!!
I had someone request this topic as a tip & I’m excited to share. Again, I’m no expert but I have a few years of gardening experience & some tips I’ve learned my generations of farmers and gardeners in my family.
This spring in Pennsylvania has been humid, rainy, windy, and altogether unpredictable. Since planting my garden I haven’t needed to actually water it more than a dozen times because of the amount of rain we have already received. But the past few days have been so pleasant and dry, giving me a real opportunity to work with my plants.
I prefer to work in the garden early in the morning, giving my plants a healthy splash of water to start their day. If you are a morning gardener, be generous, but DO NOT water the leaves of your plants. The sun will dry them up if they are wet throughout the day, damaging the leaves and taking away the protection they offer. I like to water until the ground is sponge-y.
Do not water in the morning if you prefer to water nightly. UNLESS the weather is extremely hot and dry throughout the day and night. Your dirt is your best indicator. If you’re an evening gardener, be more generous than you would if you watered in the morning because your plants won’t be drinking for the next 24 hours, during the night and then all throughout the hottest and sunniest part of the day before getting another drink.
When I tend to the garden in the evening I prefer my dirt to be saturated, no puddles, but loose and wet and easy to move around. Again, my plants won’t be getting a drink in the morning to sustain them through the next day so they must have more now.
It is best NOT to water between 10am - 4pm. The sun is at its strongest and you won’t be doing yourself any favors working at this time. Plus I like to let the butterflies and bees do their work at this time. And again, let your dirt do the talking! You will know what your garden needs!