Gardening Basics #8: Watering

Most plants are 90 percent water, 60 percent of which is delivered from the soil to the plant through plant root hairs. To keep your plants healthy and thriving you must have a good soil with plenty of organic matter to act like a sponge and allow the almost microscopic roots to travel through porous, well-draining soil.

The best way to tell when and how much water your plant needs (whether in the ground or a container) is to feel the soil. Probe your finger about an inch or two and feel if it is dry or moist to the touch.

The soil type makes a huge difference. Also, the more organic material in a soil, the less you have to water. The hotter the day and the shallower the root system, the more you have to water. Gardeners should pay attention to soil, weather, dryness and humidity.

Your sprinkler system timers will likely need to be adjusted once a month, depending on weather conditions. Plants do best when they receive just the amount of water they need, right when they need it. Inspect your soil. Look at it and feel it. If it looks and feels dry, you may need to alter your watering schedule. Likewise, you could be overwatering and wasting water.

Watering in the morning gives your plants the entire day to draw the water from the soil as needed, especially on hot days. Water slowly, to insure proper absorption. Water deeply, so that it does not run off the surface, never making it down into the root zone. Shady spots need less water, while the sunny areas dry out more quickly and need more water.

Gardening Basics is an nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the pure and natural way

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