Watering is an important and unavoidable part of gardening, but it’s also an area where you can improve efficiency and save time. But remember always to check for any local water restrictions.
• The most efficient times to water are early morning and sunset. In warm weather, water in the evening. This will give plants the whole night to benefit from the coolness and you won’t have to water so often.
• If you have an automatic watering system, set it to work in the evening or overnight, if possible.
• No matter what the time of day, if a plant is showing signs of stress due to a lack of water, give it a quick drink (you can conserve water by using a watering can instead of a hose).
• Water less often but in greater quantities – often referred to as deep watering. The water soaks into the soil, encouraging plant roots to head down deeper, following the water as it infiltrates the ground. The ground below the surface stays damp for several days, which saves you time and encourages strong, healthy plants.
• Install micro-irrigation – a network of hoses fitted with drippers or tiny sprayers that have a small diameter, where water circulates under low pressure. A small control box located between the tap and the main hose regulates the pressure, making it ideal for watering terrace, courtyard, balcony or backyard vegetable gardens.
To free yourself completely from the need to water your garden, and to save even more time, the best solution is automation.
• Pre-program start and stop times. More advanced watering systems allow you to program the starting time of all the system outlets in your garden by choosing the day they operate and the duration of the watering time for each one.
• Connect the watering system control to a moisture meter, which stops watering when it’s raining, and direct the whole thing via a computer or remote-control unit.
• Install a double tap. Attach the automatic watering system to one tap head and leave the other one free for ready access to outdoor water so that you can fill a bucket quickly and easily.