Second of Seven Gardening Mistakes - How to Water

A two-gallon watering can and $20 watering wand are essential garden watering tools.

A two-gallon watering can and $20 watering wand are essential garden watering tools.

We all make them, or develop them. Habits that stand in the way of being successful gardening. This is the second of seven gardening mistakes I certainly have made and share to remind both of us to stay away from perpetuating them.

Forgetting to Water or Shallow Watering

Either one of these are guaranteed to kill off plants. Soil needs water to keep resident bacteria and microorganisms alive and healthy. That miniscule ecosystem is what feeds plant roots so without water, the ecosystem dies and there are no nutrients to feed plant roots.

Although I have killed off my fair share of plants by forgetting to water, I now water as I plant. I carry a watering can whenever I am planting so I don’t forget or get distracted and then forget to go back.

Deep Watering Better Than Sprinklers

It is also better to water deeply with an in-ground watering wand than a sprinkler, especially when temperatures are 100F and higher. The tops of plants may die off in those temperatures but if watered, roots will survive and come back next year.

I watched a lady sitting next to her above ground sprinkler last summer. The water evaporated by the time it reached the highest point in the arch so it wasn't doing anything but giving her a cool mist. Maybe that's what she wanted but it wasn't helping her plants.

Invest in a watering wand and water deeply. They run about $20 and are the best investment in terms of water management. Not only will you have to water less frequently but your plants will have a higher survival rate.

Next, a basic practice critical to successful gardening. Do you have a favorite?