This blog post is short and sweet, but oh so important!
First of all, watering in the morning is best. There are a few reasons for this. Plants absorb moisture most rapidly during the day, so this is when they need water the most! In the evening, the plant will use much less water, and the soil is more likely to retain excess moisture overnight. This greatly increases the chances of root rot, as well as diseases that thrive on wet foliage. (Obviously, if your plants look dry and stressed in the evening, give them a little drink, being careful to water the roots and not the foliage. But your regular routine should be to water them thoroughly enough in the morning to make it until the next day.)
New perennials will do well with some extra care their first year. Give them a drink if the weather has been excessively dry or if they look sad (droopy).
Generally speaking, perennial plants will do fine with whatever water nature provides once they’ve been established (year 2 and beyond, if they’ve been cared for properly their first year).
Annuals (this includes vegetables!)
This depends on the annual! Some (such as marigolds, portulaca, celosia, calibrachoa, and geraniums) will do fine will a deep watering once or twice a week once they are established. Others (such as petunias, coleus, sweet potato vine) need consistent watering to stay looking their best. If nature is not providing, then water these when they are semi-dry to dry.
Check your tags to see what the watering needs are for the annuals you have chosen!
Containers & Hanging Baskets
We do these by weight! Get to know your containers and baskets and how they feel when they are dry versus how heavy they are when the soil is moist. Check them every morning, and again around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. If they are starting to feel light, give them a good soaking (water should come out of the bottom of the pot).
The exception to this rule would be if it’s a cooler, cloudy day and they feel fairly wet already - in this case, feel free to wait a day (still check them in the afternoon).
Containers and baskets can vary greatly depending on the weather, so get ready to change it up on hot vs. cool days, sunny vs. cloud, windy vs. calm. Also, a major watering no-no…do NOT depend on a rainstorm to properly water your baskets and containers! The leaves will deflect most rain water, and the soil itself won’t get a proper soaking. Always water the soil, not the plants!
With a little bit of knowledge and the correct amount of water, your plants should stay vibrant and healthy all summer!
See you at the greenhouse!