The Best Time to Water Your Garden (And Why)
We all know that happy gardens need water, but did you know that there are certain times of day that are better than others? It’s true! And with the hot summer months we’re up against, the more water we can give our plants (while being resourceful with) the better!
I was always under the impression that watering plants at the end of the day, when the heat is gone and the soil can absorb most of the water, is the best time to do so. Well, after my research into wanting to do right by my own garden, turns out that’s just not true! If you water your plants at night when it’s cool, you run the risk of your plants developing fungus and bacteria. Who knew?
The sitting water actually causes fungal and bacterial growth. Heat is actually beneficial for the watering process, as it keeps the water from pooling up and causing such issues. Canadian soil scientist Ashley Labrecque discusses this (and so much more) on her YouTube channel “Gardening In Canada”.
The theory about watering them when it is cool outside still stands, but it should be done early in the morning, rather than at night. If you water your plants early in the day, the water will get to the roots without evaporating in the heat, and the water will not sit in the soil overnight causing fungal and bacterial growth. Wet plants at night also attract the bugs that will destroy your plants. All the more reason to change your watering schedule!
Of course, sometimes life happens and watering the plants between the recommended 5:00 AM-10:00 AM isn’t possible with getting the kids ready for school and getting to work on time. The good news is that watering in the late afternoon/early evening is still considered a safe time to water! The plants will still get the water they need, but the heat will keep the water from sitting in the soil overnight.
One of the issues that I had heard about was: if the leaves of the plants get wet, the heat from the sun could damage them, like a magnifying glass and an ant on a hot day. However, based on the research available, the small water droplets evaporate so quickly that there is no time for the water to cause such damage. So don’t stress about the leaves in the heat–they’ll be just fine!
As an added bonus to an already air-tight reason to water in the early morning (or late afternoon), watering your garden in the morning also helps reduce water usage! Working with the sun and evaporation will prevent you from using more water than is necessary, which is another reason why this is the best time to water your garden.
Lucky for us, Mother Nature is resilient and adaptable, so there is some grace in watering our plants. But we can learn to make things easier on her, so water in the morning (or late afternoon) for best absorption and economical water use!
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