Watering the key to success

Many of my neighbors ask me what is my secret to my beautiful yard. I first laugh and say “my green thumb” and then I say watering.

Watering is the most important must do on your gardening list. Do not over water but keeping your plants happy sometimes may be an every day activity. Potted or container plants must kept moist but not wet and in the heat of summer this can be quite the task. I water early or late morning. I do not water in the evening unless I see a plant just flopped over in the pot or ground. Watering at night can cause all sorts of problems like mold, fungus, powdery mildew, and even rot. Then there is watering at the noon day sun when the sun is at its highest, also not a good idea because the sun evaporates the water too fast before the plant or your lawn can get a drink.

If you have many plants in containers or hanging baskets, then make sure you fertilize about every 3-4 weeks. If the water goes through the pot as fast as you pour it in, then I highly suggest re-potting the plant. This happens either when the plant is root bound or the dirt is no longer viable which means mix the dirt up with some fresh compost/manure in the bag from your big box store or mix in your own compost.

The biggest ‘secret’ for a thriving new plant is to water every day for 30 days in the ground (unless rain and make sure that the rain was sufficient to saturate the ground). After that in the summer months be sure to water every couple days or so in the heat. It will take all summer for the newly planted tree, shrub, or perennial to figure out if it is going to grow. The old saying “the first year sleeps, second year creeps, and the third year leaps” is a pretty accurate statement on how a plant grows in most zones. The first season is the crucial time for success and many newbie gardeners forget to keep watering…

Sometimes you may even have to water established plants in time of drought. If you do not want to spend the time or the water, then I highly suggest adding/using native plants in your gardens.

Plants know the difference between rain and ‘city’ water. Have you noticed? My lawn will be okay green but then a good rain comes and the grass returns to a beautiful green. Or flowers that were doing okay somehow look more beautiful.

I have 3 rain barrels and soon to add more on the front. This is a wise investment if you want to keep enjoying many plants in times of drought. Water is an essential part of life and so DO NOT FORGET TO WATER YOUR OUTDOOR PLANTS.

Happy gardening!
Creating, inspiring, and gardening without the rules!

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