Flowers bring beauty to any home landscaping project. They are also beneficial for the ecosystem that exists on your property. Like with any plant project, the success of your flower beds and gardens depends heavily upon effective watering.
Watering flowers may seem like a simple task. The truth is that it requires a little thought and planning. Knowing when to water and how often is important. It also helps to understand which watering tools are the best. Here's a guide that will help you develop the most efficient watering schedule for your flowers.
Flower Watering—What You Should Strive to Accomplish
It can be easy to overlook some of the specifics of watering when it comes to flowers. Sometimes there is a tendency to simply water without any real sense of purpose or direction. After all, Mother Nature is good at sorting things out.
However, you should have an understanding of the purpose of moisture for plants. When it comes to new plants and seedlings, your job is to give them a healthy start. That means just the right amount of moisture in the proper setting. Established plants need more water delivered to the root system, and that could be served by a different set of watering tools.
The point here is to calculate and plan. Yes, watering may seem simple, and in many cases it is. The difference, however, between a flower garden that survives and one that thrives often comes down to your watering prowess.
How Do You Know When a Flower Needs Water?
Different flower varieties have different watering needs, and there really is no hard-and-fast guideline that will work across the board. What we can say is that most professionals recommend only watering when necessary. Watering the garden whenever you feel like it won't suffice.
Pay attention to the soil around the base of your flowers. It should hold about 1" of moisture. Flowers that lack the appropriate amount of water may wilt or show other signs of ill health. It is important to try and maintain a consistent amount of moisture in the soil.
How Often Should You Water Flowers?
The regularity with which you water is often determined by the type of soil. If you are able to maintain a landscape where the water drains at a consistent rate, watering twice a week to a depth of 1/2 inch should do the trick.
Clay is more adept at retaining water, so you may only need one good watering each week. Shoot for 1" of water, and don't forget to consider any rainfall that you may receive.
Many home gardeners like to put a rain gauge in their garden to monitor how much rainfall has occurred. In areas that receive a lot of rainfall, you will need to address drainage to make sure that excess water is not being retained.
Choosing the Best Time for Watering
The best time for watering flowers is in the morning between 6 and 10. This is something most experienced gardeners recognize. The reason for this is very simple: Evaporation occurs faster once the sun is up and flowers receive warmth.
When you water in the morning, you are allowing the plants to make the most of the water they receive. Water that is applied before the sun reaches its peak is able to make its way to the root system, and it also does not accumulate on the actual flowers or leaves.
Plants that have too much water on the flowers can become susceptible to mold and other health issues. Make it a point to water early, and try to enjoy the beauty of the morning as you do so.
It goes without saying that you should stick to the guidelines above to prevent overwatering flowers. You also should make sure your garden or containers drain well, especially if you experience frequent rain.
Flowers that have been overwatered may show some distress. They can look listless, and they may even start to lose some of their beautiful color. The solution is to back off the watering, drain the soil if possible, and eventually initiate a healthier watering schedule.
Tools to Help Flower Watering
In addition to the rain gauge we mentioned earlier, there are some other garden tools that can help you water more effectively. The traditional sprinkler or garden nozzle is often much less efficient than a soaker hose.
A soaker hose can be positioned in your flower beds however you like. It will distribute the water evenly and allow you to better monitor how much water you are using.
A good mulch is also useful to help retain moisture. It can reduce the amount of watering you have to do each week. Just be careful to keep an eye on the water penetration below the mulch to prevent mold.
A little knowledge is a powerful thing when you plan to water flowers. With these tips, your garden should look great all season long.