Knowing how and when to water your plants will save you time, water, and money--plus, your plants will reward you for it with lots of healthy growth.
- If you live in a climate where molds, fungi, and black spot thrive--which is in most hot and humid areas--water in the early morning instead of the evening. Watering at night promotes the growth of disease microorganisms because the soil and plants stay wet until the next day. Watering in early morning lets the surface moisture evaporate more quickly.
- Apply water as close to the root level as possible. Use drip-irrigation systems and soaker hoses. This is especially true for roses, where wet leaves breed black spot, mildew and other diseases. If you foliar feed by applying a dilute fertilizer directly to a plant's leaves, it's particularly important to do so early in the morning.
- Avoid broad overhead sprinkling or spraying a fine mist into the air. Much of your water will evaporate or miss the target, making this a costly and inefficient method.
- To prevent soil-borne diseases, lay down a thick layer of mulch so you don't splash fungi and disease spores onto plants.
- Leaks waste water. If your faucet or hose connections drip, replace the rubber washers. Replace any bent or broken connectors. If your hose splits or cracks, buy a new one. Don't rely on hose sealants.