A drought is one week with no rain, and something that rarely happens in Ireland. But when it does your garden plants would greatly benefit from a watering can or two to see them through the dry patch.
If you are going to water your plants there are a few things to consider. Firstly when to water. You should avoid watering your plants in the middle of the day or in times of short sunlight. This is to avoid damaging your plants foliage through the combination of sunlight and water sitting on the leaves and magnifying the effect of the sun rays.
The Best time to water your plants is in the morning. This will mean that you avoid the strong sunlight while giving your plant the entire day to utilise the watering can full of water that you apply to its roots.
How much water is the next question. In general term a medium sized plant (1M -2M) would require 2 watering cans of water each day during a drought. There are a number of ways to apply water and a number of ways to store water and each gardener should consider all the options when planning their own garden or vegetable beds.
Some plants require more water than others. Some don’t require any additional water at all. Some plants that would need watering include:
- All fruit, herbs and vegetables
- Container plants and hanging baskets
- Newly laid lawns
- Young plants and recently planted plants
- Trees sown in the last two years and bare root hedging sown in the last two years
When watering established plants be sure the water them in small amounts and often, rather than pouring an entire watering can over them in one go. If you water each plant slowing and allow the water from the watering can to soak into the soil before apply more water you prevent any waste.
If you pour an entire watering can over your plants most of the water will flow away, will never reach your plant’s roots and will be wasted
A good idea is to create a soil mound circling around your plant and this will act as a damp, holding the water in around your plant.
Smaller herbaceous plants will also require watering in a drought, especially when the plants are at or near flower. If watering herbaceous plants with a watering can be sure to use a watering rose and aim the water around the plants rather than pouring it direct onto their foliage. This will avoid damage to the tender plants.
Ideally you should have a water butt located close to your vegetable garden and polytunnels. I keep two watering cans at the ready to that when im using one, the other watering can is filling up. That way you can quickly get around to all your plants.
Without watering your plants they will soon wilt, than stopping growing and eventually die. Vegetables can bolt, die or their fruits and root can split is not watered or if watering irregularly.
With a consistent watering regime there is no reason why your plants wont grow and develop into healthy specimens