Watering your garden may seem like the simplest part of gardening. It certainly can be very straightforward. However, if you’re using the wrong kind of water – or too much – you might end up with wilting plants and waterlogged soil.
Getting sufficient water and nutrients to your plants is crucial to a healthy, beautiful garden. If you get even one of these elements wrong, your garden simply won’t thrive. Since water is a keystone to lush greenery, let’s discuss some dos and don’ts of watering your garden. Is overwatering really as bad as underwatering, and can you really use the wrong water?
How Much is Too Much?
We can sometimes take an overenthusiastic approach to watering our plants. It can be easier to overwater indoor plants, but if you use a hosepipe or sprinkler to water your outdoor plants, you might cause overwatering there too.
Depending on your plant, too much water can be just as bad as not enough. Sturdier plants, like cacti and succulents, can handle a little drought. If the soil is saturated with water, this can cause the roots to become waterlogged. Without proper drainage, this can lead to root rot, something that can kill your plants altogether.
Try and group certain types of plants together. For example, if you have several different kinds of plants that all need lots of water, this can make it easier to give those plants what they need as often as possible. Other plants that don’t like so much water can be placed somewhere else, and receive different amounts of water.
Not all water is the same. You wouldn’t scoop up a glassful of stagnant water to drink, so you shouldn’t give it to your plants. Overly hot or cold water can be harmful to plants. Tepid or lukewarm water is your best bet.
You might use tap water, or collect water in a rain barrel to use on your plants. However, beware of harmful chemicals in water. For example, water may sometimes contain trace amounts of chlorine.
It’s possible to remove chlorine from water. There are several methods that do this, including reverse osmosis and distilling water.
Benefits of Distilled Water
Distilled water is supposed to be water in its purest form. This means that it’s free from bacteria, possible parasites, chemicals, and other contaminants, including chlorine.
Chances are, your tap water is perfectly safe to drink. However, many people still don’t like the idea of chlorine in their water. They may not like the taste, and it isn’t good for plants. Distilling your water means that you’re giving your plant – and yourself – the purest water available.
The quickest way of distilling water is to boil it. Of course, if you’re boiling water for your plants, be sure to let it cool first. Hot water isn’t good for your delicate plants!
To make sure your plants and garden are getting the best care possible, it’s best to set up a proper watering schedule, rather than just watering your garden whenever you remember.