Promoting sustainable living within the local community

Water at the right time

Many of us over-water our gardens. The soil may look dry at the surface BUT if it's moist at depth it will be fine for established plants. To check if you need to water or not, look at the soil about a 
spade-deep down. If it’s damp, it’s fine; if it’s dry, it’s time to water. If you have clay soil, it might feel damp whether it’s irrigated or not and sandy soil can feel dry, even if it has water in it. If this is the case, watch your plants and when they start to show signs of water stress – when leaves change position or get darker – note how the soil looks and feels. This way you can get more of an idea of what your soil is like when it has too little water.  Watering the garden before a drought sets in keeps the soil’s moisture levels up and helps prevent a water deficit.

Never water during the heat of the day: apart from being ineffective – much of the water is simply 
evaporates in the sun - this can burn the plant leaves as well. Ideally the garden should be watered 
early in the morning to reduce evaporation. Less well known is that evening watering, especially on the foliage can cause problems, as night-time temperatures are often inadequate to dry the moisture on the leaves. This can encourage some fungal pathogens to grow.