Be Water Wise During Winter
As the Highveld moves into a dry winter, gardeners will be giving their gardens and plants a much-needed watering and it is during this time that you need to be more water wise.
Even though we are moving towards winter, there are still times during the day when the temperature can get quite high and your garden and potted plants start to feel the stress either by wilting or drooping of leaves. This is when we normally use a watering can or hose pipe to provide much-needed relief for plants seeking moisture, but are you doing it at the right time?
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WATER PLANTS?
If you want your plants to receive maximum benefits from a watering, the best time to water plants is first thing in the morning or as late as possible in the afternoon or early evening. There are very good reasons for both these watering times and you will want to try and adjust your schedule to accommodate for either option.
If you are setting up an irrigation system to take care of watering the garden, make sure to adjust the timer according to the season.
• Watering early morning
Any early morning watering schedule works best when the weather is cooler and evaporation will not occur too quickly. An early morning watering regimen will ensure that the roots of plants receive plenty of water. Watering in the morning when the weather is cool will also ensure that watering will benefit the plant throughout the day without evaporation and will assist the plant in surviving during the day - or every other day if this is your preferred method of watering.
Did you know that wet soil is warmer than dry soil? Watering a garden before frost arrives is beneficial for plants.
• Watering late afternoon
Many gardeners prefer to water in the late afternoon. For me, there is nothing better than getting home from work and taking a few minutes out of my schedule to go out into the garden and water the plants. A late afternoon or early evening watering is good for plants and allows plants to fully absorb moisture without the daytime sun drying up the moisture.
When an afternoon watering is what you prefer, try not to leave it too late as moisture left on the plants overnight can lead to fungus problems or the danger of frost when the weather is colder. Make it a routine to get home from work and get into the garden as soon as you can - take some time to decompress as you water the garden and then continue with your regular evening schedule.
Make it a part of your daily schedule to take time out in the garden to water plants. It's not only good for plants - it's good for your mental wellbeing as well.
HARVESTING WATER FOR YOUR GARDEN
Investing in a rainwater harvesting tank is the future for local gardeners. Even a small JoJo rainwater tank will be able to water a small garden over winter and you won't have to worry about putting any strain on our local water infrastucture. Plus, when you have a rainwater tank at your disposal, you won't feel guilty about watering your garden as much as it needs.