Watering Your Vegetable Garden: How to Water Plants for Healthier Growth

[Music] Hello! The arrival of summer brings rapid growth for our vegetables, but with warmer days and settled weather
comes the pressure to keep plants hydrated and happy. If you’re not careful, hot sunny days can
make you a slave to the watering can so it’s time to get water-wise in the
garden. In this video, we share some simple tips for keeping the
ground moist, and your crops content, without rushing around. Many gardeners water more often than necessary, encouraging plans to produce shallow
roots that make them ever more dependent on you for water. Encourage deeper roots by watering less often so that roots draw on the moisture found
further down in the soil. A thorough soaking once a week is better
than a sprinkling every two days. In dry weather, prioritize seedlings over established plants which need more water until they have
developed their root systems. Some crops need more water than others –
for example leafy salads and celery. Others appreciate extra water at crucial
stages in their development – for example peas, beans, tomatoes, squashes and cucumbers as they come into flower and produce
their pods or fruits. Tall plants, such as climbing beans, will draw a lot of moisture from the soil so will need watering considerably more
often than other crops. Some plants are surprisingly drought
tolerant. Parsnips and most types of carrot for
example have long tap roots that enable them to reach far down for moisture. How you water is important. Apply water
as close to the roots as you can and trying to avoid wetting the foliage,
which is wasteful and can promote disease. A watering can
will help you to get in amongst the foliage, and while you’re doing so you can inspect your plans to see how they are getting on. Never water in the middle of the day, when most of the moisture applied will quickly evaporate. Sometimes the soil surface looks dry, when just beneath there’s plenty of moisture. Check by digging a hole to see how dry the ground really is – if it’s moist where the roots are, leave watering to another day. Drip irrigation is the most efficient
form of irrigation system as it emits water close to the roots. Add a timer to deliver the water early in the morning or in the evening, when evaporation rates are lower and little will go to waste. You can add
irrigation set-ups to your garden plan by selecting the irrigation layer from the
toolbar To select an item (for example a length of drip line), click once to pick it up, move your cursor to where you want to
place it, then click and drag to position. You can create curves on irrigation
tubes by clicking on the middle handles then moving the cursor up or down. For more advice on irrigation, click here to view our video on planning irrigation for your garden. Plant strategically and save water. For example, create miniature reservoirs
for thirsty plants such as zucchinis by banking up a miniature levee
around each plant. This holds the water you add in place, allowing it to slowly drain into soil rather than running off. You can also sink plant pots into the soil, then water into these, or cut the
bottom off a plastic drinks bottle, prick holes into the cap, then bury
upside down into the soil and fill with water. The water will
slowly drain out from the holes moistening the soil further down where
the roots are. If the weather is dry at sowing time, water along the seed drills before sowing. Allow the water to drain away, then water again. And then sow and cover
over. There’s no need to add more water after
covering the seeds. They now have a perfectly moist, cool
environment in which to germinate. In hotter climates, you could also rig up
some shading until your seedlings are well-established. Planting out seedlings or young plants is a crucial time for watering. Water into the planting hole before
planting, set the plant into the ground, then water again to settle the soil
around the rootball. The additional moisture around the rootball will get the plant off to a really strong start. Larger containers dry out much more
slowly than smaller containers. If you aren’t on hand to water as
regularly as you’d like, mix some water-retaining granules
into the compost before planting. Grouping pots together will help to
raise humidity, thereby slowing evaporation. Rainwater is better for plants than treated water. In water-stressed areas in particular, using rainwater that falls on site does a lot to conserve this valuable resource. Collect as much of it as you can by installing water barrels to downpipes. You can link up multiple barrels using
connectors. Water barrels can also be added to your
garden plan. Simply click to select, move to where you
want it on the plan, then click and drag to place. Use the corner handles to adjust its area to accurately reflect the size of your barrel. Known as mulching, adding a layer of organic matter onto the soil surface can dramatically slow evaporation from
the ground. Suitable mulches include dry grass clippings and garden-made compost, topped up as
necessary during the course of the growing season. The best results come from repeatedly applying organic
matter such as compost over a number of years. All that organic
matter works to gradually improve your soil structure and its ability to hold moisture, ultimately ensuring the health and vigour of your plants. Feeding your soil with lots of organic matter dramatically improves its ability to
hold on to all that valuable soil moisture. while watering exactly where it’s needed,
when it’s needed, saves a lot of time and water. We’d love to hear how you keep water-wise in the garden. Share your tips by dropping us a comment below and if you want more gardening advice to help you get the most from your growing, don’t forget to subscribe! [Music]

27 thoughts on “Watering Your Vegetable Garden: How to Water Plants for Healthier Growth

  1. This is really fantastic. Best video on watering I've seen! I learned so many great tips. Thank you!
    ~Sheryl 🙂

  2. Can I recommend you add a sink to your objects in the garden plan? I have one in my greenhouse.  I didn't see one in the app.

  3. Where in the world is your mulch?  It doesn't make sense to tell people to water wisely and then leave your soil bare, allowing the water to evaporate.  Throw some wood chips on that ground, for pete's sake!

  4. Watering Your Vegetable Garden: How to Water Plants for Healthier Growth…


  5. thank you for all your tips, I always learn something new and appreciate how you are presenting and sharing in a friendly way. I have been using the garden planner for 3 years now and although it takes time to do it, I think it is worth-ed in the long run.  I live in Central Alberta and have 3 water barrels but could use more as I had to fill them up twice now (middle of June) with the hose from the tap which is quite expensive.  I use gray water from my dishwater when needed and water in the evening.  I guess the best advice for the future would be to start planting low water requirement vegetables?

  6. Thanks for the great video on watering. I am in California where we are going through yet another drought year. I have lost 3 large shade trees and haven't had the funds to install a drip system, so my garden is taking a beating this year. I do have a great garden though with many producing plants, only losing a few to the high heat of recent. I enjoy your videos and have gotten quite a few ideas for my garden. Thanks for you informative videos, Kim

  7. We have many raised garden beds, and pots.  Every year we add a thick layer of compost, and after planting, we put a thick layer of chopped straw on top of entire garden beds/pots.  We work it all into the soil at the end of the growing season. Our soil is rich, dark and moist with lots of earthworms.

  8. I use Plant Nannies in my container plants – I have the terra cotta ones into which you place upside-down wine bottles. Love them! Also, I use soaker hose instead of drip hose, but from what I gather both are equally effective at watering deeply while avoiding evaporation. I am dealing with clay soil, and it's difficult to get the soil aerated. Any thoughts?

  9. Great information! Thanks a lot. I have a lot of potted plants in my balcony, and have put them close to each other. This does help in retaining moisture. I understand that sprinkling the leaves does lead to wastage of water, but I mostly do that 2-3 times a week (during summers) as I want to clean the leaves. Else they look dull and dusty. I am concerned about this leading to spread of diseases though! Should I do this less frequently?

  10. What software/app were you using to plan your garden?  I am interested in seeing if it will work for me!  Thank you in advance!

  11. When I water my lucky bamboo I use filtered water because I was told that chloride in tap water can kill the plant. I was planning to grow some herbs in my garden for cooking. Do I have to use filtered water on those too or they are not affected by the chloride?

  12. good thing i do if you dont have a water barrel, cut off the top of a fizzy drink bottle (2litres or more) too a size that the top of it can stay on the top of the bottom of the bottle then put some heavy rocks in the bottom of the bottle but not to much so that water can get in there then turn the top upsidedown put it in the bottom and done it works by filling up with water and the small cap entry will not let the water evaporate as easy as if you put nothing in the top il send you a picture of it on twitter if you want ^_^

  13. I water by hand, but I'm thinking of going drip in the vegetable garden. Drip seems well-suited for veggies that are planted in rows, but not at all practical for flowers and perennials which I have scattered about in beds which are separated by paths, lawns, and sidewalks. Even if it were practical, the tubes and emitters would be "ugly". Instead of the enjoying the beauty of the garden, I'd be looking for tubes and emitters. and thinking how can I hide them.

  14. I use ground water from the deep deep well on our property and my plants seem to love it, I use a drip system on most of my plants, but some, I just love to spend time with, especially when they are just babies, so I hand water those ones 🙂 I also feed some of my plants Maxsea and then bat guano too, I like to add worm castings like once a month while I water and watch them soak in…SO Magical to watch your garden grow and bonding with loved ones!!!! Thank you SO much for the awesome tips!!!

  15. Hello, thank you very much for ALL your informative videos. But I do have a question about the best way to water your veggies. you say it's best to water closely to the roots…it make me think ….what about rain and foliar feed, both fall rather on the leaves than the plant roots. Wouldn't it be more "natural" to water the plants from above…like rain? If you have the time…I am thankful for your answer…

  16. I planted my tomatoes super deep rather than laying them in a trench this year. We went for almost 2 weeks without water, and while my other crops wilted after less than a week, the tomatoes never gave any signs of being thirsty. I watered them with the rest of the garden, but I'm going to try not to next time to see how long they can go without. I wish I hadn't put my soaker hose in that bed bc now I need to move it to an area that needs it more! Mulch helps, too. I'm experimenting with wood chips vs shredded leaves. Both have done well so far!

  17. Great Garden Tips …If you are in the USA, you can use this water hose for watering: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=me%3DA1UC3ESBAHAF3N&field-keywords=water+hose

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