Vegetables tend to grow faster than shrubs and trees. As a result, they need proper watering on a regular basis. This will ensure that all stages of plant growth (from seedling to mature crop) are not hindered. By providing the right amount of water for your plants, you give them more chances of growing into healthier and more productive crops.
When to Water Your Veggies
Vegetables require varying amounts of water based on a number of factors such as the texture of soil, the type of plant, and the stage in their plant life. As a general guide, just keep in mind that freshly sown seeds and young vegetables particularly require sufficient amount of water. Just water the seed drill before sowing as watering afterwards may create caps or hard crusts on the soil. Also, water the plants at least when drought will is about to affect the part that is to be harvested. In other words, watering about a couple of weeks before harvesting is oftentimes sufficient. Lastly, water every 10 to 14 days in dry spells on drought-prone sandy soils or sticky clays.
Start Off Your New Plants Right
Allow your plants to grow healthier and more extensive roots by watering them deeper but less frequently. This watering habit will help them withstand drought-stress a lot better. During the first year, preferably when weather is dry (spring through fall), water the plants as soon as you get them in the ground. Let the water soak in, and then just water once more until the soil is thoroughly moistened. On the first week, water the plants on a daily basis or probably every other day. On the second week and onward, you may decrease the frequency of watering to twice or thrice per week only (unless the weather is extremely hot and dry) until the fall rains start. For the next couple of years, begin watering your plants deeply one once or twice a week. After the third year, know that those properly grown and watered plants of yours should be reasonably well-established already; capable of thriving even with less watering. While drought-tolerant veggies may not need supplemental water, shallow-rooted ones may still need to be watered every week. Nonetheless, most plants, when selected for the conditions in your garden, may only require watering just once or twice per month during dry weather.
How to Tell If You Are Watering Them Properly
Do not wait for your vegetables to tell you through wilting and leaves slowly dropping off that you are depriving them of what they most need – water. Regularly inspect the soil by digging around with your hands, shovel, or trowel so you would know how far down you are actually watering them. Just take the time and commitment to properly water your plants and you will get the most out of your prized garden – the fruits of your investment through those beautiful and highly productive plants.