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8 Simple Tips to Watering Your Plants

These tips will have you mastering the science of plant watering so you can garden like a pro.   

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
October 14, 2017

WhenWhatandHowOftentoWaterPlants

Keeping a plant alive is not as easy as it seems. The tricks boil down to what you should water your plant with, when to water your plant, and how often you should do so.

8 Simple Tips to Watering Your Plants

  1. Moisture Test
  2. Know When to Water
  3. Water with Tea
  4. Make an Easy Irrigation System
  5. Help Your Garden Drain
  6. Increase Soil Acidity
  7. Watch That Hose!
  8. Make a Soaker Hose

Let's explore each plant watering tip a little further.

Moisture Test

To make sure you’re not overdoing it on the watering, here’s a simple test. When you’re finished with the hose, dig down half a foot or so and feel the soil. Moist is fine, but muddy means you should use a lighter hand.

Know When to Water

Did you know that the best time to water your plants is in the morning? At that time, the roots will be able to absorb the most water, making sure your greens stay refreshed longer.

See also: How to Save a Dying Houseplant

Water with Tea

Did you know that watering your plants with tea every now and then is good for them, because it supplies them with tannic acid and nutrients that help them grow? Because of this, using tea bags when planting new grass can be your secret to success. Wet the bags then lay them in the dirt to make an inviting “bed” for the grass seeds. Then sprinkle on the seeds and water frequently.

Make an Easy Irrigation System

Creating a slow-drip irrigation system in your garden is as easy as saving some plastic bottles soda bottles! This subterranean watering system will help your garden thrive since the gradual, continuous flow of water starts at the roots—and it’s less time you’ll spend watering! Rinse out a two-liter plastic bottle, then cut a couple slits at the bottom and two more slits at the sides using a knife or screwdriver. Test the drip holes by pouring water into the bottle; the drips should be slow and steady. Now dig a hole in your garden next to the plants you’d like to water, and insert the bottle so that only the top few inches are exposed. Fill the bottle with water every few days if it hasn’t rained. The bottle will deliver slow-release moisture to the roots, right where the plant needs it. You can also use this technique to water indoor plants while you’re on vacation!

Help Your Garden Drain

If you break a terra cotta pot, don’t toss it out—use it to help your garden drain more easily! Break into tiny pieces, then mix with your soil to promote drainage. If they could, we’re sure your plants would thank you!

Increase Soil Acidity

If you live in a hard water area, add one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water, then use it to water plants that love acidic soil, such as rhododendrons, heather, and azaleas. The vinegar will release iron in the soil for the plants to use.

Watch That Hose!

When watering your garden with a hose, take care not to drag the hose over your plants. Place a few short, heavy stakes in your garden to create an alleyway for the hose, restraining it from rolling around and distressing the delicate plants. If you don’t have stakes, simply cut a wire hanger into six-inch pieces, bend them into arches, and use them to guide your hose.

Make a Soaker Hose

Is your hose full of holes? If you have an old hose you’re no longer able to use (or an extra one lying around) repurpose it as a soaker hose. It’s easy: Just poke holes along its length with a straight pen, then place in your garden to slowly water your plants.

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Image courtesy of Who Knew?

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