It is important that a vegetable garden receive adequate water, but be careful not to over water. Each vegetable plant may have different watering needs critical to their development. Hot and dry weather can lead to moisture loss and harm the plants' growth. There are steps that you can take to be sure that a garden receives the ample water and nutrients it needs so that you can have a healthy and successful crop.
Water at the Beginning of the Day
Water your garden first thing in the morning. In the later part of the day, toward evenings, plants are more prone to bugs, slugs and disease. When you water your garden in the morning, it allows the leaves of the plants to dry throughout the day. This can avoid damage and disease to the plant foliage. If you water later in the day, it is likely that more of the water will evaporate instead of giving your garden the moisture it needs.
Water Less Frequently, But Water Efficiently
Water your garden every three to four days, although if your area has had less than one inch of rain, be sure to water it at least once a week. Give your garden plenty of water by soaking the soil and allowing it to get at least six to eight inches of water so that it reaches the plants' roots.
Add Compost, Manure, or Mulch
Adding mulch to your garden will allow it to hold more water and keep it cool and moist so that you will not have to water as often. Manure and compost will also allow the garden to hold more water and the roots to absorb nutrients.
Critical Watering Times
There are vegetable plants that require more watering once they have reached a certain stage. For example, once broccoli, cabbage and lettuce plants begin developing their heads, they need more water. Give these vegetables more water once they reach these stages: Dry onions once they have bulb enlargement; carrots, radishes and turnips once they have root enlargement; snap and lima beans once they have pod development and enlargement; and sweet corn when tassel and ears develop.