Adequate moisture is an integral part of successful gardening. Established gardens generally need an inch of water a week, according to University of Illinois Extension. Thorough watering encourages deeper rooting, which is beneficial to plants because strong root systems reach more soil water and nutrients. Many areas restrict lawn and garden water consumption, so it's wise to know garden watering tips.
Monitor Garden Needs
Know the watering needs of your garden. Young seedlings and newly seeded lawns will be more susceptible to drought than well-established lawns and gardens. Maturing vegetables or fruits need plenty of water to produce yields. Pay attention to growth stages and to the particular water needs of individual plants. For instance, watermelons need more watering than green beans. Time of year and site of planting both impact water needs. One area of a garden may require more water than another for success. Use of mulches and soil amendment with organic composts go a long way in water conservation.
Evaluate Watering Devices
Decide which method of watering is best for a particular garden. A small container garden on a deck may only require a watering can, but that method is too laborious for a substantial garden. A hose with an adjustable spray nozzle is an option, but this, too, is time-consuming. Water sprinklers with oscillating heads are useful and can be moved around the garden where water is needed. These can be wasteful, however, as it's difficult to be sure all areas receive the right amount of moisture. Lawn watering is particularly difficult with oscillating lawn sprinklers. A lot of the water is lost to evaporation, and it's often difficult to reach all areas. Drip irrigation is the most efficient method and is easy to install. Garden centers have all the components for drip irrigation, whether it's a simple soaker hose or drip tubing. Drip irrigation supplies water directly where garden plants need water the most—to the root system.
Water garden plants early in the day, especially in the heat of summer, so plants are well-hydrated before wilting under a scorching sun. Afternoon watering is acceptable, but avoid watering too late in the day when water will stay on plants for long periods. Extended moisture on plants encourages disease pathogens.