This is how you water your plants properly

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Usually, well-rooted garden plants can survive a few days without being watered. However, in the summer months from June to September, high temperatures often increase the flowering of vegetables and potted plants, but also the perennials in the beds. Regular watering is necessary. This will tell you when your plants need water and so they will be properly watered.

Water with rainwater

Rainwater is ideal for watering your plants in the garden. It is not too cold, contains no minerals and hardly affects the pH and nutrient content of the soil. Some plants such as rhododendrons and hydrangeas thrive much better with lime-free rainwater. In addition, rainwater conserves natural resources and is free. Rainwater is best collected in a rain barrel or a large underground cistern.

Rain barrel as irrigation water reservoir

With the help of rain barrels, precious irrigation water can be collected

Irrigate plants properly

Is sufficient for the balcony mostly the watering can, in a garden with bed and lawn garden hose, lawn sprinkler and pouring device indispensable aids, if you do not want to get a crooked back from the cans. For single plants and small areas, a garden hose with spray attachment is sufficient. With a casting machine, plants can be watered specifically on the base. The water gets directly to the roots and it is less lost through evaporation and runoff. In contrast to the overshoot of the whole plant, the risk of infection due to fungal diseases is reduced. A professional irrigation hose leads through droplets of fine water to the plants at their base.

Colorful watering cans

Whether watering can, hose or irrigation system - the time and the amount are important!

water requirements

Because the upper soil layers dry out more quickly, shallow rootlets need to be watered more frequently. Mid-low and deep rootworms manage with less water. Pour so abundantly that the soil is thoroughly moistened into the main root zone. In the vegetable patch you need about 10 to 15 liters per square meter, in the rest of the garden you can count on hot days with a casting rate of 20 to 30 liters per square meter. For an ingrown lawn, weekly watering of ten liters per square meter is often sufficient. Plants in vessels have limited storage capacity and are not able to tap water reserves from deeper layers of the earth. During the hot season, they must therefore be poured up to twice a day. However, every year both in the house and on the balcony and terrace many potted plants due to waterlogging. Therefore, check with your finger before each pouring, if the right time for the next watering has come.
A rule of thumb says that one liter of water is needed to moisten a one-centimeter deep layer of soil. Depending on the type of soil, about 20 liters of water per square meter are needed to moisten a 20 centimeter deep layer. The amount of precipitation that has fallen, whether artificially or naturally, is most easily controlled with a rain gauge.

Video: Making irrigation systems from PET bottles themselves

The right casting time

If possible, water early in the morning. Really important: Do not pour in strong sunlight! Here, the small drops of water on the leaves can act like burning glasses and inflict sensitive burns on the plants. In the morning, during the morning warm-up phase of the sun, the water has enough time to evaporate or freeze without damage.
In the lawn, however, this effect hardly plays a role - on the one hand the drops are very small because of the narrow leaves, on the other hand the leaves of the grasses are more or less vertical, so that the angle of incidence of the sunlight on the leaf is very sharp. During the evening watering the moisture keeps longer, but gives predators like snails the opportunity to be active longer. Infections such as fungi occur more frequently, because waterlogging promotes their growth.

Irrigation water on plant

In strong sunshine, such drops of water can act like burning glasses and damage the plant

Tips on how to properly water your plants

  • Condition your plants by not so often, but pour a lot. As a result, plants root much deeper and are still able to reach deeper water even during long periods of heat. Is poured daily, but little, evaporates much irrigation water and the plants rooted only superficially.
  • Only water your plants in the root area and avoid wetting the leaves. To prevent fungal diseases in susceptible plants such as vegetables or roses.
  • Especially with very permeable soils, it makes sense to incorporate humus or green manure before planting. As a result, the soil is able to store more water. A layer of mulch after planting ensures that the soil does not dry out so quickly.
  • Many fruit plants such as tomatoes have a much higher water requirement during the formation of their buds or fruits. Give them a bit more water in this phase - possibly also some fertilizer.
  • Freshly grown plants with short root systems need more water than already rooted ones and those with deep roots. They also need to be watered more often.
  • The water in coasters in potted plants should be emptied after heavy rainstorms. Water accumulating there can cause waterlogging and root rot in many plants. Avoid using coasters in spring and autumn.
  • Terracotta or clay pots have the natural property of storing water and are therefore well suited as plant pots for balcony and terrace. At the same time, the pots emit moisture and it is necessary for pouring a little more water than plastic containers.
  • In order to be able to estimate the water requirements of your plants, it is worth taking a look at the foliage. Many and thin leaves mean high water needs. Plants with thick leaves need less water.

How do plants absorb water?

Plants use different physical effects to get the water they need:

  • Diffusion and osmosis: The term diffusion derives from the Latin word "diffundere", which means "to spread". Osmosis comes from the Greek and means "to penetrate". Scientifically, in osmosis, a substance-mixture substance permeates a partially permeable (semipermeable) membrane. The plant roots have a higher salt content than the water in the ground. Due to the physical effect of the diffusion, water is now sucked through the partially permeable membrane of the roots until a physical equilibrium is created. However, as the water continues to rise and evaporate through the plant, this balance is not reached and the plant continues to draw in water. However, if the soil around the plant is over-salted, osmosis will be detrimental to the plant. The higher salinity of the soil deprives the plant of the water and it dies. This can happen, for example, due to too much fertilizer or road salt in the winter months.



In the diffusion (left), two substances mix together until they are evenly distributed at the end of the process. In osmosis (right), fluids are exchanged through a partially permeable membrane until equilibrium is achieved. Plant roots have an elevated salt content and, through this effect, draw less salty water into the plant

  • capillary arise when liquids and tiny tubes or cavities meet. Due to the surface tension of the liquid and the interfacial tension between solid and liquid, water in a tube rises higher than the actual liquid level. This effect allows the plant to move water up against gravity from the roots up into the plant. The transport of water in the plant is intensified by transpiration.
  • Transpiration: In addition to the previously listed effects, there is a difference in heat throughout the plant, which is particularly noticeable when exposed to sunlight. The rich green or other, even darker colors of the leaves ensure that sunlight is absorbed. In addition to the important photosynthesis happens here but more. Solar energy heats the leaf and releases evaporating water molecules. Since the plant has a closed system of water channels from the roots to the leaves, this creates a negative pressure. This in conjunction with the capillary effect draws water from the roots. Plants are able to self-regulate this effect to some extent by opening or closing stomata on the underside of the leaf.

Video Board: How to water a plant.... the right way!.

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