I always hear from fellow gardening hopefuls that their plants did not make it because they “forgot to water them”.
Watering can be repetitive and tedious, especially in the hottest months of the year when the heat is sweltering and the days are humid. Going from plant to plant with a watering can or hose under the blistering sun, sometime three times a day can be exhausting to say the least.
The summer months can have you wishing for rain with the same fervour that inspired our ancestors to make up silly dances and on an even darker note conduct sacrifices for the gods. When neither Thor, nor Tlaloc (Aztec god of rain) are listening, take matters into your own hands and try these watering tips to minimise the amount of watering you have to do this summer.
Remember to first soak the soil completely for best results, before attempting any of the following…
Place a few pieces of plain cardboard over the moistened soil. The cardboard (also wet), will keep the moisture in the soil from quickly evaporating. This method will also provide the added bonus of reducing weed growth.
Fill a large plastic bottle with water (place the cap on). Cut one or two slits near the neck of the bottle, which will be inserted into the already drenched soil. Over time, as the soil slowly dries out, the water will seep out, providing slow irrigation. Try adding two or more at a time.
Grass cuttings. With plenty of grass cuttings from my doggie grass trays, I use them as a natural mulch by scattering them around the base of my plants. As the freshly cut grass dries out it will also add nutrients to the soil.
Coconut coir is a great low cost, and effective way of maintaining moisture in the soil from the tiniest plant to an entire container. Usually sold as a compressed block, add water and watch as it expands and loosens. Place the fibres at the base of the plant, or sprinkle evenly around the surface of the soil.
Place potted plants in a tray of water, or in a shallow inflatable baby pool. The plants will soak up as much water as needed from the drainage holes at the bottom. Just pour the water directly into the pool when it dries up, instead of watering one by one. Easy!