How do you know when you need to water your garden?

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by poodledoodlemom, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    This may be a stupid question but...how do you know when you need to water your garden? I have seeds planted and soon I will hopefully be planting my seedlings. I'm not sure if I should water every day (when it's not raining). Is there a way to test? Like stick my finger in the dirt and if it's dry so many inches down then water? Does that make sense? Lol!! Thanks. That's the thing I worry about the most...how much water to give. :)

    Moderator's note: added a more descriptive title to topic
     
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Check with you local water department first to see if you are under any water restrictions because of the drought. I can only water on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m.

    Seedlings in the ground need to be kept damp until they are established then the watering can be cut back.

    What type of soil do you have? Does it have good drainage?
    What kind of plants do you have? Perennials will withstand dry conditions more than annuals, but they do need to be watered until they are established. Texas Natives will really withstand dry conditions.

    You also need to know plant requirements, some like to have their roots damp all the time and some require dry.
    Make sure you don't have water hogs planted with xeriscape plants.
     
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  4. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    The soil is bagged garden soil that we got from Home Depot. I have tomatoes, peppers, rosemary, coriander, chives, and a couple others.

    And oops! I didn't think about checking on any water restrictions!

    Now when you say established...do you mean sprouting? I feel like I'm in Gardening pre-k. Ha ha!!! Thanks for your help!
     
  5. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I misunderstood, I thought you were talking about in-ground flowering plants.

    Established is when the roots are truly settled in and you start seeing more above ground growth. When a plant or seed is first planted, all their energy goes to the roots, once the roots are strong enough then you start seeing rapid and continuous above ground growth. The roots continue to grow too but then they have energy for both processes.
    If they are still seedlings then they need to be kept damp but not soggy and freshly planted in pots or the ground do too.

    The veggies will require possibly daily watering during the hottest part of our summers and that's where the finger in the soil test comes in handy. Dry down to the second-third knuckle means time to water a bit.
    If they are in clay pots they will dry out quicker than in ceramic or plastic so check the soil every day but don't water on a schedule always check the soil first. More plants are killed by overwatering than you might think.

    Once the Rosemary starts getting big, cut way back on the watering. They will live pretty much on just what Mother Nature gives them and they are an evergreen down here so it will be around a long time and it blooms in Winter through Spring.
     
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  6. poodledoodlemom

    poodledoodlemom Seedling

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    Thank you so much!!
     

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