ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Water Your Garden

Updated on January 17, 2017
OldRoses profile image

Caren White is a Master Gardener and instructor at Home Gardeners School. She has been associated with Rutgers Gardens for over a decade.

Soaker Hoses
Soaker Hoses | Source

Watering your garden seems like such a simple concept. You grab a hose or turn on the sprinkler every day, right? Wrong! Watering your garden every day is almost as bad as not watering at all.

Daily, or shallow, watering forces the plants’ roots to stay near the surface of the soil instead of heading deeper where they can also find nutrients vital to the plants’ health. Shallow roots do not provide a good anchor in the soil for plants. A deeply rooted plant will be much sturdier and actually need less water.

Water once a week

So how often should you water your garden? Ideally, you should only water once a week. That weekly watering should moisten the soil to a depth of 1 foot. How long it takes for water to reach a depth of one foot depends on the type of soil in your yard.

Clay soil is very dense. It drains very slowly. Sandy soil is the opposite. The water drains through it so quickly that plant roots don’t have a chance to absorb any. Loam is the best type of soil for a garden. You can amend your clay or sandy soil with organic matter like compost to give it the characteristics of loam. Raised beds is another good idea. Just beware that raised beds dry out more quickly than ground-level soil.

1 to 1 1/2 Inches Per Week

To achieve a one foot moisture level in your garden you will need 1 to 1 ½ inches of rain or supplemental watering each week. You can measure how much water your garden is getting very easily. Simply use a rain gauge when it rains, or if you are using a sprinkler, put out some tuna cans or pet food cans to catch water so you will know when you have reached the ideal of 1 to 1 ½ inches.

Water in the morning or early evening

The best time to water is in the morning or early evening. This prevents evaporation and gives the water a chance to soak in before the heat of the day when your plants will need it the most. Watering during the day is a waste. Too much will evaporate before getting to the roots.

Drip irrigation

The exception to this rule would be if you are using drip irrigation. Drip irrigation provides water close to the roots so there is less exposed to evaporation. Since you don’t want to water the leaves, watering close to the roots is the best way to water.

Always use mulch

Always use mulch. Mulch keeps the soil cooler, slowing evaporation, which keeps the soil moist longer so you don’t need to water more than once a week. Mulch also prevents weeds from growing and competing with your plants for water.

Knowing when and how to water your garden will ensure your garden will look and yield its best throughout the growing season.

© 2014 Caren White


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • OldRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Caren White 

      4 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      People don't realize that mulch does more than "decorate" the garden.

    • OldRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Caren White 

      4 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Clay is so difficult! I applaud you for being able to grow in it.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      Great tips. Some people don't realize how much water can evaporate with wind & sun. Mulch is always a good idea for so many reasons.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Voted up and useful. We are believers in using mulch to conserve moisture and also combat weeds. In Houston we have clay soil for the most part and definitely have to amend it in order to grow things.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)