To keep your landscaping looking great, you have to water it! Even the most low-maintenance landscaping designs need some water in order to continue growing. Unfortunately, however, many homeowners accidentally overwater (or even underwater) their latest landscaping projects, leading to potential disaster. After all, you didn’t plan out your new landscaping just to watch it wilt before your eyes, right?
Today, we’re exploring one of the most common questions homeowners have about landscaping: “How often should I water my garden?” While it may seem like a simple question, there are a number of factors that play a role in determining the best answer for this, so let’s dive in!
Okay, So How Often Should I Water My Garden?
Experts have stated that a whopping average 8 out of 10 homeowners water their gardens incorrectly. In fact, having that many homeowners not knowing how often you should water a garden also contributes to wasting over half the water they use. Not only is this potentially harmful for your latest landscaping design and installation, but it also means you may be driving up your water bill unnecessarily!
To help with learning what lawn maintenance includes and answering important questions like, “how often should I water my garden?”, consider these factors:
- The general rule of watering a garden and lawn
- What type of soli your landscaping has
- Adding mulch to water a garden more efficiently
- Local climate and weather
- What time of day is best to water a garden
How Often Should You Water a Garden? A General Rule!
To kick off answering the question, “how often should I water my garden?”, let’s first talk about the general rule of thumb. In most cases, the general rule for answering how often should you water a garden is making sure it gets between one and two inches of water each week.
As any Capital Region landscape professionals should tell you, one of the most overlooked, but important, parts of the general rule is how often to deliver that water. Most homeowners default to thinking they need to water their plants every other day for a short bit to keep them hydrated and healthy. The truth is that actually may be disastrous for your backyard and front yard landscaping. Frequent, shallow watering causes a plant’s roots to grow near the soil surface, where they can quickly dry out and become victims of hot summer days.
Instead, deep watering encourages deeper and stronger root growth. Depending on the local weather, you may be able to get away with deep watering your landscaping once or twice a week. Deep watering is one of the best tips for garden care to encourage roots to penetrate the subsoil and thrive. Be mindful not to overwater your plants, however, to avoid guaranteed ways to kill your lawn and garden!
Pro Tip: For those who need to find ways to effectively water a landscape design for backyard hills, try watering in stages to achieve the best absorption. Water your garden until you begin to see runoff, then stop watering, wait until the runoff subsides and begin again. This can help prevent erosion problems that may arise.
What Type of Soil You Have
Another factor to consider when contemplating, “how often should I water my garden?” is what type of soil you have. For example, heavy clay soil will retain much more water than sandy soil does. This means it’ll hold in water longer and make it easier to accidentally overwater your garden if you’re not too careful. Simultaneously, sandy soil will dry out faster and may require a little more water to keep your plants healthy after deep watering sessions.
You also need to be mindful of how healthy your soil is. Just because it’s not as beautiful and noticeable as the plants in your garden doesn’t mean you should overlook keeping it healthy, too! One of the many benefits of outsourcing your landscaping design is that local landscape professionals will be more familiar with what type of soil you have, see how healthy it is, and advise you on the question, “how often should you water a garden?” to keep your yard looking amazing.
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
Sure, landscaping mulch adds an aesthetic element to your garden, but it serves a functional purpose for conserving water and dispersing it more effectively, too. So what’s next on our answer to the question, “how often should I water my garden?” you ask? Mulch it!
Mulch has more benefits than just water conservation and dispersion, however. It is also helpful for battling weeds, maintaining ideal soil temperatures, adding nutrients to the soil if you’re using organic materials, and more. It’s ideal for landscaping around trees, shrubs, and throughout your garden.
Depending on your preference, mulch can come in many forms, too. While you may immediately think of fresh, organic mulch like shredded bark, you could also use inorganic rock mulch in your garden as part of landscape design with rocks. It’s important to be aware of how different types of mulch will affect how often you should water your garden, though, as rocks may heat up more in the summer sun and have a negative impact on shallow root systems. Landscaping professionals in Albany, Saratoga, Colonie, Schenectady, and the surrounding areas will be able to guide you on the best maintenance for your landscape choices.
Local Weather and Climate
Speaking of local factors influencing the answer to, “how often should I water my garden?” comes the weather and climate. Obviously, if it’s hot and dry, your garden will require more water. If it’s rainy, however, you may not need to water your garden as frequently or you may overwater it. Also included in this simple, but important factor for answering, “how often should you water a garden?” is where your landscaping is in relation to the sun.
Plants and flowers getting more direct sunlight for longer periods of time will require more water than those in the shade. This should also influence which flowers to plant in spring or summer, making sure they’ll get the right amounts of sunlight or shade they need to thrive.
Best Time of Day to Water Plants
Last, though not least, as we explore the answer to, “how often should I water my garden?” comes the time of day. While it may seem insignificant, knowing the best time of day to water plants is crucial to keeping them looking their best.
Most obviously, watering your garden in the heat of the day is a bad decision. Not only can it lead to scorching your plants in the hot sun, but the water evaporates so much faster that you’re unnecessarily inflating your water bills just to keep them hydrated. So is the evening the best choice? While it’s better than the mid-afternoon heat, we’d be remiss in answering, “how often should you water a garden?” if we didn’t discourage this, too. Watering in the evening leaves leaf surfaces wet overnight, which can majorly increase the risk of fungal disease on your plants. This can be devastating to your landscaping!
The ideal time to water your plants is in the early morning, before the heat of the day starts to kick in. This allows your garden and lawn to soak up the water it needs while the excess moisture on leaves starts to evaporate more gently as the temperature rises. You’ll have healthier plants and waste less water: a double win!
We hope this guide has helped answer the question, “how often should I water my garden?” and helped you decide on the best routine for your landscaping. While plants, grass, and trees all need water to grow, it’s important to make sure you’re watering them the way that’s best. Landscape design professionals in the Capital Region (like us) will be able to tell you the best way to maintain your latest landscaping project based on all the factors above.
Ready to get started? Check out the NVS landscaping design planner then save your project or submit the plans to us and we’ll be in contact!
Not sure where to even begin? Check out these landscaping resources for inspiration and information: