Proper Watering Practices

Soaker hose and other watering paraphernalia. (Courtesy: Jason Kemp at

Soaker hose and other watering paraphernalia.
(Courtesy: Jason Kemp at


Like you, I read articles on lawn and garden care. Many of the articles are quite good and informative and some only give you the bare minimum of information and leave you asking for more.

One topic that leaves me wanting more is proper watering methods. Keeping your lawn and garden appropriately moist is more than turning the sprinkler on and off or asking your son to spray water from the hose on to a garden bed. A whole lot more is involved.

For example, the type of soil you have will have an influence on the watering process. Many soils have to be prepared to take in the water without over saturating and other types of soil are difficult to saturate and also need treatment.

Another concern is where you intend to water. What is the topography of the land? Is there a large incline?

Then there are the plants. Each plant species has its own specific requirements that must be followed to assure that it thrives.

Accessories Necessary for Proper Watering

In addition to the concerns touched on above, you also need certain items to assist your lawn and garden to get the proper amount of moisture. They include:

· Mulch
· Soaker hoses
· Other style hoses
· Sprinkler
· Rain gauge
· Water wands
· Automatic timer

Mulch offers plants and lawn nutrients and assists in retaining water. Soaker hoses help you apply a trickle of water to the roots of the plants. Other style hoses permit a more widespread watering of a lawn or large garden.

A rain gauge helps you determine how much water to apply. Many gardeners use an empty tuna or cat food can serve as their rain gauge. The can is placed in the garden. One-inch of rain fills the can. You can use this information to determine how long to water with a sprinkler. Do a test run and time how long it takes for the tuna or cat food can to fill up with water. Once you have an idea, then you know how much time to allow the sprinkler to run so that the garden gets its proper one to two-inches of water per session. It is advised that plants be watered for this amount of time once a week.

A water wand attached to a hose creates a gentle spray of water similar to rain. Pounding land with too strong a stream of water can injure seedlings, stems, and leaves and the damaged area can be the entry point for plant diseases. Hard pounding water can also damage soil structure and splashes soil and disease-causing bacteria and fungal spores onto the undersides of plants’ leaves.

The automatic timer can be used to either remind you to stop watering or shut off the watering automatically.

Types of Soil

Digging around in your garden provides you with the opportunity to determine what kind of soil you are dealing with.

There are three types:

· Clay soil. This soil is packed hard and is difficult to saturate when dry. However, once it gets wet, it stays wet for a long time and water puddles when too much is applied. In addition, the density of the clay makes it difficult for roots to develop. Experts suggest that you add peat moss, gypsum and humus to loosen it and thus make it more susceptible to absorbing water.
· Sandy soil. This kind of soil is loose, drains water quickly and compacts when wet. It also dries very quickly. Experts suggest that you add peat moss, humus and composted cow manure so it is more organic and holds water better.
· Loam. This soil type includes clay, sand and organic matter and holds and drains water well. It also has good ventilation and encourages good plant growth. There is no need to treat this soil. In fact, this is the type of soil gardeners work to create.

(Next time, proper watering methods for plants and lawn.)





About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.