How do I water my plants in the garden?

Is it better to water in the morning or in the evening?

Is it better to water in the morning or in the evening? The question, around which a lot of copies are broken in the dacha forums, but there is still no unambiguous answer…. Proponents of both directions agree that it is not necessary to water in the afternoon, especially in the heat and in bright sun: Water quickly evaporates without wetting the soil, and the drops on the leaves can cause plant burns. That’s why you should water in the morning. Or maybe in the evening, when the heat subsides?

When is the best time to water?

When is the best time to water?

Both “fractions” defend both evening and morning watering with fairly convincing arguments. The English literary critic and lexicographer Samuel Johnson wrote that “logic is the art of arriving at an unpredictable conclusion.” Let’s try to solve our question by reasoning logically: could it be that an unpredictable conclusion reveals a watered-down truth?

What is the best time to water?

  1. Proponents of the method “got up early – and immediately at the watering can” are based on the following positive aspects of morning watering: plants get the necessary supply of moisture for the day, and the excess water (if any) evaporates, and the increased humidity does not lead to the development of fungal diseases.
  2. Proponents of evening watering argue that the plants get the necessary supply of moisture for the night, and water is used more economically.

Plant physiology in simple terms

Plants consist of 97% water. This is why water is of vital importance to them: in one way or another, it is involved in all processes of the plant organism. Normal plants (not epiphytes) absorb most of their moisture through their roots.

water exchange

Next, the liquid with the mineral salts dissolved in it passes through the vascular system of the plant (xylem), which is the medium for various chemical reactions to take place in the cells, and finally, to a large extent, evaporates from the leaves. This phenomenon is called the water exchange of plants. And the ratio of constantly occurring parallel processes (water absorption and evaporation) is the water balance. In fact, the plant is a natural pump that pumps water from the soil to the atmosphere: the production of 1 g of dry matter can be equivalent to more than 1 L of liquid.

A plant is a natural pump that pumps water from the ground to the atmosphere.

A plant is a natural pump that pumps water from the soil to the atmosphere.

Plants use water to maintain turgor (cell tension), transport nutrients (both ways – from roots to leaves and vice versa), photosynthesis, and transpiration. Transpiration (the process of water movement through the plant and its evaporation through the leaves) is necessary for two reasons – evaporation cools the leaves to a physiologically comfortable temperature (protects them from overheating) and creates the necessary hydrostatic pressure in the cells of the vascular system, so that moisture is absorbed from the soil and the green organism receives mineral substances.

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Plants do not consume and use a constant amount of water during their lifetime

Plants do not and do not consume a constant amount of water throughout their lives.

  • From the developmental phase. Young people sweat more profusely;
  • temperature. The hotter it is, the more evaporation (and therefore moisture absorption by the roots);
  • Humidity of the surrounding air. The drier the air around the plant, the more moisture evaporates;
  • Time. For most plants, transpiration is most active in the middle of the day (from about 12 to 13 hours);
  • The amount of Co₂ in the atmosphere. Increasing its concentration reduces the loss of water by plant tissues. As a result, drought tolerance increases;
  • sveta In darkness, transpiration almost stops, respectively, the absorptive activity of the root system also decreases.

What plants do during the day and what they do at night

During the day, plants synthesize glucose with solar energy from water and carbon dioxide. This, in turn, is turned into energy for life and converted into the other organic substances that make up the body of a green organism. This process is called photosynthesis.

The process of photosynthesis

The process of photosynthesis

During the day, most of the fluid consumption is through transpiration: plants increase a large leaf area to efficiently absorb CO₂. But a lot of leaves = a lot of evaporated water. In particular, photosynthesis consumes less than 1% of the total amount of liquid. The lion’s share of the water consumed (up to 99% of the moisture absorbed by the roots!) is “payment” for the area of leaves absorbing carbon dioxide and photons of sunlight.

And what do plants do at night? At night, the reactions of the dark phase of photosynthesis (requires no light energy) and the recycling of the product of photosynthesis, glucose, take place. All of these processes require water.

What do plants do at night?

What do plants do at night?

In our climate, where thermoperiodism (alternating high activity and cool nights) is pronounced, most plants grow almost 30 times faster at night. In darkness, they use organic substances synthesized in the light: they increase the size, mass of leaves, set buds, form and irrigate fruits. At the same time the number of cells and their size increase, which means an increased need for water as a filler of intracellular and intercellular space (remember that plants are composed almost entirely of water!).

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Determine the watering time

From the above it is clear that if we are interested in harvesting, the plant must be supplied with water. Now it remains to determine when to water.

In order to get a crop, you need to provide plants with water

In order to get a harvest, the plants need to be provided with water

water in the morning.

If you water early in the morning, the plants will be in good condition (turgor) and provided with mineral retention throughout the day. In the heat they have something to evaporate and cool down. Bright sunshine and rising temperatures in the afternoon stimulate the growth and watering processes of the fruit during the night.

In this case, the plant can exhaust all the moisture reserves, and the water does not remain at the bottom (the number and size of cells increases). Overnight decrease in temperature and condensation will return freshness to the leaves, and in the morning will deceptively delight the gardener with energetic expression of the stations. After another batch of watering, the plant will begin photosynthesis and transpiration with renewed vigor. And the crop suffers: there was no water growth. Saturated with moisture in the early morning, the plants struggle to catch up. This leads to cracking of the fruit: the pulp sprawls, but the rind does not have time.

The result of early watering

The result of untimely irrigation

The second problem is the emergence of micronutrient deficiencies (such as calcium) and, as a consequence, the appearance of apex peel. The plant dispenses liquid for growth and fixes the work of the “pumps”, pumping up the nutrient solution.

water in the evening

Evening watering provides the necessary growth resources. But if the amount of water is insufficient, the plant will be limited in water on a hot day – transpiration is reduced. When moisture is lost, the leaves become sluggish, the area absorbed by solar energy and CO₂ decreases. To reduce evaporation, the stomata are closed, which means less carbon dioxide consumption. Consequently, the efficiency of photosynthesis decreases – plants accumulate less sugar. The performance of the “pump” that delivers nutrients suffers from a lack of moisture.

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Watering in the evening: Water savings

Water in the evening: Water is more economical

When to get carried away with watering plants in the greenhouse

It is possible to water in excess, so that there is enough plant life – both day and night. But here, another trouble can arise, having to do with closed ground – increased humidity, as well as fungal and bacterial infections.

  • When watering with cooling, moisture penetrates faster and deeper into the garden. In the morning, by contrast, the soil begins to warm and evaporate the newly added water.
  • During the dark hours of the day, most plants evaporate almost no moisture – and, conversely, moisture increases dramatically due to transpiration. In the evening, warm air saturated with water vapor comes into contact with cooling greenhouse walls, leaves and soil – condensation is formed.

When to water correctly.

There is no answer to the question of when to water correctly, as there are many variations of gardening and production situations. Including turning on the dacha plumbing can interfere with the schedule – which watering is right! Each gardener has to make the choice for himself, depending on his skills, region, air temperature, season (early, mid or late summer), stage of plant development, condition and more. “All are real, believe and break eggs from whichever end is more convenient” (J. Swift, Gulliver’s Travels).

It's up to every grower to decide when to water early in the evening.

It’s up to each gardener to decide when it’s best to water.

In general, personally, I think that the evening watering is optimal. What do you think? Share your thoughts on this subject in the comments.

How to water your garden properly

The issue of watering is very complex, not without reason, even individual companies building gardens with utilities and individual companies responsible only for watering. Many factors must be considered, from water quality to the micro-relief of the site. We learned about how to properly water the plants on the plot from the famous landscape designer Eugene Sapunov.



We will try to give very brief and very general recommendations: How to properly water the plants.

Learn how to water your plot.

Even in small plots, water is distributed differently. There are big places where there is a race, there are dry places, and many in between. Even a steep slope can have underground pools, and you should not plant plants in such places that are not tolerant of begonia. In everyday areas of former marshes in the suburbs, the soil dries out faster and requires daily or even more frequent watering.

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2. Understand what kind of water you have.

For example, if the tap water is hard, it will not dissolve soil minerals well, and the plants will not get any nutrition. It creates the effect that it seems beautiful, but the plants do not grow. It is only after soft rainwater that the plants grow.

3. Decide what and how to water.

There are different types of watering

Watering after planting – if the plants have damage to the root system immediately after planting, absorb little water and need more water. For example, a newly planted tree needs 10-20 liters of water per day for 1.5-3 months, depending on weather and local conditions. Per shrub – 0.5 L per day.

Watering a mature garden – if the plants have adapted locally. Depending on the requirements of a particular species and the place where you grow, you need to look for. Thin floors absorb moisture like a sponge and need less watering, light floors allow water to run off quickly and need more watering.

Avoid frequent shallow watering. They cause plants to have a shallow root system that can’t remove water from deep inside. As a result, plants have to be watered more often, which causes them to thicken (they have to be loosened up more often), flush out nutrients (more nutrients are needed), and increase weed growth.

Proper watering is infrequent but thorough. Water should soak the soil to the depth of the roots. For example, such watering stimulates the formation of a deeper root system in peony at least 60-70 cm and increases the plants resistance to dryness. The main thing when watering is to avoid overwatering! The symptoms of overwatering (soaking) and underwatering are the same! The plant loses turgor (withdrawal of blades), leaves turn yellow and fly off. In critical cases, the plant dies.

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So you can see if the floor is wet or not.

A person has a unique moisture sensor – his or her finger. The floor should be wet to the length of your index finger, about 8-10 cm. Electronic sensors can go wrong if they hit a hole, for example, showing that it is watered and the plants are dry on the mound.

How much water?

The required watering depth is achieved by long and abundant watering. Don’t try to water the entire garden in one day or less. It is more effective if the sprinkler stays in one place for several hours or half a day. At home, I set the sprinkler in one spot overnight. You can then return to that spot a few days or even a week later. Flat watering can have unexpected effects. For example, a lawn can suffer from moisture and look bad, and trees and shrubs that don’t get moisture deep in the soil also suffer from drought.

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When is the best time to water?

If possible, watering can be done at any time of the day. Only rare species of plants suffer from watering with cold water (cucumbers) or from sunlight that drips on the leaves.

Of course, evening or night watering is desirable, then the evaporation is less. Traditionally, plants are watered in the morning until 9 am or in the evening from 15 to 16-17 hours (on the leaves from a watering can with a divider, a hose or special sprinklers).

In principle, you can water at the root at any time of the day, but it is better to avoid watering during the day, especially in hot weather – a large difference between the temperature of the air and water can cause physiological shock in plants (water may get on the leaves, too). It turns out a paradox: watering, and the plants cancel right before their eyes. Late watering inevitably leads to an outbreak of spot blight, false mold and other fungal diseases. Better than watering with cold water is watering with air-temperature water. However, if there is a drought, the plants will die from lack of water rather than from the fact that the water is cool.

Autumn and source water makes sense at a soil temperature of +1R0 ° C, at this threshold plants can not get moisture from the ground, this is due to the properties of osmotic pressure of the cell membranes of root hairs. Therefore, moisture-loving varieties are well suited for wintering in the fall, but you should consider the temperature of the floor, otherwise the plants will just shut down.

How to reduce the amount of watering

If the plants do not have enough water, use the simplest techniques to retain moisture – destroy the soil crust after watering (capillaries through which the moisture evaporates) and mulch. Mulch anything you can, grass, bark, boards, linen sacking, and the like will come in handy. This will greatly improve the soil moisture situation. Just try to use natural materials (lutrasil, aka clamp bod, aka agrotx, aka agril, aka not oil – nasty, it is suitable only to protect cucumbers or as emergency protection from frosts).

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