It wouldn’t seem like watering your garden would be that complicated, but it can be if you don’t consider a few factors. The type of soil you have, weather, and plant varieties will all play a role in determining how to correctly water your garden.
One of the most important rules to remember is to not wait to water until your plants are drooping. This puts stress on them, which often results in few blooms or vegetables. A lack of water can also leave your garden susceptible to diseases and bugs. The same is also true if you overwater, and this can even cause bulbs and root systems to become moldy and disintegrate. A good rule of thumb to remember is that on average most gardens require one inch of water from natural or artificial sources per week is you want to have healthy, thriving plants. Many experienced gardeners recommend investing in an inexpensive rain gauge to help you keep track of the amount of water your garden is getting in a week.
Some gardeners like to water a little bit everyday, but this can be just as detrimental to your plants as over or underwatering. When plants only receive a small amount each day they tend to have shallower root systems, and this can make it harder for them to survive hot, dry summers. The best gardens always have plants with deep root systems. This ensures that even when it is hot outside they can still stay cool and hydrated. I learned the hard way with my garden. Even though my plants were still getting an inch a week, since it was only a little bit each day they still had problems surviving the hot summer.
A good way to check to see if your plants are getting too little or too much water is to dig in the soil. Obviously if it is difficult to dig more than one or two inches down you are not watering enough. If you are encountering mud you are overwatering, and it would be a good idea to stop for a few days until the soil starts to dry out. Plants growing in sandy soil tend to do best when they receive ½ inch of water twice a week. If the soil is clay or loam based you can water once a week and have a garden that is always green and healthy.