Watering plants can seem overwhelming in the height of Summer when there’s so much else to do. As part of the #TapChat that we're starting about daily water habits, we've asked Surrey-based gardener and designer Renée Canter aka ‘The Girl who Gardens’ to share her top tips for making sure the plants in your garden are getting the drink they need to grow and thrive – without needing too much time or water. 

1. Get to know your soil so you can tell whether there is actually a need for watering.

Different soil types will look and feel different when moist and when dry. Put your spade in and have a look at what it looks and feels like at the surface and 25cm down to decide whether you need to water or not. Generally we need to water some plants during May-September and too much water can be just as damaging as not enough!

2. Ideally water plants early in the morning. 

Watering plants in the early morning helps avoid evaporation loss in the heat of the day, or on a Summer evening where the dry soil will take in the water quickly.

3. Use a hose with a trigger gun or a watering can with a long spout

Apply the water to the soil at the base of the plant rather than onto the leaves. It’s the roots of the plant that ‘drink’ up the water and then they transport it to the stems and leaves for photosynthesis! Watering the leaves can increase the risk of disease. Watering this way also means you’re not watering the weeds in between plants!

4. Water well. 

Watering for a longer time allows the water to soak down into the ground and encourages roots to grow deeper. Short bursts of water will only encourage roots to stay at the surface where there is less moisture

5. Water less often. 

Even when it's dry, avoid the temptation to water everyday. Water in the early morning, as described above, and only once or twice a week. Enjoy the time spent watering and use it to keep an eye on how your plants are looking whilst taking in the changes.

6. Water the plants that really need it. 

Established plants shouldn’t need watering except in a drought. Focus your watering on newly planted plants, pots, containers, hanging baskets and the vegetable patch.

I hope these tips make it easier for you to water your plants. Look out for my blog posts on drought tolerant plants and a guide to making your garden more effective at needing and using water. 

 - Renée

Click here to find more simple tips for saving water, time and money. Live in Sutton? Join the #TapChat Sutton to get free water saving products and tips.