Here is how we like to explain the key things:
- Water Regularly:
Your plant wants to get a little bit of water regularly, just like you like to take sips from that cup on your desk throughout the day. Your plant does not want to drink all of their day's water at one time and then be forgotten, just like you don’t like to drink a 4L jug of water first thing in the morning and hope to survive the whole day. In practical terms it's not easy to do this, that is why plant producers work hard to make sure the soil around your plant can let the water out of it throughout the day, so you don’t have to be there all the time, this is why soil preparation is important.
- Do not over water when plants look thirsty:
If you do let your plant dry out too much and it's looking sad (don’t feel bad, we all do it) don’t try to make up for lost time and give it a large amount of water at one time. Think about it this way, if you just sat in the sun for 8 hours on the beach and you just got to a tap, are you able to drink 4L of water at one time? Or do you drink it in smaller amounts over a short period of time? Same thing for your plant.
- Don’t leave your plants in a puddle:
If you are going to do a lot of watering at once, make sure there is good drainage so that your plant isn't left with all the water it couldn’t drink sitting at the bottom of the pot, or garden bed. Leaving water at the base of the plant for a long period of time wiill cause the lower roots of your plant to rot, and in time this rot will spread. It's just like you getting your shoes wet in the morning and having to walk around in them all day, it does not do you any good, best to let that water drain away from your plant.
Lastly it is a good practice to do the majority of your watering in the morning. This way the plant has the entire day to have the water either be used or evaporated prior to it getting cool in the evening. This is most important in the early and late weeks of the season where it gets colder at night.
When you water a plant you want to have a certain amount of the water you put in to drain out the bottom of the pot. This water will pull all the access salts away from the roots of the plant, and thus giving the best chance for the roots to develop.
We hope that these simple tips will give you some better understanding of some of the key principles to watering your plants.