Katherine Whiteside: Hi, I am Katherine Whiteside the author of six garden books and a volunteer for the National Gardening Association. Today we're here at Oatlands in Leesburg Virginia and we're going to talk to you about watering your garden wisely. So a big part of watering wisely is watering first thing in the morning.
In the old days we use to tell people to water at night, then we realized that that was sitting up a situation where red plants were sitting there inviting deceases, molds, and funguses to get a hold. If you water first thing in the morning, plants' roots get what they need and the leaves have a chance to dry off in the sun.
Also I highly recommend watering by hand. This allows you to look at each plant as you go through your garden, meet its individual needs and conserve water. Hand watering also allows you get extra TOC to brand-new seedlings, or transplants, or containers. These usually require a little bit of attention everyday until they get established.
An established plant like this tomato here really only needs about an inch of water a week. Planting smaller plants closely around the base of a bigger plant will shade the soil and help you conserve water. Set up a rain gauge in your garden. That way if that's you have a sprinkle on Monday and a downpour on Wednesday, you're going to know exactly how much water your garden has received.
Top it up with hand watering over the weekend. Another way to water wisely is to save the rain water. Put a plastic tub in your garden and when the rain comes just let it fill up. Use a little sand bucket or a dipper to take the water out of the tub and move it onto transplants, seedlings, and containers.
You can also use the water saved from cooking corn and potatoes and steaming vegetables, just set the pot out in the garden at night, the next day you can use that dipper to water your little transplants. So remember, in general ornamentals and vegetables need an inch of water per week. Also, please remember that water is becoming an increasingly precious commodity.