During dry spells like this one, watering the plants in your veg patch is really important, and some plants need more water than others. Our advice to you is as follows:
All young plants need watering daily
Regardless of whether they are root vegetables, legumes, brassicas or herbs, all young plants need to be watered daily during dry spells. Their root systems are small and not very deep so they can’t reach the moisture underneath the top, dry layer of soil. Water them well every evening after the sun has lost its strength.
Once well established, root veg and tubers like potatoes, can access moisture from quite deep under the top of the soil. Water them thoroughly every 2-3 days during dry spells and they will be ok.
Fruiting veg (tomatoes, beans, peas etc)
Vegetables that produce “fruits” like tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, squash and courgettes, peas and beans, have a fairly shallow root system and also need a lot of water for their fruit. You should water these well every evening once the sun has gone down. It is well worth watering tomatoes and other veg in the greenhouse early in the mornings as well.
Lettuces, leaves, spinach and chard need to be watered daily during dry spells. Don’t let the soil dry out as they will most likely bolt. It’s best to water them later on in the evening to prevent the sun from scorching their leaves.
Once established, most brassicas will be able to access water deeper in the ground, so if you miss a day of watering it won’t be the end of the world. However, it is worth watering them daily and making sure that thesis does not dry out or get too hot to prevent cabbages and kales from bolting.
Rosemary, sage, lavender and thyme do well in dry conditions, so a light watering once a week will be adequate. All other herbs should be watered more frequently, preferably every day. Parsley, mint and coriander need the most water.
Fruit should be well watered to make sure that the soil doesn’t dry out. If you’re growing in pots, be sure to water every day. If growing in the ground, water well every 2-3 days.
As a final note, anything that is growing in pots needs more watering than those things that are growing in the ground so be particularly vigilant and don’t allow the soil to dry out!