Watering Advice


We’ve received a few emails from customers wondering how often to water this summer, so we thought we’d pop together a few pieces of advice…

  1. Water early in the mornings. This, we find, is better than watering late in the evening as it gives the surface of the soil a chance to dry off again before nightfall which helps prevent slug damage, blight and mildew.
  2. Water up and down the row. Go up and down a row several times when you are watering, rather than flooding an area. This gives the water a chance to soak in rather than running off the dry surface.
  3. Don’t worry about scorching. You may sometimes need to water later in the day in the full heat of the sun, particularly if you see plants wilting. This is totally ok and you needn’t worry about the leaves being scorched. As the leader of No-Dig Growing, Charles Dowding, says, scorching is a bit of a gardening myth!
  4. Aim to water established plants no more frequently than every 3-4 days. Even in hot weather like this, you shouldn’t need to water established plants daily. Ideally, we’d say a thorough watering every 3-4 days is good during hot spells like this, and once a week should suffice when the weather is a little cooler (unless of course we get a good rainy day or two!)
  5. Water newly planted veg daily. The younger plants need a little extra help until they get their root system sorted out. If you start to see their leaves losing colour, turning pale brown and crispy, this is a sure sign that they’re not getting enough water.
  6. Leafy plants need more water to prevent bolting. These are the plants to really watch and make sure you are giving them enough to stop them from going to seed.
  7. Root veg are generally less needy for water. You can probably get away with watering root veg thoroughly once a week during weather like this.
  8. Fruiting plants are thirsty. Squashes, tomatoes, beans and other fruiting veg will need to have plenty of access to water, particularly when the flowers and fruits are forming.
  9. Mulch if you can. If you haven’t already mulched, then we’d recommend using a leaf mould, fresh compost or you could try Strulch (a respected straw mulch) to prevent the soil from drying out so quickly after you’ve watered.
  10. Save water where you can. If you’re washing salads in the kitchen, boiling potatoes and cooking pasta, think about reserving the water to use in the garden. It’s always good to save water where we can!