You will not be surprised to learn that summer is synonymous with watering the vegetable garden. Even if it is not the most exciting activity, it represents one of the most important gestures in the garden in order to have abundant harvests. Yes, without water, it is impossible to produce delicious vegetables! We offer you here a small guide to adequately water your little food patch during the hottest days of the year.
Each garden is unique!
Several factors can influence the watering needs of your plot. Obviously, high temperatures and good exposure to the sun will dry out your soil more quickly. Strong winds will also force you to water more often. It is also important to know the texture of your soil: clay retains water much better than sand. It is by gardening that you will discover the specificities of your vegetable garden.
Water in the morning.
Avoid watering when the sun is at its zenith: this will save you water and time (since you will have to water less often!) On the contrary, if you water in the evening, the humidity around the roots can lead to the development of fungal diseases and attract slugs. The best time of day to water is therefore definitely in the morning.
Watch out for the leaves!
Try to water at the foot of your vegetables and avoid the leaves in order to delay the arrival of fungal diseases. The Cucurbitaceae family – which includes cucumbers, zucchini, squash and melons – are particularly sensitive to humidity: to ensure good air circulation between the plants, cut off the leaves that touch the ground.
It is better to water deeply and more rarely than on the surface and repeatedly. The first option allows the development of a deeper and more resilient root system. On the contrary, the second option leads to the development of roots on the surface. Be patient: a garden can take several minutes to water properly!
And vegetable gardens above ground?
Since the depths of the soil are sheltered from scorching heat and direct sunlight, container and container gardens are much more susceptible to extreme weather conditions and dry out much faster. Even if they are watered deeply, they will get a lot more water than a garden in the ground. During a heat wave, it may be necessary to water every day – or even several times a day.
Water deeply, yes, but…
Did you know that soil that is too dry can become hydrophobic? Think of the cactus whose saucer fills up as soon as it is watered: the water flows through the soil without being absorbed. So even if you decide to water a plant with extremely dry soil, you might just see all the water run off. It is then necessary to water in small quantities several times so that the soil has a little time to re-humidify. To prevent the situation from happening again, it is enough to water closer. It is also possible to mix a little compost with the soil, which has the property of retaining humidity.
Irrigation jars, olla, to the rescue of your garden!
The Oïa – or irrigation jars – provide vegetable plants with a reserve of underground water. The roots can then draw the exact amount of water necessary for their growth through the porous surface of the jar. The principle is simple: we bury them, then we fill them!
Inadequate watering can create many problems in the garden. This is the first step to having a healthy vegetable garden (and full of vegetables!)