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Grow with KARE: How to water correctly

Regardless of what you’re growing or where you’re growing it, watering in the morning is best.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Watering is oh so important for gardeners and a few simple tricks and guidelines will make sure your flowers, veggies and lawn are getting enough, but not too much water.

First up, the lawn. It needs about an inch of water a week. Here’s where a rain gauge is super important. Mother Nature sometimes provides all the water you need in a week. But other times you’ve got to help her out. Setting a tuna can, or similar size dish, outside can act as a rain gauge while you water. Water twice a week just until your dish has ½” of water in it.

Next up, veggies and flowers planted in the ground. Again, the typical 1” of water per week is required. If you have to supplement in dry weather be sure you are directing the water to the roots of the plant. Don’t water the leaves. Not only is this wasteful, it can encourage fungus and disease to take over your plant. Mulching the base of the plant can help retain water and keep your babies from drying out.

Lastly, flowers and veggies in containers. Because containers drain readily, you’ll have to water more often. But here’s where it gets a little tricky. Terra cotta and coconut fiber containers dry out faster than plastic or glazed ceramic. Containers in the sun will dry out faster than those in the shade. So dig down about 1" into the soil with your finger to feel if the soil is still moist. If so, don’t water. Over-watering is just as harmful for plants as underwatering. If the soil is dry 1" down, give the plant a good drink until the water just runs out the bottom of the container. In the heat of summer, you might have to water a container more than once a day.

Regardless of what you’re growing or where you’re growing it, watering in the morning is best.