Best time of the day to water garden plants now to ‘discourage slugs’

Gardening: How to create a watering tool for your plants

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) explained: “Water is a precious resource and supplies in the UK are under pressure from the effects of climate change, population increase and the need to protect the environment.”

This means watering “right” is important, including using it wisely when watering plants and flowers.

The experts added: “Water in the mornings, if you can, as this is when the sun comes up and plants will start to use water.

“The foliage and soil surface is also likely to stay drier for longer than evening watering, which helps to discourage slugs, snails and mildew diseases.

“Plants start to transpire in sunlight, drawing water from the soil, through their roots, up their stems and out through tiny pores on their leaves called stomata.”

Gardeners can also water in the evening, as the cooler weather conditions mean less water is lost through evaporation.

Britons should avoid watering plants throughout the hottest times of the day, anywhere from midday onwards, according to the gardening experts.

This is because most of the water will be lost through evaporation from the surface of the soil and the plants will use water more efficiently if watered in the cooler parts of the day.

The RHS continued: “There is no simple rule of thumb for watering as each plant has different needs – for example, a container plant in hot sunny weather may need watering daily, whereas a mature shrub might only need a drink in extreme drought.

“It’s good to remember, plants will use more water if more water is made available to them, so you can allow them to dry out a little between watering and they don’t need to be wet all the time.”

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When it comes to watering, plant pros recommend using rainwater over tap.

If possible, it is a good idea to install a water butt in the garden to collect it. 

Plants much prefer rain water as it isn’t cold or chlorinated, and it is also much better for the environment.

Phostrogen® experts explained: “Watering the roots and base is best practice, either with a good old watering can, drop system at the base of plants, or a sunken irrigation system or larger areas.

“Avoid sprinkling or spraying as this uses more water and can encourage the onset of diseases.

“Think about where your plants are positioned. South facing plants are likely to need more water as the direct sun will dry out soil quickly, and remember that some plants and vegetables prefer more water than others.

“For example, tomatoes and roses are thirsty and require lots of watering, whereas plants such as lavender and poppies and vegetables like asparagus do not, every plant is different.”

Gardeners should also feed their plants when required too, and this will depend on the species of plant or flower.

There are lots of fertilisers on the market which can be picked up from both garden centres and online.

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