When to water the plants: Why you should never water your garden in the heat of the day

Gardening expert gives advice on how to water plants

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Watering is essential for maintaining a healthy, green garden – but you’ve got the find the right balance between not watering enough, and not over-watering. On top of that, you’ve also got to factor in the best time of day to give your plants a drink.

All plants need plenty of water to make sure they grow properly.

During a heatwave, your garden might become your ideal oasis for relaxation, and maybe even a spot of sunbathing.

But while the warm temperatures are ideal for catching a tan, they can cause havoc on your plants.

Giving your plants plenty of water will help them to thrive in the heat, and allow their usual chemical reactions to continue, providing energy for growth.

Without enough water, your plants will shut down their stomata, and photosynthesis stops, warned the University of Reading’s Associate Professor of Botany, Alastair Culham.

They’ll subsequently start to wilt, and might even die if you don’t give them a drink straight away.

In that case, it’s best to give your plants a water as soon as possible.

But more generally, you should avoid watering your plants in the midday sun.

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When to water your plants

It’s best to water the garden in the early evening when the weather is hot and breezy.

That gives the plants plenty of time to dry out, but allowing for some overnight uptake.

If you’d rather do the watering in the morning, then you’ll have to get up before sunrise.

Either way, you should avoid watering in the full heat of the day, as it’s not efficient at all.

“What is generally agreed is that plants should not be watered while in full sun,” Culham wrote for The Conversation.

“The notion that wet leaves on sunny days cause scorch in plants was disproved nearly 10 years ago. But there is no doubt that watering in full sun is not water efficient – as much of it will evaporate before entering the soil.

“In the current hot breezy weather it is probably best to water in the early evening. This gives the plants enough time to dry out, but there is still the chance for overnight water uptake by the roots.

“And if you want to water in the morning then start very early – before the sun is shining.”

Always make sure that all layers of the soil are wet before you finish watering.

It’s also better to give the plants a good watering occasionally, as opposed to more frequent, light watering.

Lightly watering your garden will make the plants more liable to drought.

Generally, if your plants are wilting, they’ve got a good supply of water – so keep going!

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