All plants, even the so-called drought-resistant varieties need water. The difference lies in the amount of water that each plant variety needs in order to grow healthy and produce high yields. So, what is the best time to water an indoor or an outdoor garden? The answer to this question varies greatly depending on the specific conditions and location of your garden.
However, the fact is that there are really only two correct answers. The first step, even before considering when to water the plants, is the amount of water the vegetables you intend to grow in your garden will require. You can then decide to either water your plants early in the morning or later in the afternoon. We will discuss the reasons to support both of these options.
Water Your Plants in the Morning
The optimal time to water your indoor or outdoor garden is in the early morning at about 10 am on average. This can vary, depending on your region of the planet, and what time of year it is. Some regions may do better getting watered a little earlier, but generally not later.
Watering your vegetables early in the morning helps to allow the water to sink all the way down to the roots of these plants. This will help to minimize the amount of water lost due to evaporation, especially in warmer climates. If you do it in the later morning or afternoon, when the sun is up, the amount of water that will be lost to evaporation will be great. This will deny your plants the necessary moisture to support their growth and development.
Another reason to support watering plants in the morning is the availability of the same water through the day. Water that has already sunk into the soil will evaporate at a much slower rate. This will improve the availability of water throughout the day. The plants will be able to deal better with the heat of the sun later in the day.
You also need to know that watering in the morning integrates with your plant’s natural growth cycle. The morning sunlight is gentle and best for photosynthesis. So, your plants will naturally optimize their rate of photosynthesis early to mid-morning. Later in the day, as the sun gets hotter, the plants will use the water to stay hydrated.
Some people will say that early morning watering will cause scorching of outdoor vegetables. They claim that water droplets remaining on the plant leaves will focus the sunlight on the plant leading to scorching. However, there is actually no scientific proof to support these claims. Scorching is pretty much a non-issue in most parts of the world. Very few parts of the world receive sunlight with enough intensity to scotch plants and honestly at that point you have bigger problems to address.
In fact, no matter how intense the sun’s heat is, any water droplets on the leaves would evaporate much faster before they can cause scorching. However, if you believe the sun’s heat in the part where you live is too intense then you can go with an alternative watering time which we shall discuss now.
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Watering Late In the Afternoon
Generally the only reason why you would choose to water your plants later in afternoon is morning inconvenience. Since most of us are not full-time gardeners, it may not be convenient to water your indoor or outdoor plants early in the morning because of tight schedules.
It is safe to water your plants later in the afternoon when the sun is not so hot. At this time, the chances of your plants burning or scorching are greatly limited. Besides, your vegetables should have enough time to dry out well before the nightfall.
The optimal time to water your plants in the afternoon is at around 4 pm. Again, this can vary depending on your specific location on the planet. The sun will no longer be at its hottest intensity at this time. You can stretch into the early evening if you must. Watering the plants early than 4 pm may predispose your plants to scorch.
However, the situation may force you to water your plants later in the morning or early afternoon. Do this if you must but only occasionally. You should not make it a habit or you risk scorching all your vegetables and sustaining losses.
Can You Water Your Garden At Night?
As you have already learned, the best time to water your indoor or outdoor garden is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. But what can you do if you are busy at these times of the day yet you have a vegetable garden to tend to? Can you water your plants at night?
According to gardening experts, night garden watering is not recommended. While there is no sunshine at night, the presence of water droplets on leaves for extended periods does even greater harm to your plants. Here are the main reasons that contraindicate watering plants at night:
Water droplets on leaves will sit there for extended periods due to lack of evaporation.
The soil may also become clogged with water for the same reason
The result of both effects is the growth of mold and certain fungi around the roots, on the stems as well as leaves of your vegetables. This will definitely interfere with the health and productivity of the plants if it doesn’t kill them.
The only reason for watering plants at night is the hydration state of your plants. If your plants are too dehydrated to wait until morning, do it as a last resort. In this case, you have to use the right watering technique to avoid any negative effects.
If you must do it, ensure you direct the water only to the soil. Be careful to avoid the plant leaves and stems. You should also reduce the amount of water you use to avoid water-logging the soil. Make use of a soaker hose or an irrigation tape. This will make your work much easier.
Well there you go my fellow gardener. Hopefully now you now know the best time to water your indoor or outdoor gardens. Or at least you have a better idea on what will work for your specific garden. Your plants will now grow faster, healthier, and happier. You can expect optimal yields from your garden. When making your schedule, try to create some time early in the morning or later in the afternoon to provide your plants with enough water to consistently support their growth. Only water them at night as a last resort.
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