How To Water Properly: Save Water, Time And Nerves

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:28 pm

Gardeners can also enjoy plenty of sunshine. Although the plants now need to be watered more often, those who water according to the old rules of the art of watering have more time to enjoy the summer. We give you a few rules of thumb with which you can do everything right.

Proper watering is especially important in the hot season. But there are some rules that you should follow. With our watering tips you can save time and water and still enjoy the sprouting green! After all, turning on the tap and sitting back – there’s nothing wrong with that. However, only if it is the lawn, or if a drip irrigation is in the beds.

How To Water Properly: Save Water, Time And Nerves

Flowers, vegetables and fruit plants are better watered with the can specifically to the roots. First, this will prevent any amount of water from evaporating unused. Secondly, leaves and flowers remain dry. Thus, you make it more difficult for the pathogens of fungal diseases to infect the plants. With seedlings, you leave well enough alone: watering them individually would be going too far.

Save water and time

Good soil care works almost miracles. For this, you should hoe the beds when they have dried up again after rainfall. Or you can apply a mulch cover.

Plants 40 to 50 centimeters high evaporate 3 to 5 l/m² daily in midsummer. In hot, windy weather, it can be as much as 6 l/m².
A fine crumb structure on the soil surface acts as a barrier against evaporation of soil water. If a crust forms after rain, you should loosen it again soon by hoeing.
Shaded soil evaporates less. As long as the plants are too small for this, a thin mulch cover will do the job. Pest-free harvest and garden residues, rotted compost material, dried and seed-free lawn cuttings or mulch products are suitable for this purpose.
Mulch also promotes soil life, provides nutrients on an ongoing basis – and even saves you the trouble of hoeing!

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Numbers and simple rules of thumb

Whether watering is necessary depends on the season, the type and size of the plant, the soil, and the current weather. General statements about how often and how much watering is necessary are therefore hardly possible. Never mind: You’ll quickly figure it out if you keep these five points in mind:

Seedlings and young plants root in the top layer of soil to a depth of 10 centimeters.
Most established garden plants root at a depth of 20 to 30 centimeters.
To soak 1 m² of soil 10 centimeters deep requires 10 liters of water, corresponding to 20 and 30 liters at 20 and 30 centimeters deep, respectively.
1 millimeter of water in the rain gauge corresponds to 1 l/m².
Light soils dry out faster than heavy soils.

Our watering conclusion:

Before watering, check how deeply the soil has dried out. Only when necessary, give the appropriate amount of water. After precipitation, the rain gauge tells you whether a corresponding “top-up” from the can is necessary.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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