Small Space Gardening has its own special needs when it comes to ensuring our plants are adequately and effectively watered while conserving a precious natural resource.
The first factor to consider is the type of soil that is used. Our in-the-ground garden may have a more compact make up than our raised bed garden which in turn will be different from our container gardening soil. Each will have a different type of water drainage and moisture retention issue that will need to be addressed.
The gardener wishing to take proper care of his or her garden will let the garden tell them when it is time for a drink. Just like with humans, there are different stages of growth, with each requiring its own attention.
Seedlings and newly germinating seeds need to be kept consistently moist, but not too moist as to encourage rotting and not to the point of being washed away from where they are taking root. A gentle overspray every day or two will usually suffice, but we also need to keep an eye on the weather conditions.
Developing plants will require a more thorough watering to encourage deep root growth. The top layer of soil can be allowed to dry out, but we don’t want to let the root area to go dry.
In small space gardening, sandy soil, like what is often used in raised bed gardens, will not retain water well. In-the-ground gardens will more often have a clay base and be more compacted, thus retaining more moisture. The wind and heat of the summer can quickly dry out the soil even to the root base. The important thing to remember is that it is the roots that need the water to continue feeding the plant to maturity.
As part of our overall small space gardening design, we may be including container gardening. As we have seen in other postings, the growing medium for these container plants is usually quite porous. As a result, these plants will need to be watered more often.
In Small Space Gardening – Water from the top, we will look at some ways to provide adequate water to our gardens while preserving as much of our precious natural resource as possible.