Today’s report is about watering. This month at AussieGreenThumb.com is ‘So You Want A Better Garden’ Month, which aims to teach you how to garden. As part of that I am running a 30 day challenge. The challenge consists of daily tasks of about 10 minutes each. I guarantee that if you complete each days task, by the end of September you will be well on your way towards reaching your gardening goals and growing better gardens. Will you accept the challenge?
Day 13 Challenge Recap – Make sure you spend 10 minutes watering your garden manually today. Watch the soil as you water. Does the water sink straight into the soil? Does it slowly sink into the soil? Does it form puddles and only very slowly sink into the soil? If it sinks fast your soil has good water drainage. If it sinks but only slowly, you probably need to improve the drainage. If it forms puddles on the surface you have water drainage issues. Either buy a soil wetting agent and apply or use a garden fork and thoroughly poke your garden beds which need drainage improvement.
I think it is safe to say my soil needs a good dose of a wetting agent. Nearly every one of my garden beds had water linger for longer than I am comfortable with during my watering today. You see, this is a task that even regular gardeners will often have to do. Some choose to use wetting agents, like me. Others prefer to use manual, organic methods like turning the soil over or prodding it with a fork. If you are working in the garden often enough you may not even need to do this because you’ll be turning the soil over naturally. However, most people don’t spend ages in the garden and so this is an important step, understanding how to get the most out of watering.
I’ll be honest, I don’t mind using soil wetting agent, even though it is not necessarily organic. However if you would prefer a completely organic garden, you will need to aerate your soil using a garden fork to allow the water to seep down past the upper crust when you are watering.
The reason I set this challenge
Strangely enough, plants having access to the water you provide it is very important. In Australia we traditionally over water our gardens. We don’t mulch enough and we don’t use soil wetting agents, or manual/organic methods, to improve our soils water absorption and drainage. Yes, we have very sandy soils and this allows water to sink well. However, when the sun beams down in summer, the top layer of soil can create a sort of crust which stops, or dramatically slows, water drainage. It also often means water runs off our garden beds and onto our driveways. How do we usually try and solve this? We water more! We add more watering days to our reticulation roster! Making sure your garden bed can actually utilise the water you provide is extremely important in learning how to grow a better garden.
Learn more about understanding your soil
This challenge, looking at watering, falls under the category of understanding your soil. Intrigued to know more about how understanding your soil will impact on your garden? I recently released an ebook called So You Want A Better Garden. Chapter 3 in my ebook delves into the topic of understanding your soil in a way specifically designed to help beginner and intermediate gardeners understand more about how soil impacts on your garden.
You will learn about;
1. What makes good soil;
2. How to improve your soil consistency;
3. Improving the water situation in your soil;
And much, much more!
It’s not too late to join the challenge! You can grow a better garden. Start today! The great thing about this challenge is it can run over any 30 day period. Just check out days 1-5 and start from today. You can grow better gardens. Don’t forget, spend some time watering today!