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How much rain/water is enough?

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  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,328
    I read recently the RHS recommend approx 9 litres per square M. every 2-3 days  as a minimum on veg beds if no rain falls.
    AB Still learning

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    That's a good tip to add washing up liquid, I'm going to try that.
  • Hi gang,

    Thanks for all your responses. I particularly love the comment about 10 inches of rain watering 1 inch of soil!

    Interesting tip about adding washing up liquid to the water, but wouldn't that be sick-making for the plant?

    I guess I just keep watering and not worrying about it being too much or wasted if it rains. No sign of rain at the moment, anyway!

    Karen
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,031
    Its surprising how little water we actually "water" when we think we are giving a lot.  I have been planting plug plants, I give them when I think is a good soaking, remove them from the tray only to find they are actually only damp just below the surface.  I have about 100 pots, rhododendrons,azealas, which need a good soaking, otherwise there will be no flowers next year.  Fruit,veg,citrus, all gets a good soaking (I hope) very early morning,late at night.Unless we get a really heavy shower, or a whole day of rain, I have to water the pots, espiecally the ones in my front garden, south facing, near the bungalow, because the rain doesnt even go on them  At the moment, I am putting my hanging baskets of annuals in plastic trug, soaking them, and leaving them in the waterfor a while, to really soak.  Hubby put up a new fence this spring, several ton of topsoil, we are on clay, the new perenials, coneflowers, grasses,crocosmia, watered twice a day, AND still limp.  One of my big grasses Karl Forster looks as though it is dead.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 11,480
    For pots, a saucer is good in this weather, so it can sit and soak properly. You can then see if water is coming through the pot well, otherwise it's guess work. I keep littler pots in trays and water from beneath.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,265
    The important thing is to water thoroughly, so instead of watering a plant for a minute every day, thoroughly soak it every two or three days. That's a generalisation of course, but small pots dry out quicker, and big pots less so.
    If you can group little pots together, and keep them somewhere shadier, they'll dry out less. Putting them in a tray, or similar, will certainly help them get thoroughly moistened, but anything that's completely dried out can be hard to rehydrate. Sitting them on a saucer and letting them get nicely dampened, is definitely the best route, as many have said. 
    Beds and borders with established plants and shrubs will cope better, but a long soak, as hogweed describes, will do far more good than a sprinkling every day. A mulch on top of that will help a good bit too, as it means there's less evaporation.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • It's been so dry here (Holland) lately that actually I've decided to use a sprinkler - most of my pots are all around the edge of the grass anyway. So I've been giving it a half hour or more - certainly more than they'd get if I was doing it by hand. So far so good.

    I've got a clematis (Blue Light) that's flowering enthusiastically at present, that actually needs watering twice a day - the petals start hanging half way through the day. I assume it must lose a lot of moisture through the flowers, or something like that.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,031
    Well have been watching BBC TV, and they say its going to rain!!! showers today, heavy tomorrow, shall rush out and put last of bedding plants in, if I can get through the ground that is.
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 564
    One thing of note to remember is that if the soil dries out, then after, when water is poured on it, the soil simply lets the water drain through, rather than absorbe. If a plant pot is in this condition the best thing to do is to soak the pot in a bowl of water for an hour or more. Once damp again all will be well
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    @ZeroZero1.........I had that problem this evening, despite our hosepipe ban, I had to water a young tree, the water literally ran off the ground, and took ages to seep down.  Even if there is a downpour of rain, I fear it will just run off the ground, especially if there is the slightest slope.
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