In hot weather our garden plants need watering, so we should conserve and collect water for this task as much as possible in order to make the job affordable. Water conservation in our garden begins with choosing the right plants for our garden soil and climatic conditions. The appropriate plants must then be planted in well-prepared soil. To reduce the need of supplementary watering we should first improve our garden soil by incorporating as much organic matter into the ground as possible and by the use of mulches.
Plants in containers will still need watering because they are unable to develop extensive root systems and receive little benefit from the natural rainfall. These plants are also more susceptible to drying out in windy situations. In such cases, where extra watering is needed, you should apply it as efficiently as possible.
To water your plants efficiently you can try to use the following advices. To reduce transpiration, water the plants early in the morning or late in the evening, when the sun is down and the heat is reduced. Always avoid watering your plants in direct sunlight. Water thoroughly when needed making sure that the moisture reaches the plant roots. Do not water your plants by just wetting the soil surface or by giving a little water at frequent intervals. This will only make your plants more vulnerable in the long terms by encouraging surface rooting.
If you were out for a longer period or you were unable to water your plants when needed you should act as soon as you see the first symptoms of water stress by applying no more than 24 litres of water per square meter. Do this every 7-10 days to maintain plant growth if necessary. Avoid using a sprinkler because this wastefully discharges high volumes of water over a wide area where it might not be needed.