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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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5 - Watering
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Watering beds and borders
Garden soil acts like a wick, drawing up moisture from deeper down, so you don’t need to water until roots are in danger of drying out.
In fact, a layer of dry soil on top of a bed actually prevents water evaporation as it acts like a mulch. Frequent sprinkles of small amounts of water is bad because it just stimulates evaporation, which will suck moisture from around the roots where it is needed.
When you water, make sure that it gets right down to the roots by giving everything a really good soak. And to reduce evaporation further, cover the soil with a mulch.
Funneling water
It helps to funnel water directly to the roots – sink a flower pot or an upside down plastic bottle with the bottom cut off into the soil next to newly planted shrubs and water into it.

When to water
In hot weather, it is best to water in the evening so it has time to soak in and the plants have time to ‘drink’ before the heat of the day.
In cold or dull weather, water in the morning so plants can dry out before night time.
It is fine to water during the day if you see plants are beginning to flag, but don’t splash water onto hairy leaves – the droplets act like mini-magnifying glasses and burn the leaves.
Watch clipWatch the programme clips on soil moisture and watering container plants.
5. Caring for your garden

 Successful watering
 Watering equipment
 Storing water
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