One problem that faces many gardeners is the amount of water needed for their plants. Not enough, and your plant dies, too much and…you guessed it – your plant dies. So how do you know when the plant is getting just the right amount of water.
The biggest factor in determing a plant’s watering needs is the soil that contains the plant. If we all had perfect loamy soils it would only take one answer but many gardeners have clay soils which take water in slowly and lose it slowly while gardeners here in WA have sandy soils. These sandy soils receive the water quickly but unfortunately lose it just as fast. You can read more about soil water retention here.
Another factor is evaporation. In the winter months when evaporation is low (and rainfalls are usually higher – unless you live in the tropics) the watering needs of your plants are less. In summer your plants will need increased watering. Our Water Board gave us a month by month fridge magnet watering guide which ranges from No Watering during the winter months to Every Second day during the hottest ones.
Try grouping your plants with the same watering needs. Don’t put exotic annuals together with native shrubs or vice versa.
If you have been overwatering your plants, the only way to save them is to cease watering until the soil has begun drying out. If the plant is in a container try moving it to a sunnier, drier location. If the plant is in a garden bed and the bed is constantly getting too wet, you may need to raise it so that the water can seep through rather than sit.
The golden rule in watering is only water when your plants need it and then water them thoroughly.