Homebase UK provide advice on June gardening jobs
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A large plant in a small pot will need more frequent watering than one planted in a border. In a border, the roots are free to grow wherever they are able to find water, and they can draw moisture from a much larger volume of soil. This means container watering is important as those plants rely on it. But how much should gardeners be watering their plants?
The RHS said: “How much water is needed will depend largely on the water requirements of that particular plant and how actively it is growing.
“The type of soil or growing media as well as weather are also important considerations.
“Light sandy or chalk soils need watering more frequently than heavy clay soils, but less water can be applied at each watering, as the excess will drain away easily.”
Clay-based soils can be watered less frequently, but need heavier applications of water because they can hold more within their structure.
Adding organic matter also increases the water holding capacity of moist soils.
The RHS added: “When watering containers, try adding 10 percent of the volume of the container at each watering.
“So for a 10 litre patio pot, add one litre of water.
“Pour it on slowly, aiming to keep it in the pot and not allow it to drain out of the bottom.
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“A saucer under the pot will catch any excess and allow it to be re-absorbed.”
For small containers, the RHS recommended lifting the pot after watering to see if it feels heavy.
If it doesn’t feel heavy, add a little more water.
Gardeners will soon be able to gauge how light the pots are when they are in need of water.
If plants have wilted between waterings, they may need watering more often.
However, this should be done slowly and thoroughly so that the water reaches the root.
The RHS continued: “Avoid disturbing the soil surface if you can, by slowing the flow.
“Pop a rose attachment on your watering can, a variable nozzle on your hose or simply reduce the pressure at the tap.
“This will allow water to infiltrate into the soil more slowly.”
When watering, gardeners should opt for rainwater if possible.
According to the experts, tap water requires treatment and energy to deliver it into homes and can contain more minerals than many plants need.
This is especially true for ericaceous plants.
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