Keep a few watering cans or buckets handy to give new additions to the landscape a drink during winter thaws. This is especially vital when winter doesn’t bring rains or snowfall. Newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials often fail to survive winter due to drought stress more than cold.
Find a watering can that you like and can handle easily. Look for one that isn’t too heavy when full of water and doesn’t tilt awkwardly toward the spout end when full. Plastic watering cans are lighter than some metal cans. Cans with a long spout can be tricky to control because you can’t see where the water is in the spout once you tilt the can.
The way to avoid overwatering is to give plants water only when they need it. Don’t follow a rigid schedule, such as watering every weekend. Instead, water only when soil is dry to the degree that’s right for that particular plant.
Rose suggests watering your terrarium with a dropper or turkey baster, or try “a watering can with a thin spout that can direct the water to the soil just under the leaves.” The absorbent florist foam will take up the excess water. Trim back plants as flowers fade or leaves grow tall.
As summer wears on and container gardens grow large, watering can occupy large chunks of time.
Easy Solution: Enhance soil’s ability to retain water by mixing in water crystals. These small crystals blend into soil and absorb water, turning into a jelly-type material that’s packed with water for plant roots to absorb. Follow package directions for application rates by pot size.
Semi-miniature trailing African violets, like ‘Linda Darnel’ (P. Tracey, hybridizer), grow about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Use room temperature water when you’re watering your plants, and avoid using soft water. African violets actually need some chlorination, but if you can smell the chemical in your chlorinated water, it’s too much.
Invest in the right watering equipment to make irrigation a hands-free chore. Simple dial-type timers paired with soaker hoses can automate watering in any planting bed. Using soaker hoses also saves water compared to overhead sprinklers, because water lands on a plant’s root zone. When using irrigation timers, be sure to turn the system off during rainy weather.