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.
Immediately after planting, water your container garden thoroughly. Use a watering can with a rose or the gentle shower setting on a hose end sprayer. You may have to water the pot several times over the course of a few minutes to completely soak soil. If you’re planting in one area and will display your pots in another, place your pots in their final destination before watering. (Wet soil is heavier to carry.)
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.
Winds tunneling through high rises and neighborhoods can be damaging and drying. Adjust watering as needed and provide supports for tall plants or decorative fencing/screening as a wind break, says Melinda Myers, an urban gardener.
You don’t need fancy equipment to water based on weather. Keep track of rainfall with a simple rain gauge so you can avoid watering when storms have provided sufficient moisture. For most landscape and vegetable plantings in average soils, about an inch of water per week provides enough moisture for strong growth.
With cantaloupes, the issues echo those with celery: timing and water. Melons need warm soil and air to thrive. Many northern gardeners rely on black plastic to warm soil in early spring. Consistent water is the secret to sweet cantaloupes. Soil needs to have plenty of organic matter to help retain moisture, and you need to water regularly. It’s best to water the root zone directly using drip irrigation. Overhead watering can help leaf diseases take hold.