Gardening has cultivated a growing crop of converts over the last few years – due in part to Americans staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I just water my plants once a week Well, maybe. Here's what experts have to say.

A record 100 million-plus U.S. households now grow plants, vegetables and fruits, according to the National Gardening Association. So there’s likely plenty of green thumbs wondering about when and how to best water their plants – especially as the heat of summer bears down across the nation. Common advice has been that your plants only need to be watered once a week. But is that enough? That depends, as many factors come into play arriving at an answer, experts say. National parks for nature lovers who hate crowds:See America’s 10 least-visited gems “It is not necessary to water every day, it is better to apply the water deeply less frequently,” so the water reaches down into the where the roots are, said Heather Stoven, an associate professor and community and small farms horticulturalist at Oregon State University.

But how much you have to water will depend on several variables. There’s the type of soil – clay soils hold more water than sandy soils, Stoven said, – and weather, as sometimes rain may supply plenty of water, especially for established plants. What you are watering makes a difference, too. New plants, trees and shrubs need more moisture as they develop roots, so you will want to water them at least twice a week during their first month, said Cheryl Boyer, a professor in the department of horticulture and natural resources at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. If your plants are in raised beds, they may need watering more frequently also because the soil dries out more quickly, she said. Plants in containers also need more frequent watering, compared to those planted in the ground. Annuals, plants that die in the winter and must be replaced the following spring, typically need more water than perennials, which return each year. But annuals still benefit from less frequent, but soaking watering, which encourages sturdy root growth.

Trees and shrubs need about 10 gallons of water each week, Boyer said. If you have sandy soil, split the watering into two five-gallon sessions, separated by three or four days. Trees larger than two inches in diameter need even more water; measure the tree’s diameter six inches above the ground and add 10 more gallons per inch, The easiest way to water is with a handheld sprinkler or spray wand connected to a hose. But those methods may result in under-watering of your plants. When you use a sprayer, “often the water will run off the site, or not enough will be applied for the water to move deeply into the soil, this is especially true with a strong stream of water,” Stoven said. “The water needs to be applied slowly and for a long enough time so that the water can soak into the soil to the root zone.”

Source: This news is originally published by usatoday

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