When is the best time to water your garden?

Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2014 09:39 pm
I've always watered my garden in the evening once things cool down but I read something the other day that said you should always water in the early morning because the ground has had a chance to cool by then.

When I water in the evening there is always evidence of having watered in the morning -- the ground is still damp.

If I water in the morning the ground is dry by noon.

When do you water and why?
View best answer, chosen by boomerang
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2014 09:56 pm
Back when I had something to water, I did it in the evening. My theory was that it could soak in before it all evaporated. My other theory was that it was more convenient for me.
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2014 10:07 pm
I've often wondered about that myself. Morning or evening; that's the question.
I also think watering in the evening gives the water the chance to soak into the ground. If we water in the morning, by noon, it could be sunny and hot and dry up the surface water before it gets a chance to soak into the ground.

I pick evening.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2014 10:25 pm
Roses and fruit trees I water in the early morning so water on the leaves dries off before the sun can turn it into a magnifying glass and burn the leaves. Watering them at night gives mildew a chance to populate on the wet leaves.

Everything else I water in the evening.

0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2014 07:43 am
We all seem to be in agreement.

I tried to find the article online -- it was in the Home and Garden section of our newspaper. The people who write the column are expert gardeners.

I have noticed that most of my neighbors who have their lawns cared for by professionals have their sprinklers set to water early in the morning. Maybe like Butrflynet's roses, grass wants to get dry quickly.
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2014 09:04 am
These suggestions from experts are all variations on the theme with slight differences based on environment.


Water early in the morning, if possible, to avoid evaporation during the heat of the day, or the development of fungus and diseases from being wet at night. However, watering at any time is immeasurably better than not watering at all!


When to Water
Early in the morning is the ideal time to water for most lawns. There's less wind, less hot sun, and your lawn has a full day to dry. Watering at night invites mildew and fungus. In the hot afternoon, much of your water can be lost to wind and evaporation. If you live in the dry southwest, though, the rules are different. There, watering in the evening or night causes less evaporation.


Water early in the day if possible.
Given a choice, water early in the day when lawns are normally wet from dew. Avoid midday watering due to excessive evaporation, and at night due to potential increased chances of some diseases gaining a foothold. The exception to this guide is when you are in extremely hot weather and nighttime temperatures don't go below 68 degrees. Then it is better to water in the late afternoon or early evening, providing you don't have watering-time restrictions. Early or late in the day reduces the amount of evaporation that takes place during the very hot day, allowing more water to reach the root zone.


Tinker with timing. Add a smart timer that adjusts irrigation based on local weather conditions such as rainfall, temperature and even evapotranspiration rates. Water an hour or two before sunrise to minimize evaporation and take advantage of calmer winds. Time irrigation to avoid high water use hours in your household. Avoid night irrigation to prevent disease.
cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2014 09:46 am
Those are the recommendations we've been hearing like forever, and I still think a discussion on this issue is timely - especially with the drought in California and elsewhere.

With this scarcity of water, our lawns are already turning brown, and I'm not sure fungus has a chance to live in this environment.

0 Replies
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2014 11:31 am
In the UK, we just worry about what time we go round with the giant blotter.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2014 01:30 pm
Better yet, how long after a rain of specified inches can we go without watering. This of course depends on the kind of soil and the size or depth of the root so very difficult to estimate. What's needed is a rule of thumb
  Selected Answer
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 08:31 am
dalehileman wrote:
. . . What's needed is a rule of thumb
A green one
0 Replies
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 08:46 am

Tons of mulch in your pots and borders and it probably won't matter whether you water in the morning or evening.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 09:45 am
I learned that in the midwest, watering is not a daily necessity. Once every three days is suffice.
cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 10:31 am
I have automatic watering of my garden scheduled for every five days, but my lawn is turning brown, and some of my plants are already dead. It's tough.
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 11:02 am
@cicerone imposter,
Not to natter, but for at least the last fifteen years - maybe twenty - of my life in california landscape architecture, I avoided specifying lawns for the most part. Sometimes cities or the developers insisted on lawns. I quit doing those projects in the late eighties. On individual residential design, I sometimes included a small one for a play area if the clients wanted it.

There is a consensus of sorts on using xeriscape type planting in a lot of areas of California since water usage matters - even if you have monitored low output watering systems. Now water usage matters more than ever. In many cases I specified native plants to a given climate area, though used some non natives that were drought resistant.

When I was first learning, back around 1980, I paid attention to Sunset Magazine, which started to have more and more suggestions for drought resistant landscaping; the magazine and its website probably still have a lot of articles on that. It can involve more than planting suggestions.

Further, if you really want a grassy look for part of your yard, there are experts in native grasses to look up (I could probably dig up some names), and the more sophisticated nurseries know about those and can advise you. As can a landscape architect be called for a quick consult.

On watering, I'd consider that the amount of water the plants needs is relative to the specific plants you have, and their microclimate plus the nature of your particular soil. There are probably by now websites to find out your landscape evapotranspiration numbers. I once figured that out for a whole landscape designed housing track the old fashioned way, took me a couple of days to do it back then. By now I forget the particulars.

Anyway, it seems wise for much of California to do some landscape changes.

cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 11:11 am
I was thinking along the same line of keeping only a small strip of lawn for our front yard; our's is only 5 ft by 20 ft - small compared to our neighbors. I fertilize and mow it regularly as part of my exercise regimen - as well as working on my gardens in front and back.

Our soil is clay, and most require planting soil until they establish.
From our city on our soil.
The Sunnyvale series is a member of the fine, thermic family of Typic Calciaquolls. Typically Sunnyvale soils have dark gray, granular, and fine subangular blocky A1 horizons over light gray, very strongly calcareous, silty clay Cca horizons underlain by mottled or gleyed silty clay lower C horizons.

Our friends in South San Francisco had their landscape designed by a professional, and they use drought tolerant plants - and it's really beautiful. I'm thinking of slowly converting our garden into a similar style, but the motivation of such a huge project is lacking. LOL You know, tomorrow never comes.
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2014 11:16 am
@cicerone imposter,
But that would be great. You could get a plan done, and then do it yourself a little bit at a time, or hire help a little bit at a time. Maybe that designer who did your friends place could do a plan, possibly saving as much of your present yard as would make sense.

I get your reluctance, you have enough going on, but a few plants at a time might be fun.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 01:41 pm
Best Time to Water Plants in the Vegetable Garden

The answer to when to water plants in the vegetable garden actually has two answers.
Watering Plants in the Morning

The very best time to water plants is in the early morning, while it is still cool. This will allow the water to run down into the soil and reach the roots of the plant without too much excess water lost to evaporation.

Watering in the early morning will also make the water available to the plants throughout the day so that the plants will be able to deal better with the heat of the sun.

There is a gardening myth that watering in the morning will make the plants susceptible to scorch. This is not true. First of all, almost all areas in the world do not get intense enough sun for water droplets to scorch the plants. Second of all, even if you live in an area where the sun is that intense, the water droplets would be evaporated in the heat long before they could focus the sunlight.
Watering Plants in the Afternoon

Sometimes, due to work and life schedules, it can be difficult to water the garden in the early morning. The second best time to water a vegetable garden is in the late afternoon or early evening.

If you are watering vegetables in late afternoon, the heat of the day should have mostly passed, but there should still be enough sun left to dry the plants a bit before night falls.

Watering plants in the late afternoon or early evening also cuts down on evaporation and allows the plants several hours without sun to take up water into their system.

One things to be careful of if you water in the late afternoon is to make sure that the leaves have a little time to dry before night comes. This is because damp leaves at night encourage fungus problems, such as powdery mildew or sooty mold, which can harm your vegetable plants.

If you are using a drip or soaker irrigation system, you can water right up until nightfall, as the leaves of the plant do not get wet with this form of watering.

[Source - gardeningknowhow]
cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 02:09 pm
Thanks for sharing that information on watering. Most of us still need to practice water conservation.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2014 02:57 pm
boomerang wrote:

I've always watered my garden in the evening once things cool down
That 's the right idea.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 23 Oct, 2015 11:20 pm
The best time of day to water a garden is in the morning, since that gives the plants time to dry off before nightfall. Watering your garden at the right time and using the right method will keep your plants healthy.
0 Replies

Related Topics

The joys of gardening. - Discussion by gustavratzenhofer
GARDENING - Discussion by Patricia Holland
Please ID! - Question by gidoboskos
Lemon Balm - Question by Naedre
Question for our gardeners - Question by chai2
I Don't Know Which End Is Up ? - Question by nextone
Pecan Tasssles used as mulch - Question by pipelinerpoke
  1. Forums
  2. » When is the best time to water your garden?
Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/21/2023 at 01:29:42