During the summer months, prolonged stretches of dry weather can lead to brown grass and dead plants. Watering your plants without rain in the forecast is obviously the best way to help your garden to look its best. But the question you might have is: When do you water? There are a couple of schools of thought on this, which pros and cons to both.
Things to consider
It’s pretty widely accepted that you should water plants either in the morning or evening hours. Watering in the middle of the day isn’t ideal since most of the water will likely evaporate before doing any good for your plants.
A morning watering isn’t a bad idea. The air and soils are cooler allowing water to soak in and evaporation is minimal. However, if you wait until mid-morning, you run the risk of some of that water evaporating and the foliage will dry out faster.
Watering in the late afternoon, just before sunset could work for you. This time gives plants plenty of time to soak up the water since they don’t have to worry about the sun and evaporation. But it also opens up the door for plants to stay damp overnight which could lead to some fungus growth and diseases to set in.
So…when is the best time?
Definitely not the middle of the day. It’s a myth that watering plants will cause leaves to scorch, but watering in full sun will lead to most of the water being lost to evaporation.
Heard the term “the early bird gets the worm”? That seems to apply in this case. Watering before the sun comes up looks to be the best option. This allows for water to fully soak in and avoid most evaporation. This also allows the plants to dry out sufficiently so that bugs and other bacteria don’t harm your plants.
There won’t be a one size fits all, but it’s a good rule of thumb…maybe a good rule of green thumb.