Watering - the basics

And don't forget to find someone to water when you go on hols!

By Bridgette Saunders

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Watering - the basics' page

In the summer, if the weather is dry and you are going away you will need someone to do the watering and harvesting.  The best thing to do is to organise a rota and don’t rely on other peoples memories, actually take them and show them what needs watering – you will find you get to know your plants and the positions of those that don’t receive enough water, even when it rains – so write a list as well so things don’t get forgotten.

Make sure all the watering cans and if possible, water butts are full before you go – this will make watering a lot easier.  Stands precious plants in pots in water baths, (plastic trays with no holes in the bottom).  This makes easier watering; no need to water the plants individually, just fill the water bath with an few centimetres of water.

Top tips for watering:

  • Every time you plant something water it in really well.
  • Don’t forget most plants in pots needs to be watered every day.
  • Plants love water that has been warmed by the sun so leave a bucket full of water to warm in the sun next to your vegetables.
  • If you leave your water butt uncovered it will attract mosquito larvae.  Pour a small cup of vegetable oil into the water and this will suffocate the larvae but won’t damage your plants.
  • If you can’t find anyone to do your watering cut a few holes in the lid of a plastic water bottle, cut the bottom off, fill the bottle with water and insert it upside down into the compost.  The water will slowly drip into the pots.
  • If you are a new allotment holder get a water butt now, you don’t have to invest a lot of money in one – look online for old water storage units or industrial food barrels.
This page was added by Melanie Matthews on 31/07/2011.