Watering the Plot Efficiently for Better Plants

Efficient Watering

Efficient watering will save your time, your money (if you have metered water) and most importantly give you better plants

Do You Need to Water?

The first question is do we need to water? It seems on our allotments that the moment the sun comes out so does the hosepipe. They spray away with no regard to any actual need and often their unnecessary watering does more harm than good.

Poor Watering Weakens Plants

Just spraying lightly encourages the plant roots to spread out on the surface rather than going down into the soil where the moisture and minerals are. These shallow roots are easily damaged and vulnerable to drying out in really hot dry weather.

I’ll show you how to test if you actually need to water in this clip. You’ll be surprised at the sophisticated tool I use to determine this!


Posted in John's Gardening Tips
21 comments on “Watering the Plot Efficiently for Better Plants
  1. Peter Huntingdon Bewers says:

    Thank you , for your watering tips, I too in Jersey C.I. am experiencing very hot Weather , around 28/30 degrees daily, so am trying to not let my Allotment Dry Out, I will try your tip of Watering every Three Days instead of Daily, this will save me time as my Allotment is some way from where I live. The other problem I have id , Bird Damage , some years ago someone wanted to start a Pheasant Shoot and was refused consent so in revenge he just let the bird go free, now they are everywhere and damage plants by just having a peck at everything, I forgot to protect my Runner and climbing French Beans and they stripped the bottom of the plants, possibly early morning, Pigeons don’t help either. You learn something new every Day. Happy Gardening. Peter.

  2. Karen says:

    Fab watering advice thank you!

  3. Joe Price says:

    Thanks John,I will try that watering advice as we do not have access to a mains supply.

  4. Bob Hallworth says:

    Reference watering – for many years I have used either 1 litre plant pots or upside down plastic drink bottles ( the bottom cut off) placed by the veg and put about 4 to 5 inches into the ground. Watering is easy just filling up the pot/bottle. This ensures the water goes well down into the ground and encourages the roots to `find` it and saves a lot of water. Have tried to `educate` fellow allotment holders but most seem to prefer wafting the hose pipe around their plot!

    • Stevie Woods says:

      Hi Bob,

      I have also done that system of watering for years, especially for tomato and pepper plants, it’s really very efficient as I don’t seem to need to water too often,maybe once every ten days or so.
      Here in the south west France we are having our third heatwave this year! Everywhere is very dry and no rain forecast…. I have water butts which collect rainwater totaling 3000 litres and they are all empty!! Roll on the summer storms

    • Gary says:

      Great tip Bob, I’ll use that on my allotment.

  5. Peter Clarke says:

    I am at a loss regarding how many allotments allow hosepipes to be used on their plot. Here, there is a total ban in using hosepipes as the charge for water is based on household rates and the bill at the end of the year would be astronomical. How are plot holders allowed to us water hoses on their plot and do we have something to learn for our own association?

  6. Jay says:

    I use two IBC’s and I have a Bosch water pump. It uses the same all 4 one batteries as my other Bosch cordless tools.

    it’s great. pumps at decent pressure 25 meters easily and powerful enough to operate a series of sprinklers.

    Best thing I purchased last year, and highly recommended.


  7. Howard Bell says:

    I’m new to allotment life and for the past week I have been watering so now I’ll leave it for 3-4 days before watering I myself have a Bosch power pump they are awesome works of a battery.

  8. Sue weighill says:

    In se England the ground is like dust and I have had raspberries and beans roasted in situ. Potatoes are like peas. We have had no rain for such a long time and all the allotments are seriously in trouble. For the first time in 15 years we are very seriously abandoning ours.

  9. Jenny Bourne says:

    Our allotments have hand operated water pumps – hard work filling watering cans and some already drying out; others are being over used and malfunctioning when sand is drawn up. We’ve provided a list of watering tips: only water where needed, on the soil not the plant; water deeply when needed, not shallow sprinkling; mulch, don’t leave soil bare; water early morning or late evening; install a water butt on your shed; check which plants actually need water etc. some folk do take notice…!

  10. Jac Wheeler says:

    We do not water tomatoes in the greenhouse once they are established plants, the roots go down lower to seek water and the flavour of the tomatoes is improved.

  11. Richard Wells says:

    Thanks for that and as it happens I’ve one (more) of those ‘sophisticated tools’ for years. 🙂

  12. Nick Ford says:

    Apart from the usual rainwater capture methods, our allotments draw water from a bore well which primarily serves the farm from which we rent the land. It is their domestic water supply as well as for crops and livestock. According to legend, the last (and only) person who dared to attach a hosepipe to the bore well tap (and who thereby managed to empty the well, temporarily) was hanged with his hosepipe as a warning to all others.

  13. Kathryn Ryan says:

    Is this watering advice the same for the greenhouse for tomatoes, cucumbers, melons , peppers etc?

    • John Harrison says:

      Depends – growing in a border, yes. But don’t let tomatoes get wilting dry, that way lies a host of problems from blossom end rot to cracked skins

  14. Lynn Eleen says:

    I have been sprinkling everyday but will take your advice about a good soak.
    Thank you for the continual advice and some lovely recipes too.

  15. Roisin Arthurs says:

    Thanks for that watering advice Bob. I’ve grown tomatoes for years outdoors in big pots at a south facing wall. When giving them a good soaking, I always feel guilty, after a couple of minutes, to see water pouring back out from under the pots.

  16. Roisin Arthurs says:

    Sorry John, I meant that previous comment for you (about water pouring out the bottom of pots) not Bob

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