While drainage is a one-off problem, watering is an ongoing consideration, and one which will become a daily task at certain times of year. During hot, dry periods shallow-rooted plants, such as salad vegetables, will run to seed extremely fast unless kept well watered, so not having easy access to water can make a kitchen gardener's life impossible.
Water butts, which collect rain water run off from the roof of the house or the garden shed and greenhouse, are extremely useful, especially as rain water is better for the plants than mains water, and there is always the threat of water restrictions during periods of drought. Rain water also contains fewer chemicals than mains water and being at an ambient temperature is kinder on the plants. However, it is unlikely that you will be able to supply all your needs from collected rainwater alone. lf you are serious about growing fruit and vegetables it is useful to have an automatic watering system. There are many different systems on the market in all price ranges, the simplest being the trickle hose, which supplies a constant, small amount of water. Automatic sprinklers, set on a timer, will give plants more of a soaking, however the trickle hose is more flexible and is one of the most efficient ways of watering.Watering home and garden plants properly is one of the most misunderstood problems facing the average gardener. Most are aware of drought conditions but if plants are stressed by lack of water during the summer, they may experience severe problems during the rest of the year, such as increased insect and disease susceptibility and decreased winter hardiness.
Watering is simple but you do have to follow a few simple rules. Too little water and you harm or kill your plant too much water and the result is much the same.
How much water and when. Signals that indicate that your plant is distressed and tricks that experienced gardeners use to keep plants healthy are in the following sections.