Now the warmer weather has arrive and plants have started to put on growth we all start thinking about watering.
Lets not just jump in and water everything all the time as this is not necessary. Plants do need water to grow and produce, flowers or crops, but there are key times when water is needed.
Water is needed when the seed is sown or when a seedling is transplanted out into the ground. The seed needs water to germinate and start growing, so water thee seed drills before sowing and then after backing the drill. if the weather is hot and dry then water the drill every few days until germination takes place. Once the plant is growing it will send it’s roots down to find water, which will make it stronger and more robust against the weather.
When planting out seedlings from pots or trays, dig a hole for the plant and fill it with water, put the seedling in fill the hole and firm the seedling in, then give it another water. In hot weather water it every couple of days until it is established.
Once plants are established they only need occasional watering until it is nearly time to produce the crop, when more water is required.
Watering is best carried out using a watering can so that the water can be directed to the base of the stem around the roots and not spread out all round the plant. Enough water should be applied to enable it to soak down into the ground to draw the roots further down seeking water.
Sprinkling water around the surface with a hose pipe does not soak the ground in the same way and soon evaporates and is therefore no use to the plant. The council has a ban on hosepipes being used to water on allotments, they can only be used to fill water buts.
When sowing seeds consider how many Lettuce, Cabbage, etc. you want or can eat in a short time when they are ready. Sow small quantities every few weeks to give you a succession of crops.
I have seen many case of Lettuce seeds sown in rows a metre long and when they all germinate there are enough plants to feed the site for weeks!
ten or twelve seeds sown in a short drill, or seed tray are sufficient for most people, do this every three weeks and you won’t be short of lettuce.