The Q&A Archives: Ideal Time for Watering the Garden

Question: When is the best time to water a vegetable garden, a rose garden, and flower? At night or first time in the morning? Denise Grove Windsor, PA

Answer: The best time to water depends somewhat on how you water. Basically, you want the soil to stay moist for awhile after you water but you want the plant leaves to dry off relatively quickly. If you use an overhead sprinkler or hose, the best time to water is in the early morning. The sun will soon dry off the leaves, and, if you apply enough water, the soil will not dry out too quickly. (When you water during the hot afternoon, much of the water is rapidly lost to evaporation.) When you water at night, the plant leaves stay wet for too long a time, and this can contribute to disease problems. If, however, you have an in-ground watering system, such as soaker hoses, you can water in the morning or evening, because the water is delivered directly to the soil.

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