Budding Gardeners - supporting school garden projects
Know Your Veg Simple Guide to Growing Fun Things To Do Stuck? Ask the Expert Dots
Recommended equipment
Thirsty Work Convenient Efficient Free & on Tap  
Water Butts/Tanks are great for collecting rain water.

Plant Halos & Big Drippa are perfect for efficiently watering in compost bags.

Childrens Watering Cans

Micro-irrigation provide efficient and controlled watering in vegetable gardens.

Porous hose for seeping small but constant amounts of water into the soil. View our drip irrigation system video here

Strulch Garden Mulch  reduces the loss of water to evaporation.

Hoses to top up when necessary

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Importance of Watering
Plants need water to live. Without it they will wither and die. It is also an expensive resource as payment has to be made for all water used from taps.
General Hints and Tips
• Never water during the heat of the day. The sun will evaporate much of the water used on the plants so it wastes the effort. It is best to water early in the morning or late afternoon.

• Do not water too often or too little. It is better to give plants a thorough soak every other day than just a light watering every day.

• By thoroughly soaking the soil, it encourages plants to develop deep root systems capable of tapping water further in down in the soil.

• Light watering does not penetrate the soil very far. It encourages plants to develop shallow roots which are vulnerable to lack of water.

• When watering use a fine rose on a watering can. This will prevent seeds from being washed away. Stems can be broken by too strong a flow of water. Make sure the water is arched over the plants so that it falls naturally from above.

• Create water reservoirs around thirsty plants. Build up a ring of earth around 30cms away from the stem. Scoop out some soil within the ring. Fill the well with water until the soil is soaked. The water will slowly seep into the soil.

Special Tips for Vegetable Plots

• Rainwater is free - collect all you can with a water butt. Install these around the school to collect water from the gutters. Put a water butt near the vegetable plot to collect up rainwater. Make sure there are secure tops on all the butts - this will prevent accidents. Water should only be drawn from the taps situated at the sides of the butts.

Seep hoses can be installed around larger vegetable plots. These hoses have holes at intervals along their length. When the water is turned on it trickles out of the holes and into the soil.

Special Tips for Watering Containers

Keeping containers well watered is not easy. They will dry out quickly in the summer time. Once compost begins to shrink, it will take some time for it to re-soak. To avoid this problem:

• Use water retaining gels when planting up a container.

• Turn drinks bottles into watering spikes. One filling of a bottle can last over a week. The spike allows the water to drip out slowly as the plant needs it.

• Put containers into groups. This will provide shelter and decrease the amount of heat experienced on the sides of pots. As a result it will keep pot sides cooler so less water evaporates.

• Use mulch on top of the compost. This will decrease the amount of water lost to evaporation.

          Special Tips for Watering in Grow Bags

• Special watering pots can be obtained for use in growbags. These act as reservoirs below the polythene into which the water can be poured. The water filters evenly into the compost and evaporation is reduced.

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Plan your school Garden
National Curriculum linked classroom lesson plans
Fact Sheets - Getting Started

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