Three easy steps for hand watering plants

Three 5-gallon buckets equals about 1 inch of water. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

We hear all the time that plants need an 1 inch of rain every week for their overall health and to produce vegetables and flowers. But how much is that when hand watering?

Three 5-gallon buckets equals about 1 inch of water. Although you can lug the buckets around to water the plants, there’s an easier way to figure out how to hand water thirsty plants.

Time how long it takes to fill a 5-gallon bucket with water. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket and time how long it takes. Be sure to use the hose or nozzle you will use to water the plants. There might be a time difference if the water comes straight from the hose or through a nozzle.

2. You can carry the bucket to the trees, shrubs or perennials that need to be watered and slowing dump the water at the base of the plant. Be sure to dump the water slowly so that the soil can soak it up.

Once you know how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket, you know how long it will take to deliver that amount of water to plants. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

3. If you don’t want to carry the bucket, you can water plants with the hose for the same amount of time it took to fill a 5 gallon bucket. For instance, if it took one minute to fill a bucket, you know that watering from the hose for one minute will deliver about 5 gallons of water. Three minutes will deliver 15 gallons, or the 1 inch needed. The 15 gallons can be delivered all at once within a week, or in two or three applications. In excessive heat and drought, consider doubling the amount of water applied each week to newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc., also offers more tips on watering, especially mature trees.

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