From a watering point of view, we have been somewhat spoiled over the last few years, if you can call it that. But if winter was anything to go by - below average rainfall, warmest mean temperature on record, and above average mean maximum and minimum temperatures across most of Australia, Spring and Summer look as if they will be hot and dry. This means your plants are going to get stressed and thirsty.
Here are some tips.
Regular attention at the right time is most important. Watering in the mornings is the best. Later in the day much will be lost through evaporation, and in the evening, water can stay on the foliage and create an ideal environment for disease.
Deep watering or Shallow? Both can work, but shallow watering needs to be done more often and only impacts the top layer of soil. And it can be a tricky balance as too much shallow watering can keep the top layer of soil constantly wet, which can cause root rot. On the other hand, it can also lead to water runoff, which is inefficient. Either way it can be stressful for the plants and stressed plants attract pest like aphids and whiteflies.
The advantage of deep watering is the roots grow deeper, making them more resilient when it is dry. Roots that go down deep also access more nutrients, which makes them bigger, happier and healthier. When deep watering cover the entire bed, not just the area around the plants. Mulch to retain that water, reducing the frequency of how often you need to water. Then keep an eye on the soil's moisture, and when the top few inches start to dry out, apply more.
Provide shade for the plants.
Happy gardening, it is going to be a busy and challenging season. But don’t forget to enjoy!