20160712A.jpgIt may seem absurd to water your garden just before it’s supposed to rain, but in fact it’s an excellent gardening technique.

The thing is, when soil is very dry, it at first repels water, then only starts to readily absorb it once it has become a bit moist. So when a heavy downpour falls on dry soil, much of the water is lost to runoff rather than soaking into the earth and irrigating your plants. And often you really needed that water!

Therefore if your soil is very dry and weather reports announce that rain is on the way, the best thing to do is to get out there and water a few hours earlier. This watering doesn’t have to be abundant: you just want to deposit a bit of moisture on the soil surface, enough so that the soil becomes water absorbant rather than repellent. Then when it really does start to rain, you’ll discover that almost all the water will descend into the soil… where your plants can take full advantage of it!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

2 comments on “Water Before It Rains

  1. I do this too and other variations on the theme. Never met anyone else who does it so wondered if I was slightly bonkers. Just wish we were getting more rain here in southern Ontario. Dry dry dry.

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