A Gardening Myth Busted

A Gardening Myth Busted

August 1, 2018 Off By Keep It Green

Watering - A Gardening Myth

Watering plants in the mid-day sun will damage and scorch the leaves. 

So, according to Charles Dowding in ‘Gardening Myths and Misconceptions’ and the University of Hungary, this just doesn’t make sense. After all, we don’t worry about scorched leaves after a shower on a bright day. It would be interesting to know how this gardening myth started. I even heard it repeated on BBC 2 in an episode of Gardeners World the other week, with no question of it’s authenticity. 

So I conducted my own experiment, willing to scrifice my beetroot and courgettes for science. Below I present my results, the before and after photographs. The temperatures in these heady summer days during 2018 are in the region of 80 – 90 Farenhheit or 26 – 32 Centigrade, even higher on occasion.

The time is 2pm, clear skys above and it’s HOT! The beetroots and courgettes are drenched and I wait for two hours to see if they do in fact boil in the scorching afternoon sun.

The Myth Busting Experiment #1 Beetroots

Wilting Beetroot
Beetroot before watering
Healthy Beetroot
Beetroot 2 hrs after watering

The Myth Busting Experiment #2 Courgettes

Growing Courgettes
Courgettes before watering
Organic Courgettes
Courgettes 2 hrs after watering

As you can see, a good dowsing of water whilst exposed to the uninhibited rays of high summer, appear to be more of a relief to the poor plants. No sign of blistering or scorching on any of the leaves as far as I can tell. In fact, watering during the day has in fact helped my garden survive the increasing temperatures and heatwave of 2018. 

So as far as I’m concerned, it’s a myth busted. Perhaps not the most scientific or controlled experiment of it’s kind, but a real world experiment all the same. I water my garden during the day, albeit under a full sun to provide my plants with relief, as well as an extra drink for the birds and insects. In fact, by not watering in the evening I have noticed a distinct reduction this season in slug damage during the night. Yes, of course watering during the day will incur some evaporation, but that’s nothing when compared to the benefits it brings to the garden and it’s inhabitants as a whole. After all, if you were baking in the sun wouldn’t you be grateful of a nice cool shower? 

Next time you are about to blindly accept and act upon an unfounded habit of truth, I challenge you to stop and think. 

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