If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know that I’m in favor of infrequent (but regular and abundant) watering.
This in particular to promote the development of a beautiful root system (as opposed to daily watering which will not stimulate the plant to root development as it has permanent water available in the immediate vicinity).
Due to this better root development, plants will be better anchored in the soil, more robust and ultimately more resistant to diseases.
I develop my vision on watering in particular in this article (in which I specify the frequencies, amounts of water in function of the soil, the weather…).
In addition, spreading out the waterings promotes flowering (especially important for fruiting vegetables) and thus good fruit formation.
We could also discuss the issue of water conservation here… and insist on mulching…
But that’s not our topic today.
What interests us here are the rare exceptions to this spread watering practice.
Indeed, for some vegetables, at least in summer, it will be important to water more often.
I’m not saying you should water these veggies every day…but let’s say every 2 or 3 days.
The vegetables that require a higher watering frequency that I want to discuss here are: lettuce, cucumber, and radish.
Let’s see why for each of these cultures.
Sprinkle salads in the summer
First of all, because of an insignificant root system, lettuce grows poorly in hot weather.
In addition, lettuce leaves, and more particularly lettuce leaves, are very thin.
In hot weather, without enough water (which is a very large part of this leaf), the leaves can simply dry out (a phenomenon you’ve probably noticed already).
Even if the plant does not necessarily die, its future development will be greatly affected.
Lettuce in particular is in danger of blooming very early (the beautiful apple you hoped for will never see the light of day).
Also keep in mind that leaves that have run out of water quickly become tougher… less tender, less tasty if you will.
For these reasons, I recommend watering your salads every 2 or 3 days when it’s warm and not raining (usually on foot but also by sprinkling every now and then… the salads like it).
Water cucumbers in the summer
As long as it does not produce fruit, a cucumber plant will be completely satisfied with staggered waterings.
So, during the first weeks of plant development, act as with most vegetables:
- the first is to ensure recovery: water 2 or 3 times the first week after planting.
- then, in mulched soil (a practice highly recommended for cucumbers), water every 7, 10 or 15 days (depending on your soil and weather) to help the root system develop.
But when the first cucumbers appear, water more often, otherwise your cucumbers will quickly become very bitter…
We are still talking about watering every 2 or 3 days here.
I would like to point out, however, that I have been growing an old cucumber variety for a long time, which never becomes bitter, even if the fruit has a serious lack of water. This is Rollison’s Telegraph. I content myself with watering every 5 to 7 days for this variety.
Water radishes in the summer
Radish is our latest exception.
Indeed, if you only water them once a week or even every 10 or 15 days, the radishes will quickly become very sharp (good if you like them that way, fine…) and especially dry out and harden even dig into.
In order to hope to harvest good radishes, I therefore recommend re-watering this crop every 2 to 3 days.
I must admit that I personally don’t grow radishes in my natural vegetable garden anymore in the middle of summer, because the light soil and the often scorching temperatures in this season make them harden very quickly, even with very short waterings… So I reserve this crop for spring and fall (plus winter radishes for… winter).
The frequencies I give here are only indications.
They should in no way be regarded as absolute rules…
Every garden, every variety of the species mentioned here has its particularities.
I therefore invite you to make your own tests and observations.
Perhaps a salad at home, even in the midst of a heat wave, is content with, say, water every 4 or 5 days?
Peut-être devez-vous au contraire arroser vos radis tous les jours pour espérer des récoltes en été same).
Do not hesitate to share your experience in the comments below (indicating your region and your soil type… to help other gardeners who are more or less in the same situation as you).