Tips for hand watering (video transcript)

This is a transcript of our gardening video on hand watering.

[Background music]

[Voiceover]: All houses in WA have allocated watering days based on their street number, which is when we can operate our sprinklers. If you’re not sure of your homes days its important make sure you check on our web site. A lot of gardens are smaller these days and a lot of us have potted gardens which often only require hand watering to survive. But how do you ensure your hand watering is as waterwise as possible.

Here’s some quick tips for hand watering your garden. One of the more important ones is to always use a hand held spray attachment on your hose end, ideally with different flow settings. This means you can alter the flow depending on what kind of plant you are watering, helping ensure you’re not wasting a drop.

When watering a plant, always aim for the roots, not the leaves. It’s a fact that applying too much water to the foliage of a plant can actually encourage pests and diseases and the reality is leaves don’t absorb moisture.  

Leaves role is actually to emitwater into the atmosphere around the plant, creating a cool micro climate surrounding the plant. This sustains the plant through hot days helping avoid stress heat stress, much in the same way our bodies sweat moderates our temperature. So always aim for the soil at the base of the plant under the drip zone where all the water absorbing roots lay. 

Also be careful that you don’t overwater your pot plants either, a surface soaking until the water begins to drain into the soil is all that’s needed. Applying any more than this can flush all important nutrients and excess nutrient leaching can be very hazardous to your immediate environment.  

Its always a good idea to add a water collecting tray or saucer under your pot so excess water is held available to be drawn back to the roots through capillary action.

Potted plants often suffer from dry pockets in the soil and especially along the sides of the pot where the soil is heated by the sun each day. Roots grow against this and plants will show signs stress such as wilting or yellowing if this soil is dry and hot. Use a soil wetting agent on pot plants at least twice each summer and once in spring. It’s is a great way to make sure the water you apply is going to be absorbed evenly though the soil and is available to your plants root.

While you can hand water outside your given watering days, there are some behaviours that aren’t allowed. Remember that hand watering does not allow you to hose down your driveway or paved area, or use a high pressured hose, these practices waste water and should never be done. 

For more information on the do’s and don’ts of hand watering, check out our web site. Visit