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There are many elements that influence the health of a garden. Pests, sunlight, soil quality and possibly the most overlooked, proper watering. Every gardener needs to know how much to water and how to properly water in order to reduce the risk of plant diseases and pests. Here are some tips to ensure proper watering:

1. Water in the morning, when the sun is low and the air is cool. This will provide time throughout the day for your plants leaves to dry off and the cool water won’t shock the roots.

2. Water regularly. There should be consistency to the time and amount that you water your garden.

3. Water at the base of the plants. This ensures that the water is reaching the roots and prevents the leaves of the plant from developing diseases.

4. Try to water by hand rather than using overhead sprinklers. Lots of water evaporates and is wasted with overhead sprinklers. Using a soaker hose ensures that all of the water is reaching the roots. This also allows you to be selective with which plants need water.

5. Add a layer of mulch to the top of your garden soil. This retains moisture and protects the plants from being sprayed by wet soil.

6. Water deeply and thoroughly. Use your finger, water meter or shovel to check how deep the water is reaching in the soil.