By Betty Mackey
Along with sunlight and soil, water is essential to the success of your garden. For a healthy garden, you must make sure the plants are getting enough water without overdoing it and flooding the soil. To make matters more complicated, different plants, different climates, and different weather require different amounts of water.
When planning your garden, choose plants with similar water needs and plant them together. This way, you are not planting water-hogging impatiens next to dryland plants and trying to keep them both happy at the same time. Keep the water lovers in the wetter exposures of your garden or near your garden hose. Drought-tolerant plants can be grouped in areas farther from your sources of water. Moisture-loving plants include Louisiana and Japanese irises, foamflowers, marsh marigolds, Solomon's seal, sweet flag, horsetails, swamp hibiscus, cardinal flower, hostas, mosses, and ferns.
There are a few basic guildelines to keep in mind when it comes to watering your garden. Later on, we'll discuss the best way to use a garden hose to provide your plants with the moisture they need. On the next page, learn some helpful techniques for keeping your plants watered and happy.