The Benefits of Watering in the Morning: Maximize Absorption and Minimize Disease

You’ve probably heard at some point about the value of starting the day with a good breakfast and how a healthy morning meal can help us be more productive.

The same idea applies to your plants.

In their case, starting the day with a refreshing drink of water equips them to face the day ahead. Morning irrigation increases plants’ ability to fully absorb the water you provide and endure afternoon heat while reducing their risk of disease. 

This is great news if you garden. The simple step of scheduling irrigations for the beginning of the day increases your chances of producing lush, thriving flowers and vegetables.

Making every drop count

Watering your garden in the morning | Vego Garden
Watering your garden in the morning

One of the reasons that morning waterings are so beneficial is they take place when temperatures are at their lowest for the day and humidity is higher: ideal conditions for water absorption. In the morning, the water you apply is more likely to go down into the soil, where your plants’ roots can absorb it, instead of quickly evaporating into the air. 

Along the same lines, wind speeds are typically lower in the morning, which also minimizes the amount of water lost through evaporation from the soil and plant leaves. 

Plants’ morning routine

Not only that, but when you water in the morning, you capitalize on your plants’ natural timetable for absorbing water and making food.

You could say that plants are big fans of the morning. Their roots are generally more active at the beginning of the day, so they’re better able to absorb water and transport it up to their leaves in the morning. From there, they’ll be well hydrated by the time temperatures rise and less susceptible to heat stress. 

Plants also begin photosynthesis, the process of converting water, light, and carbon dioxide into energy, in the morning. So, you could argue that water, for plants, is part of a healthy breakfast — a key part. Insufficient water can hinder the opening of stomata, the tiny pores on leaves through which gases are exchanged, leading to reduced carbon dioxide uptake and limited photosynthetic activity. 

When you irrigate your garden in the morning, you’re making sure your plants have access to water when they need it most. 

Warding off disease 

You may be asking yourself, if watering in the morning is good because temperatures are low, wouldn’t irrigating my garden at night work, too?

Well, watering in the late afternoon/early evening is an option — though it doesn't fully leverage the advantages of morning watering, including plants' natural rhythms for root activity and photosynthesis. But watering after dark is not a great idea. 

Without sunlight to help it evaporate, water applied at night could linger on your plants’ foliage and create favorable environment for fungal pathogens to thrive, increasing the risk of diseases like powdery mildew or leaf spot.

If you water in the morning, on the other hand, excess moisture on your plants’ leaves likely will evaporate before sunset, minimizing the risk of disease.

Discouraging unwanted visitors

Slug in the garden at night | Vego Garden
Slug in the garden at night

Another problem with nighttime watering is it can inadvertently attract pests and harmful insects to your garden. Creatures like slugs, snails, earwigs, and certain beetles thrive in damp environments and may feast on your prized plants under the cover of darkness.

Standing water resulting from evening watering can also serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other water-loving insects, further exacerbating pest problems in your garden.

By watering in the morning, you can avoid these risks. You’ll create ideal conditions for healthy, well-hydrated plants in your garden while minimizing factors that could jeopardize your plants’ well-being.

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