person watering the plants

What is Watering Deeply, and Why is it Important for Plants and Lawns?

Watering deeply means providing enough water to saturate the soil to the root level. It promotes more robust and deeper root growth, making plants more resilient to drought and disease.

Owning a healthy and thriving garden entails a lot of work. It goes beyond planting and waiting for the harvest. For instance, you must meet all your plants’ essentials to grow healthy.

These requirements include soil amendment, applying the right fertilizer at the right time, pest and disease control, and proper watering – which is highly overlooked.

Watering plants is a simple task for most people. However, the task involves a lot of science for your garden to nourish as it should.

The key is to ensure you don’t overwater the garden or underwater it. You should also pay attention to the watering frequency and quantity.

If you are a keen gardener, you may have encountered the term ‘deep watering.’ But what is deep watering? How do you water deeply, and why is it important?

This post delivers everything you should know about deep watering plants – a key concept in successful gardening.

What is Deep Watering?

There needs to be a quick and fast definition of deep-watering plants. However, to water deeply involves soaking at least 8 inches into the soil surface. The goal is to promote healthy plants in your garden by encouraging the plant roots to take up adequate water and nutrients from the soil.

Some plants grow their root systems as deep as two feet for water and nutrients. During drought, the upper ground surface dries out faster than the lower one, leaving the inner soil surface cooler.

Since rain is beyond your control, there will be seasons when your garden will have adequate water and when you need to water deeply to keep the ground moist.

Deep watering ensures that your plants can access adequate moisture to help them thrive over dry months. Invest in a garden trowel set, which can help monitor your garden’s water levels and depth penetration. That way, you know how much watering to do, at what frequency, and when for the best outcome.

How to Deep Water Plants

Deep watering is an art that you should master for successful gardening. It involves watering the plants with a gentle stream for about one hour.

The goal is to allow the water to slowly saturate the soil without forming puddles. Puddle formation indicates too much water falling at once and demands an instant pressure check.

Drip irrigation is one of the cleverest ways to consider when looking to deeply water plants. With drip irrigation, you can water deeply for one hour without the hassle of installing sprinklers or holding up the garden hoses.

The technique allows the ground to seep up the water slowly, which means better results.

Timing the Deep Watering Process

When looking for how to deeply water plants, focus on timing too. The latter is a crucial aspect of the process and largely depends on the season. The spring, for instance, comprises a few rainy days and moderate temperatures.

It is advisable to water deeply in such seasons every two weeks, while the summer requires deep watering up to twice a week.

Deep watering in autumn is similar to spring, while summer requires a lower frequency of up to once a month. Besides, you can adjust these guidelines depending on your geographic location and weather conditions.

Source: YouTube

Testing Your Garden Soil for Water Levels

The rate at which water runs through your garden soil and how much is absorbed for the roots to access depends on several factors. These factors include the soil type, weather conditions, and the speed of water application.

For instance, Water in sandy areas runs and penetrates faster than in clay. For this reason, it is necessary to conduct soil amendment using organic matter for clay and sand soils.


Organic matter improves your soil’s water-holding capacity, long enough for the roots to access and absorb for plant utilization. With a 3 to 4-inch layer of mulch, you can effectively conserve soil moisture. However, you should first conduct a simple test to determine the moisture levels in your garden.

Moisture level test

The process involves watering the garden and allowing it to rest for about half an hour. You can install a trowel into the soil upon completion of the waiting period. If the soil is not wet 8 inches deep, it may be that you didn’t water the garden adequately or watered too fast, and the water ran off to the surrounding area.

Such cases indicate that you should learn how to deeply water your plants. Try with a gentler water stream for extended periods for excellent water absorption and spreading in the soil.

Watering Deeply Takes Time

Learning how deep water plants successfully may take a while, with a few tries, but you will eventually get it right. The goal is to ensure that the soil absorbs and holds water long enough for the roots to access and absorb for adequate plant utilization.

Initially, it would help if you didn’t obsess about achieving the 8-inch soil wetness but watering right at the right speed, quantity, and frequency. With time, you will master the concept, and your garden will be consistently healthy in whatever weather.

Why Should You Deep-Water Your Garden?

Besides deep watering your plants correctly, you should also know when and how often to deep water. You can determine when your garden needs deep watering by installing a trowel into the soil, about 4 inches deep.

If the soil at the level isn’t adequately moist, it is time to deeply water it, as it shows that the soil underneath is dry, and the plants may start getting stressed.

Protecting the Soil After Deep Watering

Deep watering can only serve you effectively if you apply complementary measures. These measures include spreading a 2-inch deep mulch onto the garden. Wood chips are one of the best substances for making mulch as they break and rot over time, increasing nutrients in the soil.

Besides protecting soil from losing moisture, mulch also keeps off pesky weeds. It is advisable to mulch your garden once a year, even though the frequency may vary depending on your location.

Commit to Consistency

To enjoy optimal fruits of deep watering, you must commit to discipline and consistency. Alternating between shallow and deep watering isn’t an option as the root tendrils can’t reach shallow water – at this point, the tendrils are deeply developed in the soil.

On days you are away for work or vacation, you can ask someone you trust to deep water for you. Alternatively, you can install an automatic watering system to water the garden when you are away.

Overall, deep watering prolongs your garden’s lifespan while gifting you massive blossoms to appreciate you for your excellent work. That said, Every garden has unique soil. Ensure you are patient during deep watering – water volume, frequency, and duration.

Understanding your garden is the key to proper deep watering. It will take some trial and error, but eventually, you will master the art of successfully deep watering your plants.

Wrapping Up Watering Deeply

Every garden has unique soil. Ensure you are patient during deep watering – water volume, frequency, and duration. Understanding your garden is the key to proper deep watering. It will take some trial and error, but eventually, you will master the art of successfully deep watering your plants.


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