It might seem counterintuitive but late Winter and early Spring are excellent times to start your watering regime for the warm weather.
Unless you garden in wicking beds, this is the time to check down into the soil to see how much moisture is held in the ground.
The preoccupation with mulch that some gardeners have can be detrimental to their garden by actually preventing water reaching the subsoil. Unless designed to allow water to penetrate, mulches can absorb or even repel water falling on them.
In a wet Winter, enough rain falls to overcome this but rainfall is decreasing and I reckon that in a couple of years, it may not be enough to penetrate thick mulch beds.
At Ligaya Garden, we water just before it rains, even in Winter. A little water at that stage helps the rain soak in and penetrate deeper into the root zone of plants
This way, the rain even helps wash away the contaminants in tap water.
Keep checking your soil down to 30 or even 60 centimetres below your mulch layer and make sure it’s moist down that far.
If it’s not, then water. It seems that we can no longer rely on Spring and Summer rains to do the job for us and Winter rain is looking a bit doubtful to.
If you ensure your soil is moist down to 30+ centimetres then it will have a big enough reservoir to get plants through further into the heat of Summer.
Constant moisture also helps soul organisms – microbes, insects and fungi stay healthy and active and contributing to garden health.
So give your plants a head start this Summer by buildng up a subsoil moisture reservoir now.