Watering seems like one of those bonehead tasks that everyone should get right on their first try, right? I wish! The truth is, I see more gardens that are sick and unhealthy due to water stress than any other single issue. Luckily, watering properly isn’t complicated once you know a few simple things. First, if you’re under the impression that your plants don’t need any summer water because plants in nature do fine without it, read this. Unless you are growing plants that have a specific desire for dryness in summer, like many California natives (Ceanothus, Fremontodendron, etc), and you’ve adjusted your expectations of your plants to allow them to do whatever they do in nature (many wild flowers go dormant in summer!), you probably need to water regularly once the rains have stopped. The exception to this is if you have a very mature garden of woody plants like trees and shrubs, with no flowering perennials (the soft, fleshy green plants that flower for a long season), then you may not need to water much at all. As a rule of thumb, the more you ask of your plants, the more you need to give in return. If you want them to grow bigger, bloom well for you, or have exceptionally healthy foliage, then you will want to water regularly so they can be at their best.