|Starlings are ferocious bug eaters.|
Rainwater is best, so store it in barrels. I catch mine by placing large Rubbermaid barrels where the rain runs off the roof.
Stored water is second best, because the chlorine evaporates out. I fill a barrel when the rainwater runs out.
Both kinds of water should be used regularly for struggling roses and new plants. Soak newly arrived bare root roses in rainwater or stored water - several hours at least.
Lots of dishes of water will attract a wide variety of birds, and water is their favorite treat. I put some dishes under the soaker hose for automatic refills. Regular cleaning is essential.
Jackson Mulch stores water, reduces wind evaporation, and helps spread the water around when sprinkling. Moist mulch is bird and soil creature food.
Water longer and less often. When water penetrates the soil, the roots go deeper and the plant is healthier. Too much shallow watering is bad for most plants.
Soaker hose is ideal for many watering chores, but rose canes also like to be watered, especially when newly planted.
A great hose head is a good investment because it delivers water in various ways, and does not dribble on the legs and feet. Mine has wings that turn it into a perfect sprinkler.
Every plant likes a complete shower. Roses are especially receptive because their canes are more water absorbent and more likely to lose water, hindering growth.
Doubling the water with a divider at the faucet head is very handy. Two doublers can make three streams available.
Do not be stingy with watering new seeds and plants. Germinating seeds are needy for water, even when they are seedlings. Those cute little potted plants should be soaked for an hour at least before planting, but also watered daily after planting. If the soil is dry around the wet plant, the dry soil will wick the water away.