This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
From careful experiments, Mr. Mechi discovered that plants slightly watered every day often- perish, and always become dwarfed; whereas a good soaking, given twice a week, almost invariably proved very beneficial. He says:
The sum of our experience in watering amounts to this - that thorough soaking of the ground two or three times a week is much better than the same amount of water applied in driblets daily, only sufficient to wet the upper surface, but not the under strata of earth contiguous to the roots. Gold spring water should, before applying it to a heated soil, be allowed to stand exposed to the sun and air for a few hours. The colder the water is, and the warmer the soil, so is the necessity of applying it in abundance; for it is evident, though we cannot explain it, that the result produced upon plants by applying cold water to the soil, when at a high temperature, unless so copiously applied as to saturate the soil completely, is fatal to tender or weakly plants, and often less or .more injurious to strong or healthy ones.