Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Watering: What you need to know!

The one question that I get more often than any other is ‘How often do I need to water my garden?’ The simple answer is to water your garden (plants) often enough, with enough water to let the plant grow and produce flowers/fruit. Too much water, and you will drown the plant, not allowing the roots to receive enough oxygen. Not enough water, the plant will not grow.

I my vegetable garden, I keep an eye on the plants and let the plants tell me when they need water, no they don’t talk to me, but when they start to slightly wilt, they’re thirsty.

I like to use drip irrigation for a number of reasons. 1st, it conserves water, giving only the desired plants water. Not watering between the rows, and watering any weeds. 2nd, Drip irrigation regulates how much water is give at each dripper. These precise drippers will allow ½, 1, or 2, gallons of water per hour to pass through. When the plants are newly planted, with 1 gph (gallon per hour) drippers, usually 30 minutes, twice a week is good. As the plants mature in the summer usually an hour is required twice per week. With drip irrigation there is very little evaporation which again conserves water.

Mulching the garden or landscape area will also reduce the amount of water needed to grow healthy plants. I use straw mulch (watch out for wheat that will germinate) and cypress mulch or cottonseed hulls in my landscape or bedding areas.

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