5 Steps to Watering Your Garden
by Todd Rogers
With the hot summer months upon us you need to keep your plants hydrated. The following are some steps to keep ahead of the heat.
Applying wood chips or straw over you plants will keep weeds out and prevent water from evaporating as quickly. If you already have weeds established you can lay down some newspaper first to prevent them from growing through.
The trusty watering can is a easy and inexpensive way to water you plants. You can even create your own watering can from an old orange juice container or milk jug. The important part is to allow the water to gently stream out and be absorbed by the soil. Water the base/roots of your plants and not the leaves whenever possible. Watering the leaves can lead to increased evaporation and possibly disease.
Using a garden hose and nozzle is a quick and easy way to water your plants. Most gardens will have a garden hose available to use. Water the base of your plants and not the leaves whenever possible. Water until the plant has had a chance to adsorb the water. Watering only the surface layer will not benefit plants as much as a deep watering that reaches the roots.
The soaker house is relatively inexpensive and efficient way to water your garden. The water is slowly released so it soaks down deep into the soil and can be used by your plants in the most efficient manner. It takes time to water with this method so remembering to turn the water on and off is important. This can be tricky. Watering timers is an alternative to solve this problem. They can be programmed to turn on and off at your desired schedule.
Drip irrigation is the most efficient way to water your garden. It can target only the plants you want to water (unlike a soaker hose). You can adjust the rate you wish to water you garden based on the gallons per hour that you choose to setup in your system. You can buy expensive drip systems sold by Rain Bird, DIG and others or design your own. With the basic idea of small holes or emitters create your own unique solution!