How you water and how much you water is going to depend on where you live. What you use to water your garden…is wide open. Watering cans, fan nozzles, soaker hose, drip irrigation…the options are nearly endless. But…
It is easier to revive a dried out plant than dry out an overwatered plant suffering from root-rot.
When thinking water, think water conservation. Mulching is the best option to both feed your soil and maintain good soil moisture. Mulch will also serve to cool the soil temperature. The more organic matter you have in your soil, the better it holds water and the less you will have to use.
Your vegetables want good, even moisture throughout the growing season. One of the biggest problems I faced when I started my garden was being consistent with the watering. One day I’d flood them, and the next three days they’d be dry. This only hurts your plants and reduces production.
Photo courtesy of click at morgueFile.com.
How do you water?
When you water, water deeply. Don’t run out there in the morning and give them a light spray, take some time to make sure the soil is wet down to about 8 inches so that the roots push down and out. This will give them a better chance to weather dry periods and will help the access nutrients found deeper down.
When do you water?
The best time to water is early morning or late evening. Water applied during the middle of the day will be mostly lost to evaporation. Also, try to avoid getting the leaves of the plants wet. This could cause diseases, molds and other unpleasantness.
All this adds up to a good drip irrigation system. You don’t have to go this route, but my watering problems cleared up nicely once I landed a drip system. This method allows you to get water right to the plant effectively and efficiently with little evaporation. You can even get a timer so that, if you are out of town or forget to water, there is no problem!