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Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

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Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Cincinnati on 4/17/2012, 11:19 am

I live in a subdivision in Zone 9. It's already in the 80's here during the day. I have Three 4x4 SQFT boxes, and three 2x4 boxes, plus two 4x4 areas in the ground. I also have 14 Earthboxes. I am using about 5 gallons of water in each 4x4 per day. I am investing 90-120 minutes watering and refilling the water buckets each day. I don't go directly from the hose because of the chlorine and other stuff big bother adds to their water supply. So I fill nine 5 gallon buckets and let the water sit 12-24 hours so as much of the bad stuff as possible can evaporate. It takes 20 minutes to refill the buckets. Then I fill a watering can using a pitcher to dip out of each bucket. This is rapidly sucking the fun out of gardening. I want to add few more 4x4 beds, but am not excited about the work of watering like this.

I know Mel said to keep a 5 gallon can close by and add a dipper of water per square as required. Perhaps flooding a square from a ladle or cup is much faster than sprinkling it from a watering can even though you are repeatedly dipping back into the bucket.

How much watering are you doing in a 4x4 area? How are you doing it? How often?


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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  camprn on 4/17/2012, 11:34 am

A deep mulch can be your best friend, especially in your area of the country! I don't do the sun warmed watering by hand, it's too much work. I use the hose and a wand. Found this on the web.
Mulching for Dummies: Understanding the benefits of mulching




Last edited by camprn on 4/17/2012, 4:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Lindacol on 4/17/2012, 12:53 pm

I am also zone 9, actually 9b but in southern CA. I have drip irrigation set up on most of my beds. You can get fillters that fit on a hose to get rid of most of the nasties. This has just been discussed in another topic recently. They are available for RVs and I understand they are not expensive.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/17/2012, 1:31 pm

I think you need more buckets or containers.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Hoggar on 4/17/2012, 1:39 pm

I use drip irrigation this is my setup PVC Watering Grid.

it waters 10 min twice a day whether I'm home or not.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  littlejo on 4/17/2012, 1:54 pm

I had a row garden in the city when I was much younger and the chem. in the city water did not bother the plants, but the weeding/hoeing bothered me, or you could check out the filters.

Jo

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  littlesapphire on 4/17/2012, 2:03 pm

I really like the suggestion of drip irrigation with a filter on the hose. Sounds like the solution for you! As for me, daily watering becomes a welcome ritual that lets me spend more time with my plants Very Happy

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Chlorine

Post  CharlesB on 4/17/2012, 3:18 pm

No need to let the water sit around, the soil neutralizes the chlorine in it.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1548.html

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  elliephant on 4/17/2012, 4:12 pm

Drip irrigation, definitely! I finally got mine set up this year and can see already that it's going to make all the difference in the world as far as keeping my garden going through the summer. Already in the 90s here.

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How much

Post  CharlesB on 4/17/2012, 5:06 pm

@elliephant wrote:Drip irrigation, definitely! I finally got mine set up this year and can see already that it's going to make all the difference in the world as far as keeping my garden going through the summer. Already in the 90s here.

When doing drip irrigation what would you say your watering schedule is like? For example in a watering how long would the water be on for? How many days a week do you think you water?

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Hoggar on 4/17/2012, 5:19 pm

Originally I was watering for 20-30 min once a day but I was getting
blossom rot on my tomatoes and bell peppers when I went to 10min
twice a day it solved the problem.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  elliephant on 4/17/2012, 5:30 pm

I'm just trying to figure it out as I go as this is new to me and I have a tendency to turn on the water and get distracted. A timer would help, but is not in the budget right now. I have shut off valves for each bed, and I think I'm going to need to start using them, as I have 2 beds that need water sooner than the others.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Lindacol on 4/17/2012, 5:46 pm

Depends on how hot & dry it is. Last year I set the timer for about 15-20 mins daily in the morning, then if it was really hot I manually turned it on for a few mins in the evening. My system has all 1/2 gph emitters in line every 12".

I am finding that the tabletops that have been installed in the last few months start dripping if I leave it on for more than about 15 mins.

We are in a very arid area and are having drought conditions. Our total rainfall this year is about 5 inches, less than half of normal.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Chopper on 4/17/2012, 5:48 pm

I agree with a lot said here. I have water I hate drinking but never had a problem with the garden, except for hard water spots on the plants.

An automatic system would be your best friend. I set mine for early early morning and sometimes hand watered via hose at end of day if they were especially stressed. We cannot pretend veggies are low water plants. Mad

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  plantoid on 4/17/2012, 7:23 pm

I think Mel suggests to cut down on the labour perhaps buy yourself a cheapie moisture metre probe and only water the plants that are heading to a dry reading with a cup of water to each plants base .. don't water tthe whole square or the whole bed ..

It's in pages 137 to 141 of the ANSFG book 2006 edition.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  TejasTerry on 4/17/2012, 11:33 pm

I installed my drip irrigation system last week and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I bought it at Lowe's..."Mr. Landscaper" brand for vegetable gardens. If you go to their website at
http://secure.misterlandscaper.com it has all these great how-to videos. I watched them a few times and got to work. I have a timer installed, and am watering every other day right now for an hour. I will wait a few more weeks and adjust that if needed. Their timer is also more adjustable than some of the other timers out there.

I was getting frustrated with all the hand watering I was having to do, so this was a great relief when I got it installed, and the plants are looking better too. I can really see a difference. As was mentioned already, I also plan to install a water filter when I get around to it.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  givvmistamps on 4/18/2012, 3:26 am

I have a small outdoor water filter that attached to the hose bib, then the hose attached to the other end of it. It cost about $12 at Home Depot. You could attach a timer with that and set up a drip irrigation system. Filters go up in cost from there. Just make sure you know whether the water company is using chlorine or chloramines to treat the water. Chlorine will dissipate, chloramines won't. If they use chloramines, you'll want a different filter. I'm fortunate to have a well for the garden, so my problem is an extreme amount of iron and sulfur, so I'm mostly filtering that nasty rotting egg stench.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/18/2012, 4:12 am

givvmistamps what is the water filter called that you attach to the hose bib?

everytime i try and find a filter like that at our homeD they say they dont know what im talking about......LOL....i need one to filter the cholorine out of our city water

thanks

rose

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  givvmistamps on 4/18/2012, 5:34 am

Sadly, the box got thrown away so I no longer have the name. Replacement filters have to be ordered directly from the manufacturers, too, so that'll cause problems! I just did a search on the HD app on my phone; it's called a Power Care Garden Hose Inlet Filter, model AP31076. It says it's to catch debris, for use with pressure washers. You'll want to look at the specs to make sure it's what you're looking for.

I found it in the section where all the garden tools are. Most filters are in the plumbing section, but those are for indoors.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Cincinnati on 4/18/2012, 8:13 am

@Hoggar wrote:Originally I was watering for 20-30 min once a day but I was getting
blossom rot on my tomatoes and bell peppers when I went to 10min
twice a day it solved the problem.

That is the first time I've heard BER being tied to frequency of watering.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/18/2012, 8:17 am

@Cincinnati wrote:
@Hoggar wrote:Originally I was watering for 20-30 min once a day but I was getting
blossom rot on my tomatoes and bell peppers when I went to 10min
twice a day it solved the problem.

That is the first time I've heard BER being tied to frequency of watering.

Same with me

Hey Hoggar.....how long did it take the tomato plants to shake off blossom end rot?

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/18/2012, 8:50 am

@Cincinnati wrote:
@Hoggar wrote:Originally I was watering for 20-30 min once a day but I was getting
blossom rot on my tomatoes and bell peppers when I went to 10min
twice a day it solved the problem.

That is the first time I've heard BER being tied to frequency of watering.

Interesting. I've read on several sites that consistent watering was one of the best methods to control BER (never thought once a day was inconsistent, though).

As far as drip irrigation goes, the home improvement stores are expensive. I've bought lots of stuff from The Drip Store www.dripirrigation.com I really like the fact that the shipping is real cheap, $2 or so for the first pound and you can order exactly what you want (5 of this, 3 of that, etc.) It takes a lot of emitters and connectors and accessories to exceed one pound.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  No_Such_Reality on 4/18/2012, 11:40 am

If you install drip, plan it carefully and make sure you have manual control override in easy reach. I've struggled with mine not having adequate coverage and it's easy to not know why with drip. Due to poor soil mix, I've been plagued with dryness. The kind of dryness that actively repels water. It'll look wet, the whole top of the bed will be wet, but dig down an inch and it is bone dry and all the water is cycling down a few wet channels. The plants struggle and die and a heat wave.

It's April, today is Tuesday and we had an inch and half of rain on Saturday with more Thursday of last week. It was beautiful Sunday 75 and sunny. Monday and Tuesday upper-80s and blazing sun. Because of the rain, I turned off the automated sprinkler, went out last night to check the bed, half of it was dead from the heat. Dug down and found the dryness issue again.

Now I'm doing a late start over. Going to mix more vermiculite in first though. And a major soaking last night and another planned tonight.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  Hoggar on 4/18/2012, 2:29 pm

The BER stopped almost as soon as I changed the watering schedule
the ones that already had signs of it stopped getting worse and the
rest stopped developing it. I didn't have any more issues for the rest
of the year. I got the info from here. "Identifying and Controlling Blossom End Rot"

Here is a quote.
more often it is the result of erratic watering. When the plant is
allowed to get too dry, or given too much water over a period of time.

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

Post  jkahn2eb on 4/18/2012, 2:50 pm

Just finished laying and glueing pvc. Will get timer hooked up friday and drip lines

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Re: Watering time is sucking the fun out of gardening.

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