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How often do you water?

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How often do you water?

Post  staciz on 6/3/2010, 10:03 am

I feel like I'm either overwatering or not watering enough!

If it helps, I have:

snap peas

2nd question: HOW do you water?? I've tried a watering can and maybe it was just a cheap one, but I hated that. Took way too long and hurt my back. So, now I'm using the hose...BARELY turned on and I hold it close the ground of each plant. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning my new growth though...the soil ends up covering my new lettuce/basil/etc and when I'm done watering, I have to uncover with my hands.


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Re: How often do you water?

Post  PeggyC on 6/3/2010, 10:23 am

last year I used a sprinkler, but that had uneven coverage and moving the hoses all the time was a pain. I read in the SFG book about using a scoop of water (page 138-139). I like that idea.

Right now I rarely get out there to look at the garden before noon, so water with a watering can while I'm out there. I am 5'2" and wish my beds were 3x4 or 3x3 because getting the watering can aimed at the end of my arm is kinda hard without stepping on the edges of the box.

I know, I know, watering at noon is not smart, but it's better than not watering at all....

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Re: How often do you water?

Post  Colin.B on 6/3/2010, 10:41 am

I'm still in the planning stages of my SFG ,but if i read Mels book correctly he advises watering with a cup or something like that so you can directly concentrate your watering to the root area and if you've done the impression in the area too i imagine this helps direct it down the roots .

As for how often i'd say a little often due to the properties of Mels mix and over watering isn't a problem by all accounts because it only holds what it needs . My plan when i finally get the garden cleared is to follow Mels instructtion but i'm also going to use some form of gravity feed drip irrigation to suppliment watering ,that ideas in the planning stages right now .

Another idea i like is the soaker hose on timer ,but theres one thing thats putting me off this basically i want to spend timein the garden ,i dont want to quickly rush in water and then leave i want to take time to appreciate the fruits of my labours and maybe sit a while .So if i use the soaker method then maybe that will iliminate this option ,but if i'm wrong please soaker hose guys let me know .

I'm not sure on this ,but while looking on here one of the guys mentions how wet he likes to keep his beds i seem to remember 70% it's in a video about huge long beds along his drive . He uses a moisture meter and auto valve to make sure his beds are at the correct level at all times . Again i could be wrong here cos i was blown away by the stuff i've found on here but i'd say it's worth finding and having a watch . Anyways i'm sure the guys on here will give you the best advice you need and far better than my ramblings lol so good luck with the garden


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Re: How often do you water?

Post  Mikesgardn on 6/3/2010, 11:33 am

I use a hose with an adjustable nozzle that has a "shower" setting that mimics rainfall. I don't have time to water the plants just at the roots, so I spray the entire garden, leaves and all. In the summer, I have to do this twice a day.

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Re: How often do you water?

Post  Colin.B on 6/3/2010, 11:40 am

mike my original idea worked around this way ,basically i was either going to go over the top centre to centre or make hoops and connect them all together to water could run through them at set intervals i planned to fit a shower head type fitting and set them on timers so that it watered the whole area .Not sure what the guys here will thing as it would have watered the whole area rather than the roots ,but again i planned to use this as another option for emergencies .

I'd be interested to know how the average SFGer sorts out watering if say they cant be there , yes we all have friends etc to do it ,but in some cases this could be unavailable so an aut method would be good i guess .I may still build this one day ,but i need to learn a lot before i do i think


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Re: How often do you water?

Post  castoral on 6/3/2010, 12:21 pm

I went with the concept that you couldn't over water since that is supposed to be one of the properties of the Mel's Mix. Rain here is also very unpredictable (where isn't it, right?) so I never count on it raining like they say. So if it didn't rain that day, I go out and water at night. Ideally, I'd love a rain barrel, but considering I don't and time is short, I just take my hose out and use the soaker setting on the nozzel and spray it all down. Also, pretty much every day my kids play with water outside and get a kick out of watering the plants when they are done with the pool water, so this gets done to some plants and not to others, and sometimes they'll just dump an entire bucket on one plant and run away. At first I freaked, thinking they'd kill everything, but something must be working because our plants have been going CRAZY! Even the stuff I planted just the Sunday before Memorial Day, went from seed to a really good size seedling in less than a week! Even the seeds I just threw in the landscape beds between our other plants! Must be something I'm doing, right?


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Re: How often do you water?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/3/2010, 1:03 pm

It depends, but I try to water if I don't get an inch of rain a week.

My tomato plants I will sometimes let slide. They seem to like to dry out between waterings.

I am using soaker hoses that are buried. This eliminates water on leaves which can lead to fungus issues (of which I had lots last year). I sometimes add a little Miracle Grow to a bottle at the beginning of the hoses.

Some plants with shallow roots (lettuce, radishes) I will give a drink with an above ground hose.

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Re: How often do you water?

Post  LaFee on 6/3/2010, 6:05 pm

I water when the top looks dry and when the soil no longer feels moist when I stick my finger in the soil to see how it feels (an inch or so below the surface).

Due to some knee and back problems, and my SFG being a long way from the back door (for many reasons) carrying a watering can back and forth really isn't an option, so I use the shower setting on my hose sprayer, too...and try to do it in the morning if I can, but sometimes it's afternoon or evening before I can get out there.

I have a girlfriend who has agreed to look after my garden while I'm on vacation...in return, she gets to keep whatever ripens while I'm gone. We both think that's a pretty fair trade.


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Re: How often do you water?

Post  camprn on 6/3/2010, 7:52 pm

Until next payday when I can buy a rain barrel or 2, I am using hose, town water and a watering wand that looks something like this

photo of gardening-guy.com

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Re: How often do you water?

Post  Cropper2 on 6/3/2010, 8:39 pm

I've been using a Dripworks system with 1/4" drip line with holes every 6 inches and that is on a timer attached to the hose bib. I have them go off just before dawn each morning for about 10 minutes. That suits just fine until the dog days of summer, when I set it to go off once before dawn, then again about 2p in the afternoon. Because the drip line sits just on the surface of the box (and, in some cases, is buried in the Mel's Mix) the water goes directly to the roots of the plant. Unlike soaker hose, I've never had a problem with the 1/4" tubing disintegrating, although I did have a squirrel munch through one once.


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Re: How often do you water?

Post  trukrebew on 6/3/2010, 10:45 pm

Colin.B, You are thinking of timwardell's garden set-up he talks about in this thread: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/general-sfg-talk-f5/soaker-hoses-barred-at-the-bottom-does-this-work-t1163.htm#10721
There is a link to the video there, also.

I try to follow Mel's advice and hand water using a cup every morning or noon. Actually, it's a clear plastic dome from a stack of 50 CD-R's. It doubles as a cloche at night. I currently have about 60 squares planted and including 2-3 trips to the spigot (15' away) to fill the transport jug (i.e. watering can), the whole watering process takes about 20 minutes. That includes a quick inspection, some light weeding and even some talking to the plants!

Somedays I will just pour straight from the can so I'm not late for work, but I usually stick with the cup. This is also the easiest way for my 3-year old to help without dousing the Mel's Mix away or spilling the entire jug.

What I like is that I am not needlessly watering the bare spots in my squares. Until the plants fill in more to provide shade, this is a great way to combat weed growth. When those bare spots get repeatedly wet, such as with a broad sprinkler, it germinates weed seeds that are hiding in the compost or have been carried in by wind, bird, or critter. Control your water and you'll control your weeds. At least that's what seems to be working for me ....and my pint-sized helper.

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