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How do YOU water?

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How do YOU water?

Post  elliephant on 9/3/2010, 2:34 pm

I'm curious how many of us do the "dip a cup into a sun-warmed bucket of water" method of water and what other ways you have found for watering your SFG.

This spring we had great success with a couple of 5 gallon buckets near the beds and old sippy cups that had lost their lids that we kept outside just for that purpose. But as the summer went on that didn't seem like enough water and I took to dumping buckets of water, but that wasn't good in terms of soil splash. It was just too dang hot to stay outside long enough to figure out anything better, though. (Still is, which is why I'm indoors on the computer, planning for the fall when I really want to be out there planting it!)

What works for you? How do you like to water your SFG?

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  martha on 9/3/2010, 2:54 pm

while the plants were little I used the cup of sun-warmed water method. With my 70+ tomato plants and all the other miscellany, it was a great excuse to be outside! As the plants got bigger, I have great big buckets outside. Since I garden at the restaurant, I dump all the leftover ice water, and some of the cooking water, into the buckets. Then I use a wine bucket - probably holds about 1 1/2 gallons, and used that instead of a small scoop. I often supplemented water by filling the tubs from the hose, and using the water the next day.

And, call me crazy (everyone else does!) but I put a small board in the water so I don't find any drowned chippies or squirrels. I hate it when that happens! So I don't know if it is coincidence, but I haven't found any victims yet this year.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  pattipan on 9/3/2010, 3:00 pm


My SFG is not that far our house, so this is what works for us...
I have two 2-gallon plastic watering cans. I fill one with the hose from our rain barrel (when we actually have enough rain!) or from hose hookup from the house. Then I turn down the hose about half way and put it in can #2. By the time I empty the first watering can in the SFG, #2 is about full. One watering can is just about right for one 4 x 4 box, but sometimes it's more or less. It takes about 14 cans/28 gallons total to water our garden. Usually my hubby helps me, but even when I do it by myself, it doesn't take that long.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 9/3/2010, 3:12 pm

I have a 30 gal black garbage can by the garden. Fill it with the hose one day (either from the rainwater tank when it has any, other times from the city water), and dip out with a bucket the next. That way mosquito lavae doesn't have a chance to develop, but the chlorine in the city water evaporates out. But lately, due to 100F+ temps, I've been using a hand-held sprinkler early in the morning as it's been too hot even then to be outside for very long.
Weather broke last night!!! So I'm back to the bucket method. Hurrah!!!

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  martha on 9/3/2010, 3:27 pm

I'm thinking you know hot like we here in New England don't know hot.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  elliephant on 9/3/2010, 3:59 pm

belfrybat wrote:.
Weather broke last night!!! So I'm back to the bucket method. Hurrah!!!

I was just out braving the heat to put up a new trellis and it suddenly got "cool." The sun went behind big black rain clouds that were rolling in and we're actually getting some rain! It's a nice reminder that this weather WILL end and it will not be torture to be outside forever. I remember in the spring that the kids would want to play out there I was visiting my garden several times a day and would run out of things to do! I've still got another month before any real break in the weather, but this is also our wettest month, so there will be more afternoons like this one. Very Happy

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  boffer on 9/3/2010, 4:06 pm

One of my beds has had a soil heating cable in it for a couple years. The warm soil is wonderful for germinating seeds but once they become seedlings, I don't notice any advantage over a non-heated box. So I've given up on the idea of sun kissed warm water.

The cute, colorful, and cheap watering wands don't hold up to the heavy handedness of my wife and I, so I started making my own years ago. Here's my favorites-two have old shower heads on them. The long ones are about 4 feet long, and the short one is 20 inches.




I love the thing that looks like a small engine muffler. They call it a diffuser. Water comes out of it at the same rate as having no end on the hose at all, but there is almost no pressure to disturb plants and soil. Once the plants are established, it's perfect to thoroughly saturate the MM in a minimum amount of time.

I think they called the other a 'sunflower' shower head when it was new. I put an inline brass shut off on the hose end to control flow, and it is just as gentle as can be.



After all the nozzles I've tried over the years, I still keep coming back to the basic brass nozzle-cheap and nearly indestructible. Match it with the brass shut off valve, and it can't be beat. All my nozzles have red or yellow tape on them for when they get dropped in the weeds or over grown beds-easier to find.


I'm glad I have time to water by hand. But I've been paying attention to what folks are doing with automated irrigation. I predict I'll be installing some in a year or two; I just haven't decided which method I want to use.





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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  camprn on 9/3/2010, 4:19 pm

SWEET! Shower Smiley Pictures, Images and Photos
I also always use a wand for watering directly to the soil.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  acara on 9/3/2010, 4:26 pm

Wife and kids are bad about grabbing an ice cold bottled water, but then not finishing it, because it got "warm". They also take a bottle to bed with them (in case they get thirsty during the night?), take a sip before bed ... but then don't finish it in the morning (because it's warm Mad )

I got tired of tossing the accumualted water bottles off the nightstands every morning (7/8ths full) .... so now I grab them off the nightstands & around the house every morning and water the plants with them.

Plants get room temperature purified spring water, lovingly applied by hand every morning..... wife/daughter don't get groused at by me for being picky and wasting stuff ... daddy doesn't feel as grumpy about buying a pallet of water at Sam's Club every week and watching it go to waste. ....

Everyones' happy ......

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Megan on 9/3/2010, 6:30 pm

I really wanted to water by hand and religiously re-filled my 2-gallon watering can to air out and warm up when I was done using it. That worked fine during germination and early growth, but after that it got old REAL quick, especially as I'd run out of water and have to refill, etc. And the sprinkle-sprinkle sprinkle took forever. (Okay, not that long, but I've been used to an "out the door" schedule in the mornings and an extra 20 minutes out of my morning was not a good thing!)

I really wanted a rain barrel, but the only place for it would be in my front yard, where my SFGs are it. The HOA's been fine with the garden but they are extremely fussy about messing with downspouts, so that was out.

So, I thought I'd use the hose (LOVE your watering wands, Boffer!) but since I'm using landscaping timbers instead of 2x6's, the hose had a tendency to travel over the boxes instead of around them, despite my attempting to put in hose guides. (Had it been my back yard, I'd have rammed in some 4-ft rebar as hose guides and been done with it!!)

I turned to a buried misting / dripper system, and I have to say it really saved the day. It was easy to install (required only scissors to cut the tubing, plus my shovel to trench a little into the mulch). Basic kit cost was just over $30. I got some extra parts and pieces to hug the lines closer to the SFGs and add drippers in my landscaping which brought it up to a little over $50-ish. (I split the cost of some additional tubing with a friend.) Didn't buy the timer, I'd already blown the budget on other things plus I found that going out to turn it on and then back off again gave me the opportunity to wander about and spend a few minutes of quality time with my plants each day.

I'm really glad I got the misting system. Given how my plants have grown, it would be impossible to use the hose now. I water once day in the morning (unless it's raining/rain expected, or soil seems neutral to damp enough already) and during the intense heat, twice a day. 10-30 minutes per watering. Right now I'm at 20 minutes in the morning, 10-15 when I get home from work. It adds $15-$20 a month to the water bill. (All the heads I put in are low-flow and can be adjusted from 0 to 10 gal/hr.) It's had a huge effect on my landscaping plants; we're the only folks on the street with some color this summer... aside from the rampicante flowers.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  camprn on 9/3/2010, 6:55 pm

@Megan wrote:... aside from the rampicante flowers.
affraid

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Icemaiden on 9/3/2010, 7:00 pm

Sunwarmed water is kind of rare here Very Happy I used a watering can per 4 x 4 and filled it with a mixture of cold and hot tap water. Our cold water is clean and not chlorinated, and the hot water is geothermal but doesn't seem to hurt the plants. Later in the summer, when the plants were stronger, I sometimes put the sprinkler on to soak things properly.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Megan on 9/3/2010, 7:26 pm

@camprn wrote:
@Megan wrote:... aside from the rampicante flowers.
affraid

Plenty of yellow in our yard!!! Very Happy

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Old Hippie on 9/3/2010, 7:37 pm

My husband made four rain barrels out of 45 gallon plastic drums that he got from the hospital where he works. They were from laundry soap and destined for the local landfill before he scooped them. Our house is less than 900 sq. ft. and we collect all the rainwater from our roof. It is amazing how quick those barrels fill up and also amazing how long it lasts. At the back of the house, close to the garden we have linked two barrels side by side with a tap on one. Another at the front of the house by the tomato planter also has a tap. The water warms up in these and I use a one gallon watering can to do most of my watering. It takes about three watering cans of water to water an entire 4'x4' block. Most of the time I water at least every other day or if it is very warm, I will water every day. The tomatoes and my flower pots in the front yard get watered every single day with warm water from the front rainbarrel. The flower beds get it every other day. I have six tomato plants out front and they each get 1/2 to 1 gal of water every day. It takes me about an hour to water all my potted plants, flower beds and the garden. The fourth rainbarrel has a soaker hose on it and goes directly to a row of cedars and keeps them watered. I love having the rainbarrels. I rarely use city water on the garden although I do use it on the lawn and on the potato patch.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Megan on 9/3/2010, 7:39 pm

I am soooo jealous of your rain barrels!

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  elliephant on 9/3/2010, 9:39 pm

Love reading all of your replys! So interesting to read what each of us have found to work.

And I think posting about water has been good luck...we had a magnificant thunderstorm this evening! This is the first real rain we've had since the rains surrounding Alex.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  sceleste54 on 9/5/2010, 12:11 pm

Me too !! That is the next item on my aquire list unless my nosey homeowners assoc prevents me. DH kindly built my two beds with drip hose irrigation. I've only had to use it three times since we got so much rain this summer, but if I do need to water I can just turn on the hose and let 'er drip. Very Happy

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  NAR56 on 9/5/2010, 12:25 pm

I used to use a 55 gallon rain barrel that I used with a 2 gal watering can, but I just scored a free 250 Gallon plastic tank that held soap. I am in the process of cleaning it and installing the fittings for watering using a hose and watering wand. This year we have gotten more rain than last year which was much drier. I just think that the plant really respond better to the rain water than my city water.

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Re: How do YOU water?

Post  Furbalsmom on 9/5/2010, 2:56 pm

Laid out soaker hoses every foot up and down my 25 X 7 gardening area. With my 2 ft wide walkway down the almost middle, I have one 2 ft by 25 ft garden and one 3 ft by 25 ft garden.
2 - 75 foot soaker hoses from Wal-Mart totaled $30.00 and cover the whole planting area.
Just turn those puppies on for a while in the morning and even with all of our wind, rarely need to run them a second time during the day.
However, when I plant new seeds, I do water by hand to make sure the top of the soil stays moist until the seeds germinate.

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