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Watering

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Watering

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/21/2011, 9:36 pm

Does anyone water their SFG according to Mel's instructions to ladle out a cup of sun-warmed water into a depression around each plant? Or has anyone tried the "old-fashioned" way with a hose or a sprinkler vs. Mel's way and with what result? Your thoughts?

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Re: Watering

Post  quiltbea on 4/21/2011, 9:42 pm

I water by the cup. I don't want the splash of hose water on my plants.

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Re: Watering

Post  dizzygardener on 4/21/2011, 10:10 pm

I wish I could water by the cup, but I don't have that kinda time.

I have a drip system set up that is doing a great job.

Here's a pic of it. It's not as pretty as some but...

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Re: Watering

Post  boffer on 4/21/2011, 10:28 pm

I admit to being old school, but watering 300+ squares a cup at a time...it's just not gonna happen. I'd love to have an auto sprinkler system like some on the forum have, but I change things around too often. I use three wands. One is a mister for seeds; one is general purpose; one is called a bubbler; it allows full flow of the hose but without the pressure, for quickly and thoroughly watering full size plants.


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Re: Watering

Post  camprn on 4/21/2011, 10:31 pm

I am also a HUGE fan of wand watering!!!It saves my back a lot of misery.
I covet those wands!!! I wish I was clever enough to make some like those! Wink

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Re: Watering

Post  Old Hippie on 4/21/2011, 10:43 pm

Buttaflie, I don't water with a cup but I do use water from my rainbarrels that is very warm later in the summer. It is barely above freezing right now though. I fill my watering can from the tap on the rain barrel. It takes me about 3/4 hour to get all my watering done. I do the hanging baskets and the tomatoes DAILY but the other parts of the garden only every other day.

I don't use the sprinkler because we are trying NOT to use city water. You can use the sprinkler but I like to do it by hand as it gives me a chance to keep track of what is happening in my garden. Some plants like tomatoes and cucs don't like water on their leaves and are more prone to disease if that is they are constantly watered that way. The other thing I have found is that once the plants get bigger, the leaves very often tend to keep the water from getting down in the soil by the roots. A lot of water just evaporates into the air and doesn't do the plant a lot of good. So I water intensely, at the base of the plants so they get the water where they need it and I am not wasting it.

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Re: Watering

Post  boffer on 4/21/2011, 10:47 pm

@camprn wrote:I am also a HUGE fan of wand watering!!!It saves my back a lot of misery.
I covet those wands!!! I wish I was clever enough to make some like those! Wink

Of course you are. I used copper because I happened to have it. All the same parts are available in PVC. Just cut and glue. You'll spend more time finding the parts on the shelves at HD than you will making them!

Look for adapters that go from garden hose to ½ inch pipe back to garden hose.

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Re: Watering

Post  staf74 on 4/21/2011, 11:55 pm

Gywnn,

I'm totally with you. A big part of installing rain barrels this spring was because of how "natures" water is just so much more compatible for plant growth. Its not just about getting things soaked but about how a plant uses available nutrients more efficiently when water comes in the form of rain. My black barrels also heat the water nicely, even this time of year !

Municipal water varies so much and also, in some places, comes complete with various chemicals, hardness and other such undesirables. I'm not knocking people here who use tap water. A good ole soaking from a hose in dry weather is clearly better than not. Its a very convenient supply and I've used it many times myself......its just that plants clearly benefit more in the long run from rainwater. My crop always seems to put on more of a growth spurt after a heavy rain than it does from a heavy hosing.

So I'm right there with you on a 30 minute complete garden watering cycle. Watering can and all every few days if it does not rain. Mulch keeps this cycle from being more often. I count a slow 5-10 seconds for each plant depending on size. Its more of a labor of love but I really don't mind at all. Besides, my wife happily obliges while I'm at work if I miss a morning watering.

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Re: Watering

Post  Old Hippie on 4/22/2011, 12:20 am

Labour of love........exactly. as well as therapy.

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Re: Watering

Post  shannon1 on 4/22/2011, 12:42 am

I water some containers by the cup and some a bucket at a time. Must water every thing once or twice a day for the toms in containers. It is so hot, dry and windy right now but we have rain in the forcast tomorrow. I need to keep the leaves bone dry here as since the air is soooooo humid we are extra prone to mildews. When the TTSFG is finaly done bucket and sm. watering can for the box. But I like doing it if it is not too hot. It gives me face time with my baby plants.

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Re: Watering

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/22/2011, 1:04 am

I am perhaps the laziest gardener ever! I grab a hose and spray water on. I don't care about splashing. I don't care about misting. I just give things a heavy dose of agua and let 'er rip. If I owned a fire hose, I suppose I'd hook up to the hydrant down the street and launch water over the roof into the backyard.....though I might not like the bill.

Yes, natural rainwater makes a HUGE difference. So, I do keep a small 5 gallon bucket filled in the sun so any chemicals can leech out....if they can in our water. I don't know, but I've covered this.....I don't really care that much. I would buy rain barrels, but don't want to spend the money on gutter catchers. Sure, I'd leave less of a "footprint" on this earth, but I'd rather take my kids to McDonald's 10 times on the savings of not buying barrels.

The beauty of our gardens is they are what we make them. Some people are more creative in areas. Some people are more "responsible" when it comes to Mother Earth. In short, I do my thing, you do yours.....when it comes to watering. It still grows me some veggies....yours will, too.

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Re: Watering

Post  middlemamma on 4/22/2011, 3:14 am

Last year I used a sprinkler and it worked fine.

This year hubby is putting in a system for me. He is a plumber by trade and is enjoying planning the monstrosity... Shocked

We are VERY lucky....the water to my backyard is all irrigation water from the river. I live in a farm district and it's not free...but may as well be. We pay $12 a month for all of the water we use, city water that goes to the house and the irrigation water we use from May to October. I know the farmers around us pay more because it does go up the more you use, but we have never gone over the allowable limit...I suspect because we are not watering fields of crops and livestock.

If we were not doing the system, I would use the sprinkler again. I also watered with a gentle sprayer when I just wanted to be out there in the garden. I didn't have any disease due to watering this way. I just don't have time to do the cup thing.

Maybe next year I will invest in rain barrels...I see the value in them. But we don't have gutters on the house, so we'd have to add those AND buy rain barrels. Just too much right now. Joe said he could hook some kind of something from the rain barrels to the watering system and it would be fine if I ever wanted to go that route.

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Re: Watering

Post  Barkie on 4/22/2011, 5:49 am

I'm old fashioned so I'm a believer in using whatever system suits your needs without undue spending, waste of resources or waste of time and energy. Here we pay for the house water supply by the litre, we have gutters and either have too much rain or are combating drought so rainwater from our barrels is our first choice and second choice is carting water from the village well.

Watering weapons of choice
- a plastic bottle for seedlings in pots and trays. I water into a tray to water from the bottom up or for older plants straight to the base. The idea is that pots and trays of young plants stand ready for being transplanted into wherever there is a gap.

- watering can to the base otherwise. I look for any pest or disease problems starting up at the same time.

Part of the garden will be SFG but the rest we are making into an ornamental kitchen garden with fruit and veg mixed in with shrubs, perennials and annuals so I'm thinking of buying a lance/wand as the area to water increases in size.

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Re: Watering

Post  staf74 on 4/22/2011, 8:50 am

BBG,

I posted in the rain barrel thread a couple of weeks ago and was mentioning that I was a huge "hose douser" also :!: I had been looking into rain barrels for a while because my roof is quite large and watching all that water pour away was such a shame. I won't hijack the thread as rain barrels have been discussed elsewhere but I guess it all links together somehow. The summer droughts can be brutal and our water is so expensive. A $200 monthly water bill in the summer just filling a couple of splash pools and trying to keep all the landscaping happy is easily done. We pay by 1000 gallon increments and its been a huge bone of contention at local town meetings. So my chief motivation here was moreso economic than philanthropic.

It was only on the suggestion of that thread to try craigslist that a local supplier just happened to be closeby and I just cut my gutter up some and re-attached the curved part. No extra parts!! Pics are posted on that thread if anyone is interested. Many people chimed in with some great ideas.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5785-rain-barrels?highlight=rain+barrels

In terms of footprint, I'm also sad to report that mine has gotten too big for its boots really. Like I LOVE to take really wasteful baths etc, so adding rain barrels on my part was no true investment in protecting mother earth, although perhaps every little helps. A true due diligence on ones lifestyle throws up all sorts of wasteful practices that I'm unavoidably guilty of....... like i'm not going to realistically give up air conditioning etc but without straying again too far from the topic; watering, what I'm trying to say is that people try so hard here to get a "leg up" and any type of advantage for their SFG crop that try not to forget that rainwater is a little like tap water on steroids for growth. I'm sure I will use my hose again, no question but I actually akin using rain water to the "normal" practices of vertically stringing tomatoes or trellising cucumbers: practices increasing yields. I just want MORE / BETTER veggies !!!!

I just wanted to clarify my last post a little here (and the reply was not all to BBG) because I'm not doing barrels as some kind of moral victory. Apologies is it sounded that way. Everyone will do what they can adapting to their unique circumstances. Happy watering Very Happy

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Re: Watering

Post  boffer on 4/22/2011, 9:36 am

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:... So, I do keep a small 5 gallon bucket filled...

Tell me again how that differs from a large 5 gallon bucket? Wink

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Re: Watering

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/22/2011, 9:49 am

@boffer wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:... So, I do keep a small 5 gallon bucket filled...

Tell me again how that differs from a large 5 gallon bucket? Wink

GEEZE!!! Have we nothing better to do, but then I caught it too. We are working on a bucke that has a pump on the side to "crank" it up to a 10 gallon size. (hubby's comment on this).

We here do it all, but I cannot leave my buckets filled very long, the bees drown, and we have a pond behind us and accross the road from us, so skeeters lay their eggs in them.

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Re: Watering

Post  boffer on 4/22/2011, 10:05 am

I figured that since BBG sold his wife to cover his SFG start up costs...

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Re: Watering

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/22/2011, 10:07 am

@boffer wrote:I figured that since BBG sold his wife to cover his SFG start up costs...
I was in Tractor Supply the other day and tried to get hubby to buy matching T-Shrits. Man's shirt said "will trade wife for tractor", Woman's said "will trade husband for tractor"....

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Re: Watering

Post  pelujilla on 4/22/2011, 10:59 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:
@boffer wrote:I figured that since BBG sold his wife to cover his SFG start up costs...
I was in Tractor Supply the other day and tried to get hubby to buy matching T-Shrits. Man's shirt said "will trade wife for tractor", Woman's said "will trade husband for tractor"....

lol! Ok since this thread is about watering (kind of)....am I overwatering? Suddenly there are little mushrooms growing in my sfg....is that a bad thing?!

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Re: Watering

Post  Old Hippie on 4/22/2011, 11:14 am

@boffer wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:... So, I do keep a small 5 gallon bucket filled...

Tell me again how that differs from a large 5 gallon bucket? Wink

Small five gallon bucket 640 ounces is a US one. Large one is an old Canadian one of 800 ounces. Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: Watering

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/22/2011, 11:29 am

@Old Hippie wrote:
@boffer wrote:
@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:... So, I do keep a small 5 gallon bucket filled...

Tell me again how that differs from a large 5 gallon bucket? Wink

Small five gallon bucket 640 ounces is a US one. Large one is an old Canadian one of 800 ounces. Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: Watering

Post  Miss M on 4/22/2011, 11:37 am

@pelujilla wrote:Ok since this thread is about watering (kind of)....am I overwatering? Suddenly there are little mushrooms growing in my sfg....is that a bad thing?!

The MM drains excess water (unless the bottom of your SFG is sealed or something). I'm guessing your mushrooms are growing on incompletely-composted wood chips or something like that from one of your composts.

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Re: Watering

Post  boffer on 4/22/2011, 11:38 am

@pelujilla wrote: Ok since this thread is about watering (kind of)....am I overwatering? Suddenly there are little mushrooms growing in my sfg....is that a bad thing?!

In my neck of the woods, it would be unusual to not see mushrooms this time of year, and they are not a problem. But you southerners have some weird stuff going on with your climate that's totally foreign to me, so you probably better wait for advice on your mushrooms from a local.

As long as you have some drainage at the bottom of your box, you don't have to worry about over-watering.






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Re: Watering

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/22/2011, 11:49 am

Cannot overwater an SFG if it's built "by the book." If it's not built 100% SFG, I cannot say...and won't. That's why we trumpet the fundamentals here often times. There are simply differences we can't attest to unless things are done the same way.....by the book.

OK, diatribe over. Pages 138-9 talk about overwatering.

The mushrooms are likely some decomposing matter in the compost that picked up mushroom spores. Then, the air and water requirements meshed and whammo, you have mushrooms.

Now, if you had algae or moss, I would say you have water and air circulation issues, but again, you can't overwater MM, so it's not a big deal in the long run.

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Re: Watering

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/22/2011, 11:49 am

I get them, I pinch them, and toss them, depending on what type of shroom they are, JUST KIDDING. No worries, it's just the compost doing it's job.

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Re: Watering

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