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watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

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watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  retired member 2 on 4/23/2011, 5:10 pm

I just came in from watering my 3 SFG by the cup method. Don't like it! Tooooo slow. How many do this? If you don't what do you do? And what is a good mulch to help hold in moisture? My plants get zero shade from noon til the sun goes down, so I'm thinking a little mulch might be in order.

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  walshevak on 4/23/2011, 5:21 pm

If I had my druthers, I'd set up a drip irrigation system. But since I don't, I use a wand down under the plants when I'm home and a sprinkler on a timer when I'm out of town.

A cheap stake sprinkler stuck into a 3/4" pvc pipe set over a piece of rebar.


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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  staf74 on 4/23/2011, 5:22 pm

Deffo check out this thread.....

its basically what you are asking with lots of replies....


I mulch using simple pine bark nuggets but I will remove carefully at the end of the season or as they break down. Don't want them to interfere with pH as they decompose.

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  camprn on 4/23/2011, 5:23 pm

Nope, wont do the cup method. I use a watering wand on a hose. This gives me the ability to control where and how much water goes into the garden. I usually put the end of the wand right down near the soil surface to avoid watering the foliage and reduce splashing.
If I need mulch, I topdress with compost that isn't totally broken down yet. It seems to do the trick.
Check this link ~~~>Watering


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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  fiddleman on 4/23/2011, 11:16 pm

I do the cup method on new transplants, and for a while afterwards. If we haven't gotten enough rain to keep the whole box somewhat moist I will water with a wand. But usually I do use a cup... a pretty big cup though. (Think Slurpee size) One 4x4 square will use a full 5 gallon bucket.

Up until this year I had a bucket out there for each of the boxes (5- 4x4 squares) plus one extra one in case one of the squares needed a bit more water for some reason. I filled the buckets up when done from the hose so the water would be just right when I got out of work the next day for another drink. If it was really hot, (not all that often in Michigan) then I will soak the garden well to allow the plants to tolerate it. This year I have added the equivalent of 2 extra boxes... so I doubt I will be taking it so slow this year. (4 4x4's and 1 4 x 12) Depends on the weather combination - heat and rain - as to what the demands of the garden will be.

I've been checking on some rain barrels lately... someone on Craiglist has food grade barrels for $15. I figure on going over there soon to pick up a couple three. Then I can use the rain water, rather than the hose to fill the buckets.

I don't mind mosey-ing around in the garden, checking on the plants, pulling a few weeds, munching on some lettuce, listening to the birds, or even talking with the wife. If it takes 15 minutes, well, I figure it's a better 15 minutes than sitting in front of the TV. Wink


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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  CindiLou on 4/23/2011, 11:22 pm

I did the cup method last year. I have a rain barrel right there so I didn't have to keep buckets of water ready. If it was really dry I used my sprinkler water jug. I do try to water UNDER the leaves though. I will probable do the same thing this year because being out in the garden is so peaceful for me. And I can keep good check on my plant babies! And my 4yr old grandson waters and waters and then says he needs to water some more! rofl... so watering is fun at my house.

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  jimmy cee on 5/16/2013, 11:19 pm

After completing my first SFG bed, I am enjoying watering by hand and with a cup.
As Mel indicates in his book..." doing this put one in touch with the plants "
I suppose the little child in me has come out for I love running my hands down into the mix, feeling it's texture..
jimmy cee

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  johnsonjlj on 5/17/2013, 5:41 am

This is my second spring with a SFG and, for the first 6 months or so last year, watered using the cup method. Easier to do when you only have two 4'x16' boxes. Then we expanded and added a 4'x12'. Then we used sprinklers on timers, but had a huge problem with powdery mildew. So in January we installed a drip irrigation system on timers using T tape from Drip Works. LOVE IT!!!!! Especially since we expanded again and have about 350 sq ft worth of garden space now.

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  bnoles on 5/17/2013, 7:17 am

No cup and water bucket here, especially when the temps start rising here in GA. I spend 2 minutes letting the grid do the work and then I can move on.

Picture taken back in March


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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/17/2013, 8:15 am

bnoles, I love your watering grid. How does it work and how do you make one?

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  mschaef on 5/17/2013, 11:28 am

I actually do the cup and bucket method but its really my kids that do the watering. They love it!! They are 6 and 2 and love to go get the cup and water each square lifting the leaves and watering. It takes them about 15-20 mins. if they stay on task normally get side track by the vegs they see and want to nibble or a bug that they have to watch.

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Re: watering by the cup and ?'s about mulch

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/17/2013, 8:08 pm

I have 5 gal buckets to evaporate hose water in, then use a 2 cup measuring cup to water each seedling. For direct planted seeds I use my purple 2 gal watering can. As the plants get bigger and the air gets hotter, and I get tired of filling the tiny cup and or the watering can, I switch to the hose with a wand on the end in an attempt to stay under the leaves.

I use it all. I give up!


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