Smart Irrigation Month-Watering in the Garden

Garden NutStarred Page By Garden Nut, 22nd Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Watering

July is Smart Irrigation Month; making this a good time to discuss the irrigation of our gardens and flowerbeds. As it is an exceedingly hot summer with temperatures in many places above normal, watering techniques may be somewhat different than those to which we have become accustomed.

Proper Watering Key to a Great Garden

To maintain those gorgeous flowerbeds and flourishing vegetable gardens we have worked so hard to install, correct watering is essential. Irrigation is a personal element, as no two gardens are exactly the same.

As a rule of thumb, an inch of water a week is sufficient for most gardens, but as temperatures hover above normal, more moisture is required. Some plants will require more than an inch on a regular basis, while xeric plants need only the occasional watering.

Water Deeply

No matter what the outdoor temperature, it is always best to water the garden deeply on an occasional basis, instead of frequent, shallow attempts. A thorough soaking reaches the roots, from which all specimens grow.

Smart irrigation practices may also include short periods of watering more than once a day, particularly when soil is so dry that water runs off.

Unless your plants are drought-tolerant and established, weekly watering will not be enough during this hot summer, so plan on extra soakings to keep your specimens flourishing.

How to Water

The most productive method of irrigation is one that reaches the base of the plants first. Sprinkling and spraying is often useless, as water sent through the air evaporates quickly.

Some specimens may be prone to disease if foliage remains wet. If you are not fortunate enough to have a built-in sprinkler system, consider investing in a soaker hose.This provides a slow and steady stream of water to your specimens, allowing them to soak up the needed moisture instead of having it runoff.

When to Water

Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day and during evening hours. Ideally, your garden will be irrigated in the early am. This time of day allows for less evaporation and gives leaves a chance to dry off before nightfall, decreasing the chance of a water-related fungus.

Mulch Your Beds

Not only does mulch make an attractive covering for your garden, it helps retain moisture. Consider organic mulch such as pine bark or shredded leaves that can later be worked into the soil, adding porosity and nutrients.

Set a schedule for watering and remain consistent. You will be rewarded with showy ornamentals and a bounty of vegetables.


Early Morning Watering, Individual Garden Needs, Irrigation, Plants Needs, Soaking

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Avid gardener, specializing in unusual and tropical blooms and their organic care and propagation.

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author avatar SuzAlicie
24th Jul 2010 (#)

I love the underground soaker hoses that I can just turn on and let run for an hour or two rather than standing out in the heat and spraying the waterhose. Unfortunately I have to use the hose to water everything in the front of my house, no soakers installed.

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author avatar Garden Nut
24th Jul 2010 (#)

Hauling the hose is part of it for some of us I guess, BTW, I ran across some of your tree articles today, great read!

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author avatar Retired
31st Jul 2010 (#)

Very interesting

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author avatar Garden Nut
31st Jul 2010 (#)

Thanks lucia anna

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