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Gardening: water a lot, rarely, or a little, often?

 
 
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:11 pm
I water very rarely but water a lot when I do.

My neighbor waters daily, but just for a few minutes.

I'm mostly asking about vegetable gardens but I'm curious about how you water other plantings as well.

Edit: what about ollas? Does anyone use them? How do they work for you?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 5,360 • Replies: 30
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:17 pm
@boomerang,
WATER deeply but infrequently. I water once a week whenever we have droughty conditions but I try for at least an inch. I measure using a homemade gage set halway between my nearest plants and farthest plants from my rainbird sprinklers.

If you water frequently you allow the plants to developshallow roots which can be murder in mid summer.
I learned from bad experience , yers ago I would have watered daily and in hot July and AUgust somebody always had to water daily r the plants wilted very quickly.


farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:18 pm
@boomerang,
whats an OLLA? I know it as a greeting in Spanish
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:19 pm
@farmerman,
Farmer beat me to it, but well he should, as he knows more.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:28 pm
Ollas aew buried clay containers that leach water into the surrounding area when it dries. You can do the same thing with two clay pots glued together or two litre pop bottles with a few holes punched in the sides. The idea is you put the water in the container and you lose very little water to evaporation. Kinda like drip irrigation. They work, but remember to mark the openings. They get harder to find as the season progresses.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:31 pm
@farmerman,
We rarely have drought conditions but our summers can be very dry. Watering rarely just seems to make more sense and be easier to me.

Ollas are pretty cool and they're easy to make. I haven't used them in a while but think I could use them this year because of the way I planted my garden. Essentially they're just a clay pot that you fill with water that leaches out over time so that you don't need to water directly.

http://drippingspringsollas.com/about-ollas/
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 07:50 pm
@boomerang,
You live in land of water and you ask the rest of us what to do re lack of water?

Please.

I don't mean to be a snot, but we all deal with constritions.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 08:30 pm
@ossobuco,
I didn't ask what to do re: lack of water.

I asked how people prefer to water their gardens -- deep or shallow.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 08:35 pm
@boomerang,
hamburgboy taught me to water deep

now I don't water at all

plants that can't make it without being artificially watered don't stay in my garden
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 08:37 pm
@boomerang,
I used to water deeply but not often for the reasons already stated. In really sandy soils, water goes away pretty quickly, so it might have to be done more often.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 08:39 pm
@ehBeth,
don't opt for moving to the prairie.

not that you remotely considered it...

I water my tropical garden daily.

I also have a lot of buried pots, mostly due to moles, but also as a way to maximize moisture on some plants that aren't supposed to live where I do...
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 08:39 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

I used to water deeply but not often for the reasons already stated. In really sandy soils, water goes away pretty quickly, so it might have to be done more often.


I just came in to make that point. My soil is loose and sandy, so I think a couple of times a week. After I buy some mulch I may be able to cut back some.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 08:52 pm
@edgarblythe,
I live on the edge of an escarpment. Incredibly sandy soil.

I put a composter on the edge of a small berm hamburgboy and I built - when it does rain, the compost juice runs out. Makes for a juicy jungly garden.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 09:04 pm
Composting the stuff I have on hand does not seem to work that well. Mostly pine needles. I have taken to mowing it up with my mower, as I hate raking.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 09:08 pm
@ehBeth,
I like that one. If you mulch with ground bark mulch, you can dig the mulch in at the end of every year, and after a few years it will hold the water much better. Good for gardens; not so handy for lawn.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 09:11 pm
I have to be careful with mulch, as termites abound in my area.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 09:12 pm
@edgarblythe,
You need wet food trimmings from the kitchen to get the composter working - some people water their compost - I haven't had to - random kitchen stuff and dead-headed flowers seem to get things nicely heated.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 09:23 pm
@boomerang,
Oh, well, then.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Jun, 2013 10:18 pm
@ossobuco,
I once lived where the rest of you did not.
Interesting place.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 8 Jun, 2013 06:41 am
The lower Delaware shore area is also gifted with this very porous "beach sand" soil. Gardeners down there will do one of two things
1Admix a generous amount of compost into the sand or

2Mix those silica gel particles into the andy soil to act as a water storage reservoir .

Using compost is probably better but it needs to be renewed frequently

Since the original question was about vegetable gardening in particular, Ive found that, if we dont water during mid summer, the veggies like Tomatoes or corn or berries will take that insult out on you by not producing the best and tastiest fruit. Things like blueberries and styrawberries and tomatoes are like little sponges that soak up lots of water as they ripen an it immparts a great flavor as well as "water weight"

We have ample rain in a growing season (about 45 inches per year), but there are times when it gets a bit dry in the heat of summer. If we have a week or more without rain, all the plant will show stress and that seems a bit dumb to spend all year tending plants and then just giving up on them during what is usually a brief period without precip.

All the veggie farmers around here (we have a lot of tomato farms, berry farms and Corn on the cob farms do some irrigation during the really critical times like at blossom set and during fruit ghrowth. In DElaware they use center pivot irrigation to grow even their row crops like soybeans and field corn

The only local crop that is left to make it on its own is tobacco, since it is primarily a cultivated weed, it retains the habits of most weeds, it thrives and actually is better flavored when grown in droughty conditions
 

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