Planting a vegetable garden? It's a great way to enjoy healthier food and work together on a family project. But most gardeners don't exactly look forward to trying to keep their tender, growing plants properly watered. Whether it's over-watering or under-watering, the results can include a smaller yield or even less tasty veggies. So, how can you avoid watering problems in your new garden? Here are 5 tips to keep you covered all summer long.
Automate Irrigation. Automatic irrigation is almost always going to be easier and more successful than trying to water your garden by hand. Once properly set up, a good automatic system will cover your plants evenly, regularly and completely. Unless you have experience in setting up an irrigation system, it may be best to consult with a qualified landscaping service with expertise in local plants.
Add a New Zone. When setting up your garden's irrigation system, try to place the garden in a different "irrigation zone" than the lawn or nearby flowers. This is because each of these types of plants has different watering needs, and it will be easier to attend to them and avoid water waste by separating the zones
Monitor Soil Moisture. Check the soil around your plants regularly throughout the season to ensure adequate watering. This is particularly important while setting up an irrigation system, while plants are young and while they are budding. Generally, you should add water when the top 2 to 4 inches of the soil is dry to the touch. Some plants need more water, though, so be sure to learn the specific requirements of what you are planting. A houseplant watering meter is an inexpensive tool to help you with monitoring if necessary.
Group the Veggies. Rather than plant your garden in the traditional formation of single rows, try to group like items together in bunches. This way, plants can help shade each other and you will lose less water to empty soil between plants. It also helps you meet the needs of individual types of plants that often require more water, such as beans.
Use a Variety of Irrigation. Irrigation and sprinkler systems don't need to be a one-size-fits-all solution. You can -- and should -- make use of different watering methods to fit your specific plants and overall garden. For example, some plants may do well with overhead sprinklers, whereas others -- such as corn or pole beans -- can block smaller plants from getting enough water from these sprinklers. Drip irrigation using soaker hoses (which drop water along their length), bubblers (that deliver focused water) and in-line drip tubing (with controlled drip points along the hose) can be used in conjunction with traditional sprinklers to reach all your plants properly.
By knowing how to make watering your vegetable garden easier and more efficient, you can reduce the time spent caring for the garden and increase your enjoyment of it. For more information or assistance, contact a gardening or landscape company, like Boehm Landscape Inc.