Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
With the heat of summer comes the wilting of plants in my garden. I am by no means a good, or even adequate gardener, but I do my best to make sure that my plants have a shot at survival. One of the things I have discovered is that plants need water before they look like they need water. In order to provide water to them on a regular basis, while minimizing waste, I use the following methods:
The sprinklers I use, attached to my hoses, are adjustable ones. I can set them so that they only water my garden, rather than pavers, grass or the deck. Sprinklers are good for mass watering, but do take some time to get set up in order to minimize waste.
Soaker hoses, which drip small amounts of water directly onto the soil around the plants, are good to minimize water waste. It does take some time to get them laid out to hit the right plants, though, and I find it best to cover them with mulch as well.
The two big problems I had with watering were remembering to do it, and remembering to shut it off. Timers take care of the latter. I usually set the timer for 30 minutes, and the watering will stop on its own. No more squelchy yard from the soaker hoses running for hours!
Watering cans deliver water to a specific area. Their small spouts make watering hanging plants easy. They can be heavy when full, and require frequent filling because of their small capacity.
Water spikesattach to plastic bottles and slowly disperse water to the roots of the plant. I find they are good with plants that are outside the reach of a hose. The weight of the bottle can tip the plant over though, and the bottles can empty very quickly if too many holes are punched out.
Square Foot Gardening recommends cup watering, where you keep a large covered pail of water near your garden, and dip out cupfuls onto your plants. While this is very efficient for small gardens, it doesn’t work for larger beds or plants with large water needs.
By combining the above methods, I have managed to keep my garden growing this summer. The water spikes are in the planters next to the gazebo at the back of the property. The sprinkler is set with a timer to water the new landscaping in the corner and the fruit bushes. I use cup watering on my two square foot garden beds, and soaker hoses with timers in the other gardens at the sides of the house. The potted plants on the porch are watered using a watering can.
Photo by Rachel Black