June 29, 2009


Watering skills are what make or break a garden.

A garden must have water available to it everyday. A gardener must be available to water the garden everyday. It is not as simple as it seems.

Don't use a sprinkler, it doesn't reach all the plants and or allow you to really check your plants each day. Don't rely on soaker hoses, they have limited range and dependability. Don't buy a cheap spray gun. I use one now which has multiple water settings, spray, jet etc. I am enjoying it, but all nozzles have a limited lifespan. I since there is sand in my water I have been through many, many nozzles. For years I simply pressed my thumb on an open hose end and bent the hose to stop the flow. Messy, but very enjoyable on a hot day.

Not all plants need the same amount of water. The amount of heat and shade affects water retention in the soil. When you touch the soil and it is warm and dry it is definitely time to water. The amount of plants and the age of the plants also are variables in watering needs.

Most people know not to water when the sun is shining very hot. If you do the drops of water on the tender leaves will magnify the rays and literally burn the plant.

Some plants don't like to have their leaves wet, like tomatoes. Tomatoes, peppers, beans and basil don't like to be cold at night so water them in the morning.

Most vegetables need a lot of water on a hot day to develop properly. Plants like celery, cabbage family, onions, and salad greens benefit from being watered in the evening after a hot day in the sun.

Water the bed until it is all dark and puddles are starting to form. Water before dusk and after dawn to avoid the mosquitoes. Don't work with plants when they are wet especially beans. Try not to get water spray in the vegetable flowers. Start watering furthest away from the house, that way you are home when you are done.

Thank God when it rains.


  1. I wonder how long we are going to be allowed to water anyway at all.
    Perth is trialling winter sprinkler bans. Fair enough, there is no need to throw water about at the moment. It is all about educating people into wise use of a precious resource.
    I love this post, especially the last bit about starting furthest away so you are home when it is finished. Very permaculture.

  2. You make a very good point about water conservation and water rights. These factors should have been included in my post as well. "It is all about educating people into wise use of a precious resource", certainly hits the nail on the head. Thanks for the visit my e-friend from down under it is always great to hear from you. Peace

  3. I learned the hard way about watering in the hot sun...it was a real "duh" moment. My stuff looked so wilty, I felt bad-even though I knew better (!!), so I gave my beans a good spray of water. Oh the leaves look terrible!
    Have a great week Ruth.

  4. With this-my first- garden it is interesting to see how acutely aware I am of rain (or the lack of it). When someone gripes about the rainy weather I have to bite my tongue not to spout back info -like we are 1.75 inches behind average June precip. I new point of view for me! Kris
    (did my comment on planting by the moon not get to you?)

  5. I just sat down to read before heading out to water! I do the same thing, start far away and work my way back to the house! Luckily, I only have to water the raised beds. All my perennials are drought tolerant natives, so only the veggies need it. I seem to go through nozzles like crazy since my dog likes to chew them open and then attack the spray coming out of the hose :) gotta go water before it gets hot...!

  6. I love it when people read my stuff. Thanks ladies, made my day.

    Erin can't visualize anything going wrong at your happy home, you are a wonderful homemaker, so clean and efficient makes me so jealous. I do drought tolerant perennials too, there are beautiful and I am not a slave to them, only my veggies. You got it goin' on!

    Hi Sue, yes I burn my plants almost every year too. You get out there in the sun, happy to have a chore to do outside for a change, water like crazy before you realize what you have done - and you can't take it back. Good thing it is usually only looks destroyed. Have a good week yourself.

    Hi Kris - yes I did get your comment see June 24 posting, there is a little note for you there. Isn't summer the perfect time to live out ones dreams. Don't worry winter will be upon us soon enough and we can happily go back to our inside jobs. LOL Peace for all

  7. ruth come to mine, i need a helping hand every dayxx