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BONNIE'S GARDEN--Water Smart...

This time of year, it seems all I do is water.  I water all day at work, then get home and pick up a hose there and water again.  So here’s what I’ve observed.

The smaller the container, the faster it dries out.  (Duh!) These are the plants I check first—all the cute little container grown annuals and herbs on my sunny deck.  Chances are good they’ll need watering every single day if temperatures get anywhere over 80—heck, if temperatures get over 50!  But they look so cute on my deck…

Anything particularly tight in its pot is going to dry out really fast—I have a Chinese hibiscus and a Meyer lemon which are on the verge of wilting every day when I get home.  I actually sit those in saucers when I water them so they have a chance to soak up what they need.  I make sure I take them out of the saucers before I go in, by the way. Most plants shouldn’t sit in water longer than 15 or 20 minutes. I could repot the plants, I suppose…

I do a lot of gardening in containers and, unfortunately, they all have to be watered by hand. I do check the pots to see if the top couple of inches of soil are dry first.  No point in watering if it’s not necessary.

My vegetable garden gets watered by a soaker hose.  Before my vegetable plants get too big, I wind the hose through the garden.  I then dig a hole and “sink” a cereal bowl under the hose.  I turn the water on and see how long it takes to get one inch of water in the bowl.  That way I know that’s how long I need to turn the hose on to be sure my garden gets one good inch of water.  Soaker hoses are friendlier to my water bill, too, because the water is right at root level where it’s needed.  With sprinklers, so much more water evaporates—and the water would get all over my tomatoes—and they HATE wet foliage.

I do not have an automatic in-ground sprinkler system but my neighbor does.  If I were him, I’d get a rain sensor/rain shut-off device to turn it off when we’ve had rain.  They’re inexpensive and save big in the long run, by allowing sprinklers to run only when necessary. 

I’d also remember that Virginia Tech recommends watering lawns one inch of water a week—one good deep watering rather than a few minutes every other day.  And I’d go outside while the sprinkler is going off to make sure the alignment is right—I can’t even imagine how many gallons of water he’s wasting by having sprinklers hit his driveway and the street. 

Whatever I water and however often I water, it helps if I water smart.
 
Posted: 7/4/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, watering
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