Take pride in your vegetable garden for all of the hard work you put into it. Some of this work is keeping it irrigated sufficiently to produce fresh vegetables all summer long. As my kids are finding out, daddy doesn’t like to waste water! Here are some practices to help you reduce your water usage and still raise a vegetable garden:
Ten Ways to Improve Garden Water Use
- Water deeply, but no deeper than the root zone of the plant.
- Water slowly. Reduce the flow.
- Water infrequently, but thoroughly. Adjust sprinkler equipment for a larger water droplet size to help reduce evaporation. Frequent shallow watering causes plant roots to concentrate close to the surface, making the plant more susceptible to water fluctuations.
- Loosen the soil surface and use mulches. Most mulches help to keep soil surfaces loose and receptive to water absorption.
- Follow directions for operating and maintaining all irrigation systems. Check regularly for leaks, malfunctions, or worn parts.
- Keep your garden well weeded to eliminate competition for water. Consider removing surplus plants from overcrowded beds to ease water demands.
- Use wide rows with plants closer together, which reduces soil water evaporation.
- Avoid watering during windy weather.
- Water early in the morning when humidity is the highest for reduced evaporation.
- Locate your garden away from trees that might compete for water.