Watering Vegetable Garden

by Princess
(Houston, TX)

What is the best time of day to water vegetable garden and how frequently?



ANSWER:

It is best to water your vegetable garden in the morning. Avoid watering the garden in the evening, as plants are more susceptible to diseases when the foliage is wet overnight.

Also, try not to water during the heat of the day. I say "try" because if it is the only option on a particular day, I think it is better to water then, than not at all if your garden needs water.

How often to water your garden depends on the weather, and how well your soil retains moisture. So there is not an exact amount or timing that is recommended.

Generally, when the garden soil is dry about one or two inches down, it is time to water again. It is best to water deeply and less frequently, than to water a little bit, but very often.

You want your plant to establish deep roots. Frequent shallow watering creates plants with shallow roots. Shallow-rooted plants are more prone to stress and disease.

It is very beneficial to amend your garden soil with compost and other organic material that will absorb and retain water. This will help supply a steady source of moisture for your plants to absorb.

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Watering Corn and Tomatoes

by Kathy Bowen
(Gold Hill, Oregon (Jackson County))

When planting tomatoes, do you put them with a water trench around the plant to help hold the water?


When watering corn, is it better to use over-head watering? I've seen the big growers water with overhead watering in the heat of the day; is that good for the corn?


ANSWER:

Regarding Tomatoes:

It isn't necessary to put a water trench around your tomato plants, but it wouldn't be harmful either.

Just remember that once your tomato plants are well-established, blooming, and starting to produce green fruits, it is helpful to really cut back on the amount of water that you give them. The lack of water will stress the plants a bit, and help them to hurry up and give you some ripe tomatoes.

Regarding Corn:

Usually it is easier to water corn from overhead. The only other option is to put a soaker-hose down each row of corn, and water the roots only. This method will conserve water, but will require a few soaker-hoses depending on the size of your corn patch.

Big corn growers usually have no other option than to water some of their fields in the heat of the day. But it does waste some water.

It is best to water your garden early in the morning, before it gets hot and you lose excessive water to evaporation.

Watering in the evening can spread plant diseases if the plant foliage remains wet overnight.

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Automatic Irrigation System for Your Garden?


(Austin,TX)

This is a kit that has an automatic watering system.

This is a kit that has an automatic watering system.

I see garden kit set-ups that have automatic watering irrigation systems that will water your vegetable garden plants for you.

My question is this. I am going to start building a U-style veggie garden with trellis; how can I build a self watering irrigation system?

Anyone know how to DIY on this? Thanks. I just don't want to spend 3K on a garden kit.


ANSWER:

It is fairly simple and quite inexpensive to set up an automatic drip watering system. My husband does it all the time.

He buys the 3/4" black drip tubing, some of the little spigots called "emitters" with adjustable heads, attached to small stakes which allow you to position the emitters where ever you need them. Also you can buy some smaller quarter-inch tubing to use for branches off the main drip line if needed.

If you buy the emitters with adjustable heads, you can control the water flow from just a drip, all the way to a little fountain, depending on how much water a particular plant needs.

You can find these items at home improvement centers, a pump or irrigation supply business, or gardening centers.

There are diagrams available where these supplies are sold, to show you the basics of what you need, and how to install the drip system.

The drip system can be set up on a timer so that it automatically comes on, and shuts off at a specific time each day, or every other day depending on how you program the timer.

The timers are pretty easy to program; I have done this part myself on several different types of timers. And I am not a mechanical genius!

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Watering my Vegetable Garden

What time of day should I water my vegetable garden when the temperature is 90 degrees?


ANSWER:

It's best to water your vegetable garden in the morning if you can. Watering a garden in the evening can leave your plants more prone to diseases such as powdery mildew. It is important that the plant foliage be dry overnight as much as possible.

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