Watering Your Vegetable Patch: It’s An Art And A Science
Growing a healthy organic vegetable patch is both an art and a science. Yes, it’s important to make sure that your veggies get all the nutrients they need. But there’s still a lot of experimentation that needs to be done, which is where things can get a little fuzzy. Constant temperature variations and changes in weather patterns can leave you guessing, meaning there are no hard and fast rules.
Healthy gardens still need enough water to flourish, so here’s what to do.
Make Use Of Indicator Plants
It can be hard to keep your eyes peeled on every plant in your garden for signs of underwatering. And so it’s a good idea to use one particular plant in particular as a barometer to tell you whether or not it’s time to sprinkle.
According to seasoned gardeners, the first crops to suffer are usually those that become the most bloated with water: melons, cucumbers and squashes. Because of their large surface area and the fact that they are exposed to the sun as they grow, they tend to lose moisture quickly and start shrivelling in a matter of hours. But the good news is that they act as a kind of early warning system, telling you when it’s time to water your vegetable patch, and when it’s not, saving you money on your water bills.
Invest In An Irrigation System
If you’ve got a large vegetable garden, watering by hand is probably impractical, especially if your garden is a long way from the nearest hosepipe. A better system might be to opt for irrigation to get water into the soil, quickly and efficiently without an enormous amount of work on your part. If your vegetable plot is on raised land, you’ll need machinery, like Davey pumps, to pump it up from a reservoir. It’ll take quite a bit of work to install, but once the system is up and running, it’ll save you a lot of time and effort.
Keep Water In The Ground
Some areas suffer from extreme evaporation during the middle of the day. This dries out the soil and reduces growing time, leading to smaller yields. As a result, keeping water in the ground is essential. So how can you do it?
One of the most cost-effective ways is to lay down straw, bark or pine needles between rows of plants. This will act as a barrier between the heat of the sun and the cool, moist soil underneath. Usually, a 3-inch layer will suffice to keep the worst of the evaporation at bay.
Remember That Veggies In Containers Dry Out Faster Than Those In The Ground
It’s a good idea to water your vegetables at least two or three times a week in hot weather. But watering requirements vary not only according to the weather but also how the plants themselves are grown. Because they’re smaller, plants in pots tend to dry out faster than those in the ground, meaning that any plants grown in containers can dry out quickly. Small pots, therefore, should be watered every day in hot weather.