Watering Guidelines

18 May

Check the watering schedule, sign up for a date/time, and then read this.

Keep these things in mind and the rest follows logically:

– For proper growth plants need adequate light, water, and air circulation.

– Plants take up nutrients through their roots. If the soil dries and pulls away from the roots, the plant starves.

– Soil that is wet only on top encourage plant roots to remain close to the surface making the plant vulnerable to drought, disease, and damage from hoeing, if the ground is bare.

1 – Water as infrequently as possible.

Constant moistening of only the upper layer of soil encourages shallow root development and can lead to disease.

Stick your finger in the soil before watering. If it’s damp 4”–6” down, you can skip watering.

A raised bed should be irrigated with 1”–2” of water or rainfall equivalent once or twice a week. During the summer more frequent watering may be needed.

Our soil is rich in organic matter and we’ll be mulching. Both these things encourage the soil to hold water.

2 – Water thoroughly.

Give the plants a steady soaking, enough to make the soil wet 4”–6” down.

(About 2–4 gallons of water per square yard of growing surface, or about 4–8 gallons per one of our raised beds.)

3 – Water deeply.

Soak the ground around the plants. You want to water every last little rootlet so the plant takes up optimum nutrients. (Use low water pressure and put your thumb over the end of the hose to reduce water force.)

4 – Water the soil (roots), not the leaves.

Whenever possible, water the soil directly around the plant rather than spraying the plant with a hose.

Wet foliage increases a plant’s susceptibility to fungal diseases.

Our garden is planted densely; the plants’ leaves won’t dry out and air circulation will be impeded as the plants grow larger.

Containers:

Monitor containers daily. Allow potting soil to dry to about 3” deep before watering.

Stick the hose under the plant, between the plant and container, when watering and use low water pressure.

Water a container to its maximum capacity to ensure that water has soaked through the entire container.

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9 Responses to “Watering Guidelines”

  1. alternahealthgrrrl May 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM #

    So helpful! Thank you

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] The watering schedule has no volunteers for the rest of the month, and it looks like no one watered during the last couple days of this heat wave. Please consider making a commitment to water! To sign yourself up, go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080849aea92ba64-watering For a “refresher” on best watering practices, check out these guidelines. […]

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