As the heat of the late summer is affecting much of the nation, intelligent, efficient and wise watering techniques will simultaneously keep your plants thriving and your water usage low. This is especially important in areas where rainfall has been extremely scarce during the summer season. Use your tips on wise watering techniques to keep your garden happy in a sustainable and eco-friendly way.
1. Use Organic Mulch to Retain Moisture
Laying down a layer of organic mulch around trees, bushes, shrubs and in the rows of your vegetable garden to help retain moisture in the ground and around the roots of the plants. A thin layer of wood chips or shredded straw will help the moisture from sprinklers or irrigation drip lines from evaporating in the heat of midday. Make sure to use organic mulch!
2. Utilize Irrigation Drip Lines
Irrigation drip lines are considered the most efficient way of watering, as they slowly seep water out through perforations in a hose that is placed near the roots of plants. Drip lines are the best type of irrigation for plants like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, as this way the leaves of the plants stay dry and don't get sun burned.
3. Use Perforated Watering Jugs
You poke small holes in the bottom edge (about 1 inch from the bottom) of a large jug or 5-gallon bucket made from strong plastic, fill it with water, and then place it next to a plant. It will slowly seep into the area around the roots of the plants, allowing them to drink it in gradually, rather than having the water run off if too much of it is poured on the plants at one time.
4. Set Your Sprinklers Up for Morning Watering
You should always turn on your sprinklers (either manually or with a timer) early enough in the morning that the soil around your plants can soak in the moisture before the heat of the sun starts to make it evaporate. You can also water your plants after sun down if you don't experience chilly nights in your area.
5. Install Hose Splitters for Efficient Use of Space
Hose splitters are great tools that can save significant amounts of time, and gallons of water. Install them at a main outdoor spigot or faucets so that you can attache two or three hoses to one source of water. Make sure you also invest in high quality hoses so that they wont be quite so prone to kinking, tearing and cracking.
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Child watering garden image via Shutterstock