Tips on Watering Large Gardens to Save Time
Contributed by Ann Katelyn
Water is precious. Despite the fact that it is a renewable resource, we don’t want to overburden the earth and take more than is necessary. We also don’t want to spend hours watering our rather large gardens. Instead, let’s take a few minutes and consider ways that we can adjust our garden’s design and our watering habits to create an efficient practice.
1. Use Mulch and More Mulch
Water evaporates; we learn about the water cycle throughout our years in school. On a hot day, over half of the water in the soil will evaporate if you don’t have a protective layer of mulch on top. Gardeners understand that mulch does more than eliminating weeds. It is one of the best moisture strategies that you can use to prevent evaporation, as well as adding vital nutrients to the soil.
You don’t want to use fine mulch because it will clump up as water is added. A bad choice would be grass clippings because they mat and stop water from reaching the soil. Coarse mulch is the best choice, allowing water to move down to the soil. Many gardeners opt for bark chip mulch.
2. Use the Right Hose
Struggling with a hose takes time, frustrating even the most experienced gardeners. You could use a box that requires you to roll up the hose, making storage a bit easier. An expandable hose is even easier. They grow up to 500% their size when filled with water. Then, once you turn the water off, it goes back down to its original size, making it a fantastic choice. It also saves time from having to drag the hose and roll it up later.
3. Check the Weather
This tip might seem obvious, but what is the point in taking the time to water if it is going to rain later that evening? Before you head out to water your large garden, always look at the projected forecast. You also have to consider your climate, location and the season. Things such as cooler temperatures high humidity and no wind will reduce your need for irrigation. On the other hand, water evaporates quicker on a windy day with low humidity.
4. Increase Organic Matter in Garden
If you are an organic gardener, it may seem obvious to increase the organic matter in your garden. For the rest of us, you may not understand the amazing benefits of building humus in your soil. Organic matter can absorb its weight in water many times over, increasing plant growth. As it decomposes into the soil, compost spreads nutrients and vitamins that will increase your harvest.
How do you increase organic matter in your garden? The easiest way to do so is to add compost that will eventually break down in humus. Compost allows you to build up moisture, nutrients and amend your soil health. It also helps to water your plants during droughts and reduce plant stress. Adding compost materials to your garden is easy! You can add things such as worm castings, vegetable scraps, mulches such as alfalfa, pea straw, lawn clippings, and leaves.
5. Use an Irrigation System
When you have an extensive garden, one of the best ways to save time is to use an irrigation system. Drip systems can run under the garden beds, watering your garden when you need. The best thing about the irrigation systems is that you can schedule watering. Plants that need more frequent water can have additional water, while plants that thrive with less benefit as well. You can easily tailor irrigation systems to your particular needs. Plus, using a scheduler on your hose allows you walk away and forget about watering.
When you have a large garden, you want to save as much time as possible. There are easy ways you can decrease the time you need to spend watering, such as increasing the organic matter in your garden and laying a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil.
If you find that you are spending way too long watering the garden, try a few of these tips! Remember always to check the forecast ahead of time. Nothing is worse than spending time watering the garden only for a downpour to happen an hour later!
“I’m Ann – a freelance writer who has a passion for gardening. You can follow me on https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnnKatelyn”