With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to decide how you are going to stay on top of quenching your vegetable garden’s thirst during the high heat of the season. So far, you may have been keeping up just fine watering by hose during the cool spring days. Depending on how large your garden is and how hot your climate gets, though, you may be standing out there for a long time in order to sufficiently water you veggies – and that’s before you even get to any of your flower gardens.
Sprinkler systems are a common solution to this problem but they often use water inefficiently. With a sprinkler, water goes everywhere. According to Colorado State University, sprinkler systems only have an efficiency rating of 50 to 70 percent – not a very good score when you live in drought-prone regions that are often placed under water restrictions.
If you want to conserve water while gardening and lower your water bill, consider one of these two alternatives to sprinklers:
Soaker hoses are thick, black hoses that are often made from recycled tires. They are very porous which allows water to seep through them and soak directly into the soil without being wasted on the leaves or areas outside of your organic vegetable garden. Use a garden hose to connect the soaker with your faucet so as not to waste water in your lawn. Turn the water on enough so that it is seeping into the ground but not spraying out of the pores. Do this for about 30 minutes as often as your climate dictates. You can determine frequency and length of time needed by checking periodically in between watering to see if the soil is still moist several inches down.
Drip irrigation systems
Drip irrigation is the most efficient method of watering your garden. It applies water directly to the soil surrounding the plants’ roots, unlike sprinklers that water the roots, leaves, weeds trying to come up, your lawn and possibly your patio. Until recently, though, these systems were primarily used for agricultural cultivation. These systems can be as simple or complex as you want them to be, depending on factors such as running them below or above ground and setting them up to either be automatic or manual. If you love using technology, this is something that you will definitely want to try because it gives your garden a high-tech, efficient component.