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gixxerific
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Watering during a drought????

I need to ask because it's getting serious here. We have been having corn crops go down hay fields catch fire, it's dryer than a bone here.

This mainly goes out the deep south people since they go through this most years. We get the heat but we normally get some rain as well in the form of thunderstorms accompanied by tornado's.

I ask about watering because you can either hurt or hinder your plants if done too much. I can soak it in the morning and come home after work and it's bone dry again. I have soaker hoses going about every day, I wonder if this is too much or not enough, heirin lies the problem. I don't want to let them die but if I over water than fruits crack, leaves curl, BER etc. No real risk of disease since the normally super high humidity has been super low and I'm bottom watering per say.

So tell me straight up and I watering too much , too little?

What do you do?

Thanks this thread should involve most of us since I believe we all are hurting with drought. Except for a few places getting floods.

barnhardt9999
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I am getting lots of cracked fruit as well. I think I could water less and reduce the cracking but that would lower the yield and overall health of the plant. There is only so much mulch can do this time of year under these conditions. Its just too hard to keep soil moisture consistent right now.

Until the weather pattern changes I will continue to water with the long term health of the plans in mind. (100+ = every other day, 90+ = every 3rd day, cooler every 4th day unless it rains). I don't see why cracking is a concern unless you sell commercially.

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gixxerific
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Cracking is a concern if they stay on the plant too long. With all the plants I have there will be many missed fruit. The cracked ones seem to rot quickly.

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gixxerific
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Thanks MG but the rain you are hoping fo me to get could be the downfall again yet another problem It is so dry if we get a huge rain event than it could mean accross the board cracking. That is what I am trying to avoid.

So far I have picked about 75 - 100 toamtoes (Some ripe some not) probably and have only eaten 3 cherry's only one of them was ripe and good. All the other ripening ones have had BER.

I can't win here people.

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IndyGerdener
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We have not had rain here in Indianapolis in a month. it is 104 here right now. I water my garden every other day or at least every 3 days for 3-4 hours. my garden is going great!!@!!

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jal_ut
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How you water depends a lot on your soil and the weather. Every area has its problems. I like to water deep and only once a week. That may not work where you are. You have to try some things and see what works for you on your lot. Water when the plants look stressed and water deep so the roots will go deep.

I might add, we are always in a drought in summer. Probably no rain at all and relative humidity at around 20%. Quite frankly, we don't grow anything without irrigation.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

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hendi_alex
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I'm watering every day, twice per day in the morning and late afternoon. Water perks right through our sandy soil. Am having very little cracking of fruit which is generally very high quality in terms of size, texture, and flavor. Plants are looking a little bad now as summer blight or other disease works its way through. We have a 4 inch well that puts out lots of cold, clean water. That is one upside to this sand. It makes for good tasting fairly soft water. I believe that the fairly shallow aquifer recovers each year with our usual 60 or so inches of rain.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Dillbert
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gix -

as you can see, the only "rule" is:
there is no rule.

it all hugely depends on your soil & many other "conditions"

mulching obviously helps

the usual method is to dig down a bit into the soil - if the soil is "dry" at a depth of 1.5 inches (or so) you need water.

no mulch
high winds
strong sun
full exposure
yadda yadda
all those things affect how often and how much irrigation you need -

so - toss the rules - dig down a bit, if it's dry, time for some artificial rain.

weepers, oscillators, drippers, a good cigar and hose in hand - whatever
you have to adapt to the situation.

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soil
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We don't ge a single drop from mid may until October. Then we can get 30 inches in the rest of the year.

Rainwater catchment and deep
Mulch helps a lot.

When time for irrigating comes it's deep watering once a week. If you water too much the biggest loss is flavor IMO. At least with tomatoes.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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ReptileAddiction
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Where I live we get about 20 inches. We have giant wildfires in about october. Once I had to drive through one. There was fire about 10 feet from each side of the car. These fires can wipe out whole species. Whole cities. Luckily they don't come through that often and we are set up so that it never does any real damage.

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gixxerific
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Thanks all. So far I'm doing okay just trying everything possible to avoid any problems.

orgoveg
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It hasn't rained a drop here in several weeks and it's been hot like everyone else (102 today). Somehow, I seem to be watering properly without really knowing what properly is. I've been giving it a good soaking every third day without getting the leaves wet. For the first time in years, the diseases have not been spreading and everything looks quite healthy (except the cool season crops).

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rainbowgardener
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This is going to be a hot topic ( :) literally) for a lot of us. Maybe the new normal? Ohio is in drought also, with wild fire warnings. Usually it would be way too wet in summer to worry about fire.

I'm trying to water very deeply every few days, but its hard keep up.
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DownriverGardener
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Big drought here in Michigan, when we usually get rain in the form of storms once or twice every two weeks in the summer. We haven't had substantial rain here in a LONG time. My tomatoes are looking great, especially the ones in the ground.

I also have about eight plants in containers, and some of the fruits on those plants have some cracks. Maybe I am over-watering the container plants, probably because I am afraid they'll dry out faster. Maybe I'll cut down mhy watering by about half.

dtlove129
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gixx, I think you and I are getting the same weather since you are only a couple of hours away from me. This the first week where I have been worried. I have a drip system and so far this year I have used it once a week and let it run overnight (8 hours). Each dripper puts out almost a gallon an hour, so each spot where there is a dripper is getting close to 8 gallons in that night.

Now that we are in the triple digits with winds, I'm going to water like that twice a week. I just watered this past Tues, so I'm probably going to do it tomorrow night since we do have a 30% chance of showers tomorrow I want to wait until tomorrow night and try to save my water bill a little.

I have just decided to let most of the flowers around my house go this year because I can't keep up the watering on them and the garden. I tell my wife I can eat what is in the garden, but roses don't can so well.
John
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dtlove129
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Oh just so info for you guys so you understand the impact of this on farmers and us in the future. I live in Central IL and on our news last night they had a ag special. The guy they interviewed said our news viewing area is the 5th largest producer of corn. a 10% reduction in yield will be worth 650 million dollars against the economy assuming corn is selling at $6.50 (the number he used). That is just in this area if there is a 10% less yield this year.

He said that it will effect things like the price of chicken, beef, etc because of grain feed. He did say you shouldn't see the price of cereal or things like that change. So I guess everyone better quit eating meat and go to cereal because I'm going to guess it will be worse than 10%.
John
2nd year gardner

greenstubbs
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Here whereI am it's in the 90's and higher with NO cloud cover or humidity. I have beenknown to flood my mater's, cucks, peppers twice a day as they are in pots. Never grown corn so I can't give you a answer. My melons, squash and other ground plants I H20 as needed, they'll let you know. I do the localized flooding approach, turn it on and flood the area! As needed, I even have to pitch some shade as they wilt from heat and sun. hope this helps.

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RogueRose
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I take my cue from the plants. If they are wilty, I'll water them. If they look fine, I won't water them.

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