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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

DoubleDogFarm wrote: Drip or soaker
How do you deal with the changing of plant arragement. You are forced to grow all your vegetables in straight lines. I'm more of a mat gardener. I usually plant my plants equal spacing in all directions. I would have to blanket my raised beds with drip line. Different soils and plants require different emitter spacing and gph.

Eric
My soaker hoses are very flexible they are actually pretty nice and put out a lot, they will soak the line they are in as well as the spaces in between pretty well. But my garden is much differant than yours. I can pull that off much easier since it is smaller I can be more flexible. I do still overhead water some things along with the soaker hose. I OH water my toms to now and than. But in my garden it is usually not a question of "if" I will get blight etc. It's which ones and how bad this year?

It was a dry year (low humidity) with what I have been doing and the weather I have yet to see any disease, first time I can remember in a long time.

All our gardens are like miroclimates they are all differeant from the one the next door. So I am down with doing whatever it is that works best in you situtation. Like drip systems that would be nice here to keeps things going when time is short and you may miss a heavy watering. It can dry out in half a day at times here. But I can't do drip, like you said my planting style/arrangement changes year to year. Drip systems are too permantent with my soaker hoses the come up easy and be turned wherever you need them. :)

mattie g
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Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Have you ever noticed, members with overhead sprinklers, if you walk through your garden right after watering it feels cooler. I'm thinking with shade cloth and overhead watering even the hotest zones could grow tomatoes. No blossom drop heat stress. Heavy mulch, shade tent and overhead watering. I believe all the evaporation has a cooling effect. I have nothing to back this up. Just some thoughts.
There's no question that water droplets falling through dry air causes the air to cool. This is called evaporational cooling. It's just one reason why the air cools significantly following a summertime thunderstorm.

But to maintain such cooling over a long period of time in a very hot climate would require a *lot* of water usage. Also, this wouldn't work well in humid climates, as the effect of evaporational cooling is lessened as the dewpoint (and, thus, relative humidity) increases.

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soil
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Mimic nature = mimic rain.

Although I am moving more and more towards zero irrigation.

Some benefits I've found with overhead is wildlife. In our dry summer climate I can't even count the critters that are sooooo happy it " rains" every now and then. along with generally mOre humidity in the air for some evaporative cooling some microclimates can be set up rto extend the cool season for greens.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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rainbowgardener
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Oh yeah. Have to give you that one. A couple years ago we were having another bad drought year, so I tried watering my native plant hillside. Since the top of the hill is the back of my property and then it slopes down steeply from there, I don't have a hose long enough to go down there. So my only choice was to stand near the top of the hill, put the hose on jet and spray arcs of water down. It was amazing! Every bird in the county (it seemed like) showed up to play in that water, drink from it, fly through it... they were SO happy it was raining!
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Smallgardener
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Location: SW Kansas

I am thinking next summer I will set up an overhead sprinkler system that is perminant at least for a season. If it is there and only needs the water turned on I will water more often and more evenly. I might even set it up on a timer so it comes on in the middle of the day in order to cool the plants down. I can also put a fungicide on that way if things turn bad. Our climate is semi arid and maybe the moisture would help

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soil
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Rainbow I've been hand watering before and had a hummingbird come take a flying bath in it with me holding the water sprayer. Less than a foot away from my hand. That would have never happened with drip or soaker hoses.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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ReptileAddiction
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I try to not get the leaves wet because then they get muddy and they look ugly :D For my vegetables I don't really care because they are out of view. I NEVER overhead water my fruit trees because I do not want to have to deal with diseases. One day I sprayed it down and it heated up really fast, before it had a chance to dry and burned holes through the leaves. It looked so bad I though I killed it.

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