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rainbowgardener
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

Good plan, RA! Do take before and after pictures. No one in the dry southwest should be having lawn at this point! I grew up in Southern Calif, before people had irrigation systems and I remember being out every morning in the summer watering the lawn.
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Gary350
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

The only time I ever water plants is new plants I buy at the garden store in spring they need water for a week or so until roots get established. After that I never water my garden. If you do not water the garden that forces plants to grow deep roots in search of water. When hot 100 degree weather arrives plants have a good root system for finding their own water. Same thing with planting seeds. Keep your eye on spring weather an wait for perfect planting conditions 65 degree soil with rain in the forecast, corn, beans, squash, melons, etc all grow a deep root system to if I never water them. Once you start watering plants they become dependent on it. We had a very hot dry summer this year with very little rain my plants suffered but they lived without me watering them. Tomatoes & other plants do very well planted on the East side of a tree or house with early morning sun the coolest part of the day then shade 11 am to dark the rest of the day. If there is no shade put up tarps so plants get morning sun then full shade the rest of the day. Very often in hot weather my plant leaves are hanging down as limp as a wet rag but come back to life when the sun goes down.

When I lived in Arizona where they get no rain for 6 months each time plants needed irrigation 10 minutes every evening at 9 pm. Winter garden was planted Nov 1st and plants got 1 pint of water per day. No shade needed in winter temperature never gets over 70 degrees F and low 50s at night. Feb frost & freeze kills the garden then 2 weeks later cold weather is gone time to plant a new garden that will be killed again by hot weather in June. No garden for several months 115 degree weather June to Oct.

For some reason everyone in Arizona believes you should only water the lawn early morning about 6 am for 1 hour. I watered my lawn 10 minutes every night at 9 pm and I had the perfect lawn. Neighbors noticed my yard sprinklers were never ON and asked me, what are you doing to have such a nice yard. I told them, nothing much I water after dark for about 10 minutes that is all I do. NO ONE believed that. WHY does a population of 5,000,000. people all believe you water early morning, how did that none sense get started and no one questions it they just do it and tell everyone else that is how it should be done. People should use their own brain stop and think a minute if you water 1 hr in the desert in very low humidity where water evaporates very fast and sun comes up at 5 am and its 100 degrees by 9 am & 114 by 11 am that 1 hour of water was wasted it evaporated before plants can use it. 10 minutes of water in the dark coolest part of the day works much better plants have 8 hours of dark to suck up very drop of that water. Learn to think outside the box.

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jal_ut
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

Here in high dry Northern Utah a reservoir was built up the canyon and water is put into a canal which goes for 7 miles and the water is diverted into pipelines on the farms and rainbirds are used to spray the fields. I wanted to bring you a picture, but seems I am not smart enough. Anyone know how to display a picture on a post? Try again......Image

Arguah! Well I guess you can right click the image icon and ask it to open in a new tab?

Image
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

This year we actually got more than our usual rainfall, thanks to the storm of the week. In the past years, the Big Island had drought conditions for more than 3 years. As of November, 2018 we are ahead in total rainfall and are drought free.

This past summer was not as hot. Fewer days above 90 degrees, but with a lot of humidity. The summer storms meant that there was some rain every month. The heat does limit what will grow. That and disease has shortened my summer list of veggies. The tomatoes got TYLCV so now, I need to find resistant varieties. I can grow holy basil but not sweet basil and it actually tolerates the heat better. I am growing more tropical vegetables like yard long beans and chard since they produce better; have fewer disease problems, and tolerate heat better. Wild bitter melon is a weed in my yard. The citrus trees do need to be watered every 1-2 days because they are in pots, but otherwise the heat does not bother them. I usually plant throughout the year, but when it is a hot dry year, I harvest only June-August and start planting in September. It is actually still hot in September, but I need to plant broccoli in late summer so they will head up during the cooler weather.

I do have air conditioners but I have not used them in years. Even on hot nights, I only use the ceiling fans because it just costs to much to run them.

The gutter water does go into the rain barrels and I have connected rain barrels in tandem to increase storage. The thing with rain barrels is that you have excess water when you don't need it. One 55 gallon barrel will water my front yard once. Rain garden is an idea. Usually, if the rain comes down slowly, it gets absorbed well. Runoff is only a problem when the rain comes down hard and fast or has been continuous for weeks and has already saturated the soil.

I have had to turn off my sprinklers and it is survival of the fittest in the yard. Geraniums do well, in fact they do worse when there is too much rain since they get oedema and the stems can rot. The roses, most of the established trees and shrubs in the ground, and rosemary, are pretty drought tolerant. They can survive on very little extra watering. The worst thing of course has been the weeds, since they take over any bare ground. I have planted alyssum as a ground cover and that has helped since it does not need a lot of water. Although, I keep getting harassed by the HOA that does not like that the alyssum mounds onto the edge of the driveway. I don't feed the grass, since feeding it makes it grow and then I have to mow it more. It is a mix of dwarf St. Augustine grass and weeds and any water will set it off. When it does not rain for a while it gets quite yellow, but greens up fast with a good shower.

I am watering my garden less over all. I used to water it every day, but that can make the plants dependent on that next drink. So, I try to extend the time to a day and a half or two days when I can. Some plants can't but, sometimes it is because they need to be up potted. Up potting has helped some of the peppers in gallons that really needed to go up and I have a cutting celery that really needs to go in the ground already.

I tried soil polymers and while it worked fine in summer, I think. It was a mistake when the rains came and they just bubbled out of the soil and became a gelatinous smothering mess.

Plant spacing and deep but infrequent watering has helped the most. Mulching has also helped to keep a lot of the weeds down. I do have problems with mulch when I don't have the drip system on, since I seem to be spending a lot of time watering the mulch instead of the soil. Once the plants size up and shade the ground, they use proportionately less water than when the plants are small.
This is the drought monitor that indicates the regions of the US that are in drought or have varying degrees of dryness.
https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

Imagegrdn223 by James_40 Lofthouse, on Flickr

We shall see?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

Image

Well I got one to show up but another one won't . Arguah! I hate this software. :twisted:
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

There ain't no use........................ :(
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

...it’s OK, I tracked down the image link :-()

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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jal_ut
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

Thanks applestar, I was just trying to point out that in this high dry country, one does not grow a garden without irrigation. IOW you gotta add some water. I run that sprinkler line in the picture once a week for 12 hours. That puts down about 1.5 inches of rain on the area.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Gary350
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Re: How do you grow vegetables with less water

Taiji wrote:Wow, that is such a cool irrigation system! I really need to devise something like that for myself. My garden has been kind of unorganized til now, but now that my raised beds are pretty permanently placed, I could make something like that too.
Questions:
Did you just drill holes in the PVC at certain intervals, or do you have little tubes coming out of the holes?
Do you have trouble with the plants nearer to the hose source getting more water than those at the end of the system?
Do the holes plug up eventually and need to be cleaned out?
Is one minute of water enough for the plants? When they get bigger do they need more?
Thanks for posting such great pictures with such great results!
The 1" PVC pipes had a 1/8" diameter hole drilled in them at each plant location. I pointed the holes straight down to make sure water stayed where i wanted it. I made a small soil levee around each plant. PVC pipes were connected to the water hose I turned the water faucet on the side of the house it took about 1 minutes to fill all the levees around the plants. Holes did get plugged up sometimes I learned to put a, stick, rock, board, or something under the PVC pipes to hold them up to keep holes from getting full of soil. Arizona soil in town is powdered rock it is like pouring water into a bowl of all purpose flour once it gets wet is stays wet. Desert soil 60 miles from town is completely different it is big sand, pour a 5 gallon bucket of water on the desert soil it is gone into the soil in seconds.

The yard had an automatic timer irrigation system that was all screwed up. Some plants got too much water while others got very little. I soon learned 2 liter sprayers from Lowe's turned on 15 minutes gave bushed and trees about 1 quart of water each. Front yard had a different type irrigation for grass it only needed to be on 10 minutes every night.

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