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How often do I need to water my garden?

I have raised garden beds that are 16 inches deep. Two of them are three feet wide and seven feet long. The other two are two feet wide and three feet long. Not sure if that information mattered or not. Anyways I've planted tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, squash, onions. cucumbers. I'm new at gardening and I don't want to over water or underwater...So should I be watering every morning, or only every couple of days. I live in Northern California in zone 9 if that information helps.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Water your garden when it needs it. :) Sorry, but it's hard to be more specific, it depends on so many things. Did you get any rain? How humid is your air? Are they in full sun? What plants are we talking about (Tomatoes and peppers need a lot more water than herbs)? Are they mulched? How hot is it?

So watering on any kind of schedule doesn't always work, because if it is really hot they will need more water than if cooler, if it rains then you don't need to water, etc.

Put your finger in down to the knuckle. If the soil is dry that far down, then water.

In general for ESTABLISHED plants (not seedlings or stuff you just put in the ground), you want to water deeply but less often. That helps them put down deep roots, which makes them healthier. So I usually water once a week ish, less if there's any rain, maybe more if it is really hot and sunny. I keep my beds mulched, which helps conserve water.

Hope this helps some.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

"Northern California" covers everywhere from the now-getting-hot Central Valley to the just-barely-melting-snow of Truckee and other high mountains. Sunset's climate zone system divides northern California (if we arbitrarily decide that it's everything from Yosemite north) into twelve zones, from 1A (coldest) to 17 (mildest winters), skipping some intermediate numbers.

Whereabouts are you, roughly? How are your plants doing? Are they in-ground or in raised beds or in containers? Which ones have you planted? How much sun do they get?

All of this information relates to the "how often should I water them" question. :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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