praying mantis
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

Differing watering habits

I am mystified at how varied everyones watering habits are from eachother. Yes, the local climate, soil conditions and setup are critical.

I still don't know my sunset zone. My plants are on a drip system. They get 2-3 hours of water at 15psi 2Xweek. In high heat, they might get 1 hour squeezed in there if there seems a need for it. They get morning sprinkling with fish emulsion as needed, between 1-2 x week. They get evening sprinking if they are completely desparate after triple digits. I don't count sprinkling as watering because I know most of it will evaporate. It tends to give the soil a buffer before baking.

If I ever decide to mulch my adult plants, then my watering routine will have to adjust. Currently, the potatoes are mulched which means the eggplants are mulched. The corn is densely packed and maintains its own micro-climate. The squash/melon/cucumber patch is mostly covered. The tomatoes could probably benefit from mulching. I just raised their skirts last night. I don't know how you people do it but all of my tomato plants are suffering from something different. sigh

Today, I harvested a large yellow squash. Plants are lovely.

Please share your watering system and habits.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I can answer the watering specs later, but just wanted to let you know that I sent you a PM.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9/Sunset Zone 17

Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Windsor, Ontario - Zone 6a

nothing high-tech here, I ran and staked down a plain old lawn sprinkler into my veggie patch, but I only turn it on if we haven't had rain in awhile. I usually decide it's "been awhile" when things look really dry... been raining every couple days here so I've only had to water my plants twice (and one of those times it was just because I added some more lettuce seeds)

if I do have to turn it on, it's usually for anywhere from 30-60 minutes and in the morning...

Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Hi there,
We're getting poured on a LOT lately, but the rain is making my vegies very no watering going on for me. Earlier I was watering maybe twice a week in the mornings..... Lots of tomatoes squash yet, no flowers either, but it looks good.....

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

got it. :)
Last edited by Charlie MV on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:06 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Here in Albuquerque, I am watering (via soakers) at 8AM for 30 mins, again at 7PM for 30 mins, and if I don't squeeze in a third watering midday at 1PM for 15 mins the entire garden hates me. I am also using a mesh netting over the garden to provide some extra shade, but the ground still bakes out so quickly that it is scary. Only 2 days with rain so far this year, and both were just a sprinkle.

You folks are lucky who only have to water 2-3 times a WEEK!

User avatar
Green Thumb
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

Last night was the first time I've watered this year. Rain forcasted for the rest of the week though :)

by the 4th of July... The pivot irrigation will be on if we don't get an inch of rain or so and the end gun covers just about everything...

Senior Member
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:13 am
Location: Denver, CO (zone 5)

I water every day. Not all of my plants get watered every day, but they get checked. My plants in small pots have to be checked daily. Those in self watering containers do better at keeping some moisture than others. I am experimenting with growing in styrofoam coolers and those don't need to be watered daily if I filled them high enough and mulched with straw.

My upside-down tomatoes don't need watering as frequently so I can usually go three days without watering.

It's a daily bake-off here so I'm afraid of not watering even when the forecast calls for rain. The forecast is wrong 95% of the time. This has been an unusually dry spring and summer will probably be even more so. Next year I'll look into drip irrigation if and when I have more uniform containers.

If I didn't go out with the hose, I'd worry that bugs were taking over my garden. Found more aphids than I've ever seen on one of my peppers, hosed them down although the pepper didn't need watering that day. The next day, I saw there were still aphids so I sprayed with epsom salt. No more aphids. Saw just a few aphids on one of my potato plants and was able to hose them off.

Also, if I'm not vigilant about checking my garden, the squirrels would play football with my small containers. I've lost some plants because I didn't see the planter on the ground for a few days. Some plants were nearly lost and some plants were hopelessly lost. These are mostly herbs that were too small or too new to go into bigger pots. Some plants were nicely established but the squirrels decided to dig them up and throw them on the ground. Lost many strawberry plants to squirrel attacks and my greek oregano.

I'm less persistent about watering the front yard because everything is planted in the ground at the moment except a few daylilies. Even the new plantings have to adjust to growing in our drought conditions unless they are edible like my strawberries, blackberries, elderberries, raspberries and mulberry tree. I'm not sure if I can do a drip irrigation on the front because thieves steal sprinklers and hoses left unattended. And the cats that people let wander the neighborhood like to leave piles of poop in my yard and their dead bird kills.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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