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Watering Your Garden

Watering Your Garden

Gardens, regardless of size, require attention. Your garden will need watering daily during the summer months, but how do you know if you are giving too much or not enough?

My solution is to use a soaker hose. The soaker hose is a porous hose that allows water to seep out slowly over an extended period of time to water the soil evenly and efficiently. Using a soaker hose provides your plants the right amount of water with little waste. Studies show that soaker hoses can save between 30% and 50% of water usage. Soaker hoses can be placed around flowers, vegetable plants, and shrubs. It is best to keep the hose about 2 inches away from the stem of the plant. For plants that require more water, the hose can be looped around the plant base. Depending on how big your garden boxes are, you may need more than one soaker hose.

Soaker hoses should be kept as short as possible. If you connect two hoses together, you will find that by the time the water reaches the end, little to no water will remain in the hose. The longest I would recommend is 100 feet.

When shopping for soaker hoses, you will find many different kinds, but the most popular two will be a round, foam kind, similar to a garden hose. The other will be a flat nylon. I prefer the flat nylon because it is easier to place in a straight line along the plants. The flat nylon is also easier to store in the winter.

Whatever style you choose, it is best to lay the hose out in your yard and test it to get an idea as to how much water seeps out. This will also help clean the hose before use in your garden. Once you place the hose, I recommend only watering 30 minutes the first time and then check how far down the water seeped into your soil.

You will water your garden 2 to 3 times a week. If you notice puddles forming under your plants, decrease watering time and/or frequency.

To compliment your soaker hose, you can purchase a timer that connects to the soaker hose. This allows you more freedom, and the ability to water when you are not available. There are even timers on the market that you can control using an app on your smartphone.

After a week or two using the soaker hose, apply mulch over the hose and in the beds to help keep the moisture from evaporating.

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