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4 Easy Ways to Water Your Vegetable Garden

Irrigate Your Vegetable GardenLast week, I posted a video on how to irrigate your vegetable garden for success.  Unless you have a small garden (and hose!) right outside your door and you remember to water it every day or two, relying on your memory and manually watering will only lead to disappointment.  This is especially true in the Phoenix desert where soils dry up and heat up pretty quickly.

So here are 4 easy ways to water your vegetable garden for success:

  • Drip Irrigation – If you already have a drip system in place, all you need to do is run additional lines (if your system can support them).  If you don’t have an existing drip irrigation system, try a Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation Kit and connect it to a hose using a Hose End Timer.  These are pretty easy to install and offer many options for drip, spray, soaker, and other kinds of watering.  And with the timer, all you do is…set it and forget it!
  • Soaker Hoses – For even easier setup, just run a Weeper/Soaker Hose through your vegetable garden and attach it to a Digital Water Timer.  Since we don’t have an irrigation system, I use this method for watering some of my beds with native and desert-adapted plants.  Once these hoses are covered with mulch, you can’t see them…but they’re doing their job automatically!
  • Ollas – These terracotta jars are making a comeback here in the desert Southwest!  I haven’t tried them yet, but I plan to.  They have a wide belly and a narrow neck, and are buried in the ground with the neck sticking out.  Simply fill, and the water will slowly seep out through the jar.  Make sure to use an unglazed jar though, as glazed pots will not allow water through.
  • Watering Stakes – These Watering Stakes are similar to ollas, but instead of burying a jar, you insert a terracotta stake into your garden.  You can then fill a wine bottle and invert it into the stake where it’ll slowly seep into your garden.  Drink wine, water your garden!  (There are also Watering Stakes for Plastic Soda Bottles, too!)

What’s missing from this list?

(By the way, I searched “watering vegetable gardens” to find the image for this post and saw all kinds of images of people pouring water ON their plants.  Spraying water on plants instead of on the soil is a like an open invitation for pests and diseases.  Because we have so little rain here in the Phoenix desert, we have fewer plant and pest problems.  So resist the urge to spray plants and focus your efforts on the soil.)

Step 8: Mulch & Cultivate to Control Weeds

Now that you’ve put your watering system in place, you’ll want to add some mulch–both to maximize your watering and to control weeds.  Check out this next video for gardening tips on what kinds of mulches to use, how to apply them…and how to tackle any weeds that creep up.

Step 7: Irrigate Your Vegetable Garden

So now you’ve sowed your seeds and planted your transplants in your vegetable garden…what’s next?  WATER!  Since we’re not blessed with a steady supply of rain here in our Phoenix desert gardens, here’s a great gardening tip:   invest in a watering system that automatically turns on and off as needed.  I mean, really…do you want to spend all of this time and effort into your veggies only to forget to water them?  Check out the video for some great watering tips for your garden!

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