Let’s Garden #6 – Watering

“Until you water your garden, the grass will always be greener elsewhere” – Natacha Diamondra

My zone has been plagued with burst of sunshine mixed with long spells of rain and low temperatures. It has been very interesting to see plants grow wild and then become dormant for days. I live in Zone 6A and believe me when I tell you that most people in my zone don’t even start planting anything outside until May. I’ve heard people that wait as late as Mother’s Day. I don’t have that kind of patience.

Currently my garden is full of cabbage, corn, greens, onions, lettuce, potatoes, cauliflower, and every type of basil, sage, lavender, chamomile, mint, and thyme that I can get my hands on. I have peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers in the cold frame dying to come out. One side of my garden looks like it’s mid July instead of the beginning of May. I have no shame. I’m thrilled to death with how great it looks. Let me state I have been fully aware that I could lose everything in the blink of an eye due to weather, but that was a chance I was willing to take.

Currently my garden needs little to no watering from me. I have an irrigation set up, but I usually don’t turn it on until the end of June. I love to hand water, but I did not love lugging the water hose across my lawn every time I needed to give my plants a bath. The first year in my garden I didn’t even have the water hose. I purchased four plastic two gallon watering cans that I will fill up each day. I would haul them one by one to the garden to water and then refill them when I was done. Considering how small and sad my garden was the first year these four pails were enough to do the job. The second year, not so much.

The second year I did a great job with planning and getting everything into place. I was growing ten times as much the second year as the first year and after lugging these jugs back and forth four times I knew I needed to do something. If I had to do this everyday my garden was going to die. I was not about to do this several times a day. As with everything else I did some research to come up with a method that would let me enjoy growing more veggies.

After I looked at various ways to water the garden I knew I needed to have a hose closer to the garden. I didn’t want to drag a hose back and forth and I didn’t want to lug the watering cans. I saw on some YouTube videos where master gardeners had water spigots installed in their garden. I wasn’t that rich so that option was out. I finally found something that would worked for me, and my husband was not happy.

I decided I was going to run a water hose from the house to the garden. The trick was I was going to dig a trench in the yard and bury the water hose. You should have seen my husbands face when I told him I was digging a trench in the yard. I assured him it would do no damage to the yard and it was so easy my son and I were going to do it.

The next afternoon I grabbed my son and off we went. I took a string and tied it from the faucet to the garden so I knew where to dig. We took a garden spade and simply pushed it into the dirt by the string and wiggled the shovel back and forth to create a crevice. The crevice needed to be deep enough and wide enough to hold the hose.

In my head this was the easiest thing in the world. Problem was my soil is rock and clay and we looked so pathetic trying to get this done my husband came out to help. What I thought would take thirty minutes actually took us two hours to dig. The trench was two inches wide and seventy five feet long. It was crazy.

While we were completing this I thought “why is everything with this garden so hard?” I will tell you looking back I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner.

One end of the hose is hooked up to the house the other end is placed inside of the garden. I attached a flex hose to the rubber hose and I also have a watering wand attached. When I want to use the irrigation I remove the flex hose and attach the irrigation system. Again one of the best things I ever did in the garden.

So why am I telling you this now? I’m telling you thing now because you need to come up with a watering system now. Come up with a system while it’s not 100 degrees outside. Come up with a system when you don’t need the system. It’s much easier to do something when you don’t have to. You can put more time into it and now rush.

Directions:

Use a string to tie off where you want to place the hose. You can also spray paint a line in the grass. You just need something that will help guide you while you dig.

Use a garden spade to dig your trench. The flat head of the spade makes it easier to create straight lines as well as create the trench. To create the trench you simply place the spade in the ground and wiggle the spade back and forth. It will literally push your grass to the side.

This is not my yard, but a photo to show you what your trench should look like.

After you have dug your trench you will place your hose inside the trench. I suggest getting a rubber hose since it will be buried in the ground. I also suggest getting a hose longer than what you need. We got a 100ft hose that needed to go 75ft. You will need that extra length to attach your accessories.

While I’m not endorsing this brand and would highly recommend getting a heavy duty hose. DO NOT GET CHEAP. This thing will be buried in the ground for years.

After you bury the hose in the ground you will then go back and push the dirt over the hose. We were simply able to push the grass over the hose with our hand. It was very soft and pliable. You will see the line in your grass for thirty days or less. Our grass grows fast and after two weeks we didn’t even notice where we buried the hose.

At the end of the hose I attached a flex hose to give me more length to navigate around the garden. I chose a flex hose because they shrink up when not in use taking us much less space. FYI- if you live in colder climate drain the flex hose at the end of the season and store it.

At the end of the flex hose I attach a wand. Not something you have to do, but I like giving my plants a gentle watering instead pounding them with water.

This one gardening tip has saved me hours of useless water hauling. I get to spend more time looking for bugs and harvesting veggies. When the sun decides to come out full force in the dead of summer I don’t worry. I can easily go outside and water for 15 minutes twice a day and not worry about thirsty plants.

In a later blog I will discuss my irrigation system. Know that the big difference is I take the flex hose off and attach the irrigation hose. What I’m telling you is get this step done if you plan to follow any irrigation system far from your house, or you can plan to haul your water hose back and forth. Your choice. As for me, I don’t have that kind of time in my life.

Tell me about your watering system? I love learning new tips and spreading them. Remember ever garden is not for everyone. We have different set ups and we grow different things. My watering tip may not help you but someones else’s may. There is nothing I love more about gardening than sharing. Let’s Start Gardening.

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