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How to Water Vegetable Gardens

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How to Water Vegetable Gardens

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Overview

Correctly watering your vegetable garden requires more effort than turning on the sprinkler once a week. The amount of water required by vegetable plants varies depending on the soil composition, the type of plant, the amount of rainfall and the temperature between waterings. For best results, group plants with similar water needs in the same area of the garden.

Step 1

Lay out a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses that can be turned on separately for each garden section. Using a water source close to the ground rather than a sprinkler minimizes the amount of residual water on the plants' leaves, reducing the chance of fungal infections.

Step 2

Apply water to new plants more frequently than established ones; the roots of new plants are closer to the soil surface and dry out more quickly.

Step 3

Water your garden in the early morning to allow plant leaves time to dry during the heat of the day.

Step 4

Apply water when the soil around the base of the plants is dry to 1/2 inch below the surface.

Step 5

Water your plants deeply rather than often. The general rule of thumb is 1 inch of water per week. However, plants' needs vary, and sandy soils lose moisture more quickly than loamy or clay soils. In very hot summers, the need for water will increase for all vegetables.

Step 6

Water plants individually with a watering can if only one plant in an area needs nourishment.

Tips and Warnings

  • Vegetable plants suffer and die from too much water just as they do from not enough water.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip irrigation system or soaker hose
  • Watering can

References

  • Efficient Water Use in the Vegetable Garden
  • Vegetable Gardening
Keywords: vegetable gardening, watering vegetables, vegetable garden water needs

About this Author

Barbara Brown has been a freelance writer since 2006. She worked 10 years performing psychological testing before moving into information research. She worked as a knowledge management specialist and project manager in defense and health research. She is studying to be a master gardener and has a master's degree in psychology from Southern Methodist University.