When I ask people what their biggest struggle is with gardening, one of the most common answers I get is watering the garden. Vegetable garden irrigation is one of the most crucial aspects of successfully growing food, and it can make or break your growing season.
I know this might come as a surprise to you, but there is a right way to water your vegetable garden, and there is a wrong way.
It seems like watering a vegetable garden would be a total no-brainer… but it’s not. In fact, when it comes to growing food, one of the biggest mistakes that new gardeners make is improper watering.
There’s not doubt that vegetable garden irrigation is a super important part of growing food. So when Gilmour reached out to me and asked me to test out some of their products this summer, I said heck yes!
The high quality Flexogen heavy duty garden hose is super lightweight and kink resistant, and their watering accessories are top-notch. These great Gilmour products really do make a huge difference to help with the difficult chore of watering the garden!
Watering Your Vegetable Garden
Vegetables need a LOT of water in order to produce tons of yummy food for us. If they don’t get enough water, they won’t produce as much fruit.
Not only that, but improper watering can cause lots of problems, including disease issues and fungus growth. Blossom end rot and cracking vegetables are also very common problems caused by inconsistent watering.
So, if your vegetable garden isn’t producing as much beautiful food as you would like, it might be a sign that you’re not watering it correctly.
Oh, and if you have an underground lawn irrigation system, you might think you’re good to go. But think again!
An underground watering system for lawns is great for keeping your yard green, but unfortunately it doesn’t provide enough water for a vegetable garden.
How To Water A Vegetable Garden
The best way to water a vegetable garden is by directing the water at the base of each plant rather than over the top of the leaves.
When you water at the base, the leaves won’t get wet, which helps prevent fungus and mildew growth.
Watering plants at the base also helps to reduce weed growth because you’re only watering your vegetables, and not the entire garden (including all the weeds).
When To Water Your Vegetable Garden
The best time of day to water your vegetable garden is in the early morning. That way, the leaves of the plants can dry out during the day, preventing disease and mildew problems.
Watering in the morning also helps to conserve water since it won’t evaporate quickly like it can in the hot afternoon sun.
The second best time of day to water your vegetable garden is in the evening. But, if you do water in the evening, take extra care not to get any water on the foliage.
Water sitting on the the leaves overnight is a breeding ground for fungus and disease.
How Often Should You Water Your Garden
The good news is that you don’t need to water your vegetable garden every day, even during the hottest and driest months of the year!
In fact, you shouldn’t water your garden that often. Daily, shallow waterings will cause the roots to grow shallow, which means the plants will become dependent on you for more frequent watering.
I know it sounds backwards, but it’s best to water your vegetable garden less often, with deeper waterings.
A plants roots will grow where the water is, and you want your vegetable plants to have deep roots!
So, if you water your vegetables correctly with infrequent but deep waterings, the roots will grow deep, and the plants won’t need to be watered as often.
How Much Water Do Vegetable Plants Need?
The general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to give your vegetable garden about one to two inches of water on a weekly basis.
Put a rain gauge in your garden to help you measure how much rain it’s getting, and then keep track of it through the week.
If it gets less than one inch of rain, then you know that you will need to water your garden.
Vegetable Garden Irrigation Methods
Watering your garden by hand is one great way to ensure that it’s done right.
But let’s be honest here… we don’t always have time to stand out in our vegetable garden with the hose watering each plant by hand!
The good news is that there are other vegetable garden irrigation methods that can help to make our lives easier.
One way to make watering vegetables easier (and to get the consistency and timing right!) is to plug your hose into a garden watering timer. Then you can set it and forget it.
It’s simple to install a DIY automated irrigation system on a timer, and it doesn’t have to be super fancy.
You can hook your hose up to sprinklers, a soaker hose, or even take it a step further and install a vegetable garden drip irrigation system.
And the best part… any of these DIY garden irrigation systems can be hooked right up to your garden hose, no tools necessary – easy peasy.
More Vegetable Garden Watering Tips
- Use mulch to help the soil retain moisture so you don’t have to water as often. Mulch acts as an insulator so the moisture is held in the soil, and it won’t evaporate in the hot sun.
- To conserve water, don’t use irrigation sprinklers during the heat of the day because most of the water will likely evaporate before it hits the ground.
- Mulching the vegetable garden also helps to keep soil from splashing up on the leaves, which prevents soil borne diseases like blight from infecting your plants.
- To help with weed control, direct the water to the vegetable plants only, rather than watering your entire garden.
- Depending on the type of soil you have in your garden, you may need to water more often. Sandy soils drain faster than clay soils, and will need to be watered more often.
- Amending your soil with compost will also help the soil retain water, and is perfect for improving any type of garden soil.
Vegetable garden irrigation is one of the most important things to pay attention to when you’re growing your own food. So, if your vegetable garden isn’t growing very well, then you might be watering it wrong.
Just remember to water deeply every week, and you’ll notice a big difference in both the health and the productivity of your vegetable garden!
More Posts About Vegetable Gardening
- Beginner’s Guide to Mulching Your Vegetable Garden
- 5 Tips for Watering Your Vegetable Garden
- How To Plan A Vegetable Garden Layout
- Natural Pest Control Remedies For Your Garden
Share you vegetable garden irrigation tips in the comments section below!