Here are some things to keep in mind for your Home Gardens:
- Never run sprinklers to water your garden. Sure, it’s easy to set the sprinkler to cover the entire garden and let it go. But much of the sprinkler water is lost to the breeze and evaporation. And different plants require different amounts of watering. We don’t want to over water one plant while we’re under watering another.
- Hose and nozzle watering can also be wasteful. Keep spray or shower directed to each particular plant and use a trigger nozzle that allows use to quickly turn off water as you move between plants and rows. Nozzles with multiple settings and an on-off trigger are best, allowing you to adjust spray and pressure to avoid run-off or plant damage.
- Hand-water small gardens (or specific plants) with a watering can. For those with the back and shoulders to hoist one, a watering can is perfect for applying water directly around the plant where it’s most needed.
- Many garden vegetables and some bedding plants are best watered near the soil, keeping moisture off leaves, stems, and blossoms where it may encourage fungus and other diseases as well as attract insects. If you have insects on your leaves, blasting them off with a spray of water can be wasteful where water is at a premium. Instead, hand-pick (or squash eggs and larvae right where you find them) and release beneficial insects.
- Empty soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and other conservation-minded forms of garden irrigation as practical. If your watering system is on an automatic timer, make sure you use a rain or soil moisture detector to keep it from running when not needed. Otherwise, control your system manually, watering only as needed.
- Mulch between plants and rows to slow evaporation from the soil. Thin plants to recommended spacing distance to avoid competition for soil moisture.