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Drip it Like it

Drip it Like it's Hot! Watering Tips for the Water-wise Fruit and Vegetable Gardener

In Southern California, water is a resource we cannot afford to waste, and we've tried to take some small steps to keep our plants and planet happy. So, I've put together five simple irrigation and watering tips to help you grow bountiful harvests while also being water-wise.

  1. Drip it like it's hot: Consider using a drip irrigation system for your garden. It provides slow, precise watering directly to the plant's roots, minimizing water waste and keeping them hydrated without drowning. We use a brand called Netafim and find the material to be both sturdy and effective!
  2. Don't be a drip; check the drip: Regularly inspect your irrigation system for leaks or clogs. Fixing them promptly will ensure your plants receive the right amount of water and prevent any water-related melon-dramas.
  3. Time it ripe: Water your garden during the early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler. This allows for better absorption and minimizes water loss due to evaporation. It's all about making the most "thyme" for your water!
  4. The deep root dive: Encourage deep root growth by watering deeply and infrequently. This helps plants develop a robust root system, making them more resilient against drought conditions.
  5. The thirst quenchers: Some thirsty fruits and veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers may need more water than others. Get to know your plants' moisture needs, and grouping plants with similar water requirements can make watering easier and help prevent over or under watering.

Tomato plant with unripe tomatoes growing with Marigold flowers.

Speaking of wisdom, Rutabaga Education's Third and Fourth Grade Fall Book includes a lesson about mulch, a whole different topic about how to be water-wise while adding nutrients to the soil and protecting your growing spaces from weeds. It's called "Thank You Very Mulch!" and sneaks in age-appropriate mathematics as well. It is definitely worth checking out!

Still thirsty for more watering tips? Check out this video made for my boy's elementary school during the Covid lockdown days. What it lacks in video quality, it makes up for easy-to-implement information.

That's it. Water you waiting for?

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