Root Zone Watering
Newly planted raspberries, thirsty no more

Newly planted raspberries, thirsty no more

May 12, 2015

Spring work continues to fill our days. One of our big projects continues to take shape. We are making the raised beds better as often as we can. I added soaker hoses to the raspberry and blueberry beds. Overhead watering is not only wasteful, it opens the door to many plant diseases. Overhead watering is not like a rain storm. It can give your brambles and other plants, the equivalent to athlete’s feet…. but even the berry bushes can’t scratch themselves!

Watering plants at the root zone is very beneficial. Now that our beds are raised, we have to be more aware of the micro-climate we have created. The soil will be warmer and drier. The sun and wind evaporate the moisture quicker than in a conventional garden. This makes it easier to garden in wet times or earlier in the year, but the reduced soil moisture needs to be monitored. A plant needs a inch of water per week in the growing season.

I keep a rain gage handy to see what Mother Nature applied. I consider temperatures and wind conditions. I then try to keep somewhere around that inch. A simple trick for the novice is; place a sardine can under the soaker hose. When the can is pretty much full…that is an inch of water. That water was applied right where it will do the most good.

Keep an eye on soil moisture by feel, by look and eventually experience will make it easy to know, ” when to say when.” The best part is, spending time in the garden checking out the water makes you want to pull weeds, stake up a plant or pick a fresh vegetable. Time spent in a garden will ease your mind and feed your body as well as your soul.

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