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Watering the Summer Garden

This post contains affiliate links. Read my complete affiliate disclosure here.

How much water does your garden need?

The heat and thick humidity of summer have arrived in Oklahoma, and even the morning and evening hours are hot and extremely sticky. This is the time of year that I've often just quit watering the garden in the past because it was too awful to stand outside in the heat.

But I'm determined to see it through this year, since my garden is doing so well. Last year I used this water tank and a soaker hose. It worked very well, although the water pressure from the tank was rather poor and at the end of the season the hose sprung a huge leak that still needs to be repaired. I'm still using the tank, but my hose is hooked up to the faucet near the house instead, with the water timer attached. That water timer has saved me so much money over the past year! I highly recommend them. Here's the one I use. (affiliate link)

(You might notice that the reviews for the water timer on Amazon are widely varied. Many say that theirs haven't lasted well. Personally, I never turn the timer dial to "off," instead I turn off the faucet and let the timer run out naturally. Mine has lasted for a year and a half with no problems and has really been a water-saver and money-saver.)

This water timer has paid for itself many times over in the water that DIDN'T overflow!

So how much water does your vegetable garden need, anyway? The generally-accepted answer to that question is one inch of water per week. But that's a generalization; many things impact that rule. Young plants and container plants require more water more often. High temperatures and wind can wick the moisture out of the ground.

Soil type also affects how much water your garden needs. Sandy soil needs more water. A garden that is rich in organic matter will require less water. Mulching your garden helps prevent evaporation and keeps your soil moist and cool. I use whatever I have available as mulch: dried grass clippings, straw or hay (beware of weed seeds in hay), and leftover bags of the wood shavings that I use as bedding in the chick brooder. A two- to four-inch layer of mulch is the most effective but keep the mulch at least one inch away from your plant stems.

The best time to water is early in the morning or in the evening when the heat is less likely to evaporate the water, but be careful to keep water off the plant foliage if you water in the evening. Damp foliage is likely to develop fungal problems.

Plants like rainwater better than water from a hose. I guess that isn't a scientific fact but that's what I've noticed. Save rainwater if you can; you can put a rain barrel under your downspouts, for instance. I use the rainwater that collects in buckets, feeders and the wheelbarrow to water my garden.

Earlier this year I received an email from a reader named Connie who has developed several innovative gardening products. She offered to send me a package of her HydroRoot water reservoirs to use in my garden. Connie developed this product to make watering easier and to decrease water usage.

(By the way, this is not a sponsored post. The product shown was sent to me for my use and with no obligation. I love the product and I'm sure you will too. The opinions in this post are completely my own based on my experience.)

HydroRoot puts water right on your plants' roots.

I used several in my herb containers and flower pots, and they really work great in containers. Others went in my raised bed garden, like this one next to my single cherry tomato plant (above). This plant needs more water than the perennial Mediterranean herbs in the same bed, and this is a great way to give it additional water.

Place your plants off-center in the pot so there's room for the HydroRoot reservoir.
Place your plants off-center in the container so there's room for the HydroRoot reservoir.

Watering deeply but less often encourages plant roots to grow deep root systems, which increases drought tolerance. HydroRoot puts water right where it's the most effective.

HydroRoot water reservoirs are sold in sets of six, in three sizes: 6 ounce, 12 ounce and 24 ounce. Mine are the 12-ounce size.They are available at the HydroRoot website along with several other innovative gardening products. You can also order them on Amazon here. (affiliate link)

Hopefully my garden and I will both hold out through the hot, humid weather. How do you keep your garden watered in summer?

The images below are affiliate links. Read my complete affiliate disclosure here.

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  1. Keep us posted on how these work for you!

    1. I will, Danielle. So far, they're working great!

  2. An empty garden pot works as well as purchasing this.

  3. Looks interesting.... it really is hot and humid... whew... 80 degrees at night. Sweltering during the day, but the plants are making it so far. :)

    1. Sweltering is definitely the word! Phew!

  4. Those are interesting! I may have to try a few. I can see how they could really be helpful with some plants.

    1. They are - I especially like having them in containers.

  5. I haven't planted a vegetable garden this year because we are travelling a lot and I was worried about keeping it watered...but these ideas and tools could really help! I particularly like the reservoir gadget. Thank you so much for sharing, Kathi, and for being a part of Hearth and Soul.

    1. Thank you, April, I really enjoy the Hearth and Soul hop and love to participate each week.

      I worry about the garden when we travel too. I try to make it as easy as possible for my farm sitter, and these tools really help. I hope your garden next year is beautiful and productive.

  6. Thanks for the tips about helpful devices for watering. It's a constant chore that you have to stay on top of. We're into the upper 90's with heat indexes over 100 here in coastal Georgia. So, our plants are begging for water.
    Carol ("Mimi") from Home with Mimi

    1. It sounds like Georgia and Oklahoma have similar weather right now, Carol.

  7. Love the idea of the Hydroroot system. Thanks for sharing your gardening tips with us at #overthemoon. have a great week!

    1. You're welcome, Sue - thank you for hosting!


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