gardening thoughts #2: streamline watering

This year I learned that I need to take water management more seriously in the garden. I naively thought that I would be able to easily manage 18 square feet of garden with my manual hose. While that worked well initially, once my plants were established and the temperature in the 90s for most of the summer, I found that it was hard to keep up with it.

As a result, I’ll be making three improvements for the next growing season.

I plan on installing soaker hose in each of my garden beds. After reading a good deal about how they work, I think this will be the right solution for me as I don’t want to install in-ground sprinklers in my raised garden beds. With 36 square feet of garden — yes, I’ve doubled my garden space — I shouldn’t have a problem with the water reaching the end of the hose. Also, this will allow me to add a timer to the hose. Once I figure out the right amount of time to water, I should have a much easier time.

My second improvement will be buying a moisture meter so that I can have a better idea of when to water. This year I mostly went by how hot it was and tried to water every two to three days. However, I think that my garden might have done better if I had more data on how the soil was doing. I don’t think that this will solve all of my problems, but more data certainly can’t hurt.

In addition to my raised garden beds, I also have four hanging baskets that I attempted to grow strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries in. It was a complete and total failure. I think most of the issue comes from being able to keep the plants sufficiently watered both due to time constraints and the baskets that I used. Next year, I plan on just doing flowers in the baskets that can be replaced as needed and dedicating a new raised bed to my berry dreams.

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