Garden Tips, Tools & Advice
Tools & Resources
by the Staff at Seeds of Change
Quick Start Guide (detailed instructions below)
The primary objective of irrigation is to provide your plants with the right amount of water at the right times so that they can develop vigorous root systems for extracting water and nutrients from the soil. While too little water can seriously limit plant growth, or even kill the plant, too much water is wasteful, and can also impair growth. Successful watering requires careful observation, knowledge of your soil type, and of the specific needs of your plants throughout their life cycle.
Know Your Climate
Plants growing under hot, dry conditions lose more moisture into the air than those in cooler, more humid regions. A good rule of thumb is that in temperate, humid regions most vegetables need about 1 inch of water per week over the course of a growing season (either from natural rainfall or supplemental irrigation). In arid regions they need about 2 inches per week. Heavy mulching can dramatically reduce the need for supplemental watering in many situations, with the added benefit of weed suppression.
Know Your Crop
Cool season annual vegetables such as brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) and leafy greens typically root at shallow depths and need to be irrigated frequently for shorter periods of time just long enough to moisten the root zone. Most warm-season annuals such as tomatoes and vine crops (squash, cucumber, melon, etc.), as well as perennials, have deeper, more extensive root systems. Irrigate deeper-rooted crops more heavily, but less frequently to encourage their roots to grow deeper.
Many crops, especially in humid climates, prefer to be watered at the base of the plant to discourage bacterial and fungal leaf diseases. These include beans, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, squash, melons, peppers, tomatoes, okra, onions, and potatoes. Most flowers, herbs, and vegetables (including carrots, beets, chard, radishes, turnips, leeks, rutabaga, and parsnips) can be overhead or bottom watered regardless of climatic conditions.
Choose Your Method
There are several methods of irrigating, each with particular advantages and disadvantages.
Dark Star Zucchini
Tiger's Eye Mix Sunflower
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice
Brown Basmati Rice
Brown & Red Rice
Quinoa & Brown Rice