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How often to water

Posted by tbick VA (My Page) on
Mon, May 19, 14 at 9:41

Hi all,

Sorry for asking a question that may have been answered before, but I couldn't find much info on watering an SFG. I'm new to gardening in general and have been watering every day. After reading how often to water (specifically related to in-ground gardens) it looks like that's too often, and I should be watering deeply, once a week. Is this a standard schedule for watering?

I live in northern Virginia, which is a humid climate with rainfall a couple of times per week on average. My soil is 50% compost, 25% peat, 25% vermiculite.

I also realize that the amount of water differs, depending on the plant, as well as how much rain I get. I have a lot of greens, tomatoes, peppers, and beans.

Thanks for the help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How often to water

I think it depends on your plants and their conditions. We can't quite clearly describe a watering schedule due to all these factors.

Young plants and transplants should be more watered to get established. Older and more mature plants may not need to be watered as much.

A general rule is to see how wet the soil is a few inches below the top, around the root zone of where your plants would be. But even that is not a good measure because as you said, it's better to have deep roots than shallow roots. At the same time, summer has not arrived yet. Although VA summers aren't that hot compared to other regions but watering in spring will be different from watering in summer.

I think you could use the soil test and your plants to tell you when they need water. You could also ignore that and just water on a certain schedule, such as 2-3 days a week when there is no rain (or more -- you'll have to determine this). Once a week might even be enough if you get sufficient rain.

RE: How often to water

My raised beds are essentially filled with the same "modified" mel's mix as yours. I find that it drains well... almost too well and that i need to water every 2-3 days this time of the year. We get very little supplements water (rainfall)... so during the summer I water every day or every other day.

I imagine you wouldn't need to water as often as you receive more rainfall.

I find that, overall, my plants do well with that watering schedule.

RE: How often to water

Thanks nugrdnnut and gardenper. That's very helpful information.

RE: How often to water

I also water about every other day in the heat of the summer. I can get by with twice a week if I use a soaker hose on top of the soil and then heavily mulch on top of the soaker hose. It all depends on the weather and the ability of the soil to retain the moisture.

RE: How often to water

I also found when starting out with SFG, that the soil would dry up a bit too much. I started mulching with straw (wheat stalks, pea vines, fava bean stalks, etc, and the amount I water is a lot less.

I tend to do a heavy water every 3-4 days once plants get established. Seems to be working so far; and I live in an area that gets zero rain during the summer

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