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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Water question Toplef10Water question 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Water question I22gcj10Water question 14dhcg10

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Turan
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DbleT
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Post  DbleT 6/22/2012, 6:58 pm

Hi, when I built my garden I included a irrigation system that comes from lawn watering zone that I can set for any day, time, etc. and has drippers that water each square that have vegetables planted in them. My question would be in regards to over-watering as right now I have it set to water every morning at 7am for 6 min. This area gets great sunlight from around 8 or 9 am to at least 5 or 6pm. The temperature in this area at this time of year is getting close to 85 degrees for at least 4 -5 hrs in the afternoon, and probably close to the mid 90's as summer proceeds. Nothing is turning yellow and the veggies seems to be progressing nicely but I just read in my recent Sunset magazine that I should be watering less frequently but more deeply. So my question would be, should I cut back to every other day, every second day or just keep things as they are? Should I do a bit less in the morning and give them some water in the early evening? Perhaps cutting down on the watering time? Any advice would be appreciated as I don't want to screw up what looks to be turning out well for my first garden. Thanks!

I do notice that water is starting to migrate outside the perimeter on at least three sides of the garden where one can see it in the dirt (pictures 2-4). I've included the 1st picture so you get the idea of how things are proceeding with my present watering schedule.

Water question Img_2810

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DbleT
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Post  landarch 6/22/2012, 7:23 pm

I would only water when your soil needs it...and set your timer accordingly...for example, it could end up being every third day for 20 min. or so...depending on the flow rate of your system.
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Post  genes 6/22/2012, 7:50 pm

Water running out means that you're either over or under watering. Stick hand to bottom of box to make sure all MM is moist. If it's moist, water less. If it's not, water a little every hour or so until all saturated.

Infrequent, deep watering is not for SFG.
genes
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Post  squaredeal 6/23/2012, 12:05 am

I noticed your Mel's Mix is settling down. Water comes out of one of my boxes, too, one that wasn't exactly flat on the ground when I filled it. My mix is settling quickly and I need to fill it back to the top. The mix isn't leaking out but the water does run out.
squaredeal
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Post  tabletopper 6/23/2012, 8:15 am

Wow....your garden is picture perfect.....what kind of wood did you use....?? how many squares did you end up with? and a watering system....did you use the small soaker hose....I need a watering system but need a plumber to run a line over closer to my table tops.....Did you mix your own perfect soil as per the receipe?.....Ruth
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Post  genes 6/23/2012, 5:59 pm

tabletopper wrote:Wow....your garden is picture perfect.....what kind of wood did you use....??

+1 and newel posts on the gate Water question Icon_eek
genes
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Post  TexasTracy 6/23/2012, 6:10 pm

I just had to say that I love your garden setup...too cool!
TexasTracy
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Post  southern gardener 6/23/2012, 6:19 pm

wow! gorgeous garden. I love the boxes and the dark brown mulch. Looks so inviting to just go and sit and watch stuff grow! We water by "hand" when the soil gets dry. Poke your finger down into the soil and see if it's wet or dry.
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Post  Turan 6/23/2012, 11:05 pm

DbleT wrote:...in my recent Sunset magazine that I should be watering less frequently but more deeply.

That is assuming you have deep soil and want the roots to grow into that depth. If your beds are 6 inches deep and full of MM you do not have that option. So do what works for your circumstance.

Gorgeous garden Very Happy

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Turan
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Post  tabletopper 6/23/2012, 11:16 pm

I bought water meters that stick in the soil.....I like them very much....they availabe at Garden Centers......Ruth
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Post  westx 6/24/2012, 12:23 am

The rule of thumb for watering any plant is the need 1 to 1 1/2" of water per week and a lot of that depends on the type soil. I perfer to water my garden 2 times a week given it about 3/4" of water at a time. My beds are deep going about 12 to 14"s and is based on the old sqf method, so that is what it takes for mine. Like everyone else has said check your sold at around in the box and see how it is and base your watering on that.
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Post  yolos 6/24/2012, 12:58 am

I use a moisture meter also. No guessing involved. How wet is wet? The finger test is okay but not as accurate as a moisture meter. The meter will tell you. I have learned that I can almost tell the wetness by looking at the bottom of the probe. If soil is sticking to it, it is wet enough. It is good to stick in shallow to see what the moisture is near the top for shallow rooted veggies and down deeper for veggies with deep roots.
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Post  JeanneRamick 6/24/2012, 1:43 am

yolos wrote:I use a moisture meter also. No guessing involved. How wet is wet? The finger test is okay but not as accurate as a moisture meter. The meter will tell you. I have learned that I can almost tell the wetness by looking at the bottom of the probe. If soil is sticking to it, it is wet enough. It is good to stick in shallow to see what the moisture is near the top for shallow rooted veggies and down deeper for veggies with deep roots.

I also use a moisture meter and agree with yolos.

My SFG doesn't get any 'natural' watering, since it's on my patio (covered from above by the condo on the 2nd floor) so I use one of those "square foot print" sprinklers as needed (based on the moisture meter reading and visual observation)
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Post  Momof5Js 6/27/2012, 1:31 pm

I just have to say your garden is beautiful. I too am working in my first SFG (actually first garden ever) and I am on the watering learning curve as well. I am using a wand sprinkler attached to my garden hose and water only at the base of each plant. I am discovering that my boxes differ and even within some boxes the squares may differ. I but bottoms with drain holes on my boxes lined with weed barrier (don't want any of that precious MM falling out;) ) I wonder if something is blocking a couple of the holes?

Anyway, I am right there with ya as trying to determine just the right amount of water. Good luck with your beautiful garden:heart:
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