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Hello Guest!
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Frequency/amount to water

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Post  cherylLun 10/6/2019, 4:39 pm

Hello -

We've got our two beds up and running. I had our irrigation guy run a new timer for them, which delivers water from a faucet. In the beds we have grid irrigation (garden in minutes), but I was not sure how often to water, and for what duration. Let's assume no rain contribution -- as starts to become more frequent heading into this time of year.

At the moment, it's running for 10 minutes three times/day (6 am, noon, and 6 pm).


THANKSFrequency/amount to water 20191010
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Frequency/amount to water 20191011
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Post  countrynaturals 10/6/2019, 5:10 pm

cherylLun wrote:Hello -

We've got our two beds up and running. I had our irrigation guy run a new timer for them, which delivers water from a faucet. In the beds we have grid irrigation (garden in minutes), but I was not sure how often to water, and for what duration. Let's assume no rain contribution -- as starts to become more frequent heading into this time of year.

At the moment, it's running for 10 minutes three times/day (6 am, noon, and 6 pm).


THANKSFrequency/amount to water 20191010
Frequency/amount to water 20191012
Frequency/amount to water 20191011
Mine runs 15 minutes, twice a day, so that's comparable and all of my plants are happy, so it must be working. Also, your plants are smaller, so the more frequent watering makes sense. Lookin' good, btw. okay
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Post  sanderson 10/10/2019, 4:55 am

Cheryl, Use the finger test to see if you are watering the right amount. If it's dry the first couple inches, no problem, as long as it is moist below that. As the plants grow large, they will need more water. During the rainy season(s), you can stop the watering. Does this make sense?

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Post  cherylLun 10/10/2019, 7:38 pm

countrynaturals wrote:

Mine runs 15 minutes, twice a day, so that's comparable and all of my plants are happy, so it must be working. Also, your plants are smaller, so the more frequent watering makes sense. Lookin' good, btw. okay

Thanks  Smile
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Post  cherylLun 10/10/2019, 7:39 pm

sanderson wrote:Cheryl, Use the finger test to see if you are watering the right amount.  If it's dry the first couple inches, no problem, as long as it is moist below that.  As the plants grow large, they will need more water.  During the rainy season(s), you can stop the watering.  Does this make sense?

I'll check that out tomorrow. I've had the irrigation turned off for the last two days, as we've received over 5 inches of rain already this week !!

Thanks
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Post  toledobend 10/21/2019, 4:44 pm

For those who might want to know, I have installed the Intelligent Irrigation Aquajet system for my 4'x4' boxes and my 13'x4'.  In the 4x4 boxes I do 1 minute of watering every other day and nothing was starved for water.  I was doing 1 minute everyday, but it seemed to be too much.
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Post  sanderson 10/22/2019, 5:11 pm

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Post  OhioGardener 7/29/2020, 7:50 pm

A set of interesting documents from the University of California Master Gardener Program. Both documents are downloadable PDF files. In addition to a good discussion on water needs, they give good sample calculations on the amount of water raised beds need.

1. How Much Water Does My Food Garden Need?

2. Food Gardening with Less Water

3. A More In-Depth Look at Food Gardening with Less Water

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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/29/2020, 9:47 pm

So. sick. of watering.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/30/2020, 8:28 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:So. sick. of watering.

I know the feeling.  That is why I put in drip irrigation with a timer a few years ago. I'm getting too old for dragging around water hoses and watering cans.


Last edited by OhioGardener on 7/30/2020, 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix spellcheck)

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Post  OhioGardener 6/5/2023, 9:09 pm

The subject of how much water, and how often, came up today as a neighbor new to gardening asked how much water the vegetables need. I told him that in general vegetables need 1" of water per week, with a couple exceptions -- those exceptions are cucumbers and eggplant. Both cucumbers and eggplants need 1" of water per week until they set fruit, and then they need 2" of water per week. The reason cucumbers and eggplants need 2" of water when they set fruit is because their fruit is almost all water.

But, how much water is 1" in the garden. That is easy to calculate by converting cubic inches to gallons: 12"x12"x1" equates to 0.62 gallons of water. That means to provide 1" of water to a bed would need 0.62 gallons of water per square foot - a 4'x8' bed, then, would need 20 gallons of water to provide 1" of water to that bed.  Twenty gallons sounds like a lot of water, but if you water 4 times a week, that is only 5 gallons of water each time, or if you water 3 times a week that would be 6.6 gallons each time.

With my drip irrigation I have to count the number of drip emitters in the bed, each providing .5 gph, to calculate how long the timer must run the water to provide that 5 gallons of water.

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Post  lisawallace88 6/8/2023, 7:55 am

Wow, just over half gallon per week? my tomatoes are demanding more water and they are getting prob a gallon each every 2nd day (for now-will increase to every other day when the real heat of the summer arrives) but they are in grow bags.
Heck even my "self watering" bed (a 6' watering trough) is getting filled every 2nd or 3rd day!  But we have been WEEKS without rain in E TN. Every time they forecast it, it somehow slides by us Sad
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Post  OhioGardener 6/8/2023, 8:26 am

lisawallace88 wrote:Wow, just over half gallon per week? my tomatoes are demanding more water and they are getting prob a gallon each every 2nd day (for now-will increase to every other day when the real heat of the summer arrives) but they are in grow bags.

Yes, good point, but it is important to remember that the "one inch of water per week" is a measurement of water available to the plants. Water that runs off or evaporates is not available to the plants, likewise water that is below the root zone is not available to the plants. It is important to have heavy mulching that keeps the soil cool and contain the moisture, just as it is important to apply the water directly to the soil and not sprayed into the air.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/8/2023, 9:21 am

Lisa, I think grow bags make a big difference due to the evaporation, as OG said.  They lose moisture through the sides, not just the top as other planters.  Also, my terra cotta containers likewise need more water than, say, plastic ones.  Weeks??? Yikes!  I lived in Nashville for years, my son is living there now.  I have been to Knoxville several times, too.
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Post  lisawallace88 6/8/2023, 3:12 pm

Yes, thanks! I knew the grow bags required more water than other containers, I just hadn't realized quite how much more!  I'm hoping to install an irrigation system this weekend.  Then the plants can be watered in the morning instead of after I get home from work, and it will be more consistent than me trying to remember and have enough energy at the end of the day!  I'm getting too old for this!
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Post  OhioGardener 5/26/2024, 7:33 pm

Found an interesting article on calculating how long, and when, to run drip irrigation to provide the right amount of water for raised beds.

"The University of California Master Gardener Program has developed a handy drip-irrigation calculator to help you estimate how much water your raised beds need.  This handy guide can be found at:  https://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/185639.pdf.  The recommendation is to apply one inch of water across the surface of the raised bed per week – or 0.623 gallons per square foot.  A detailed worksheet is included to help you find the right answer for your raised beds."  (https://www.mastergardenersd.org/how-often-and-how-long-should-i-drip-irrigate-my-raised-bed-vegetable-garden/)



A copy of their PDF file with the details can be downloaded here:  https://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/185639.pdf

They also have a couple good related articles:

Food Gardening with Less Water, http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/183770.pdf

A More In-Depth Look at Food Gardening with Less Water, http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/185638.pdf

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Post  sanderson 5/27/2024, 1:42 pm

California is going towards ~50 gpd per person. Home gardening may become impossible.

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Post  lisawallace88 Yesterday at 8:07 am

Have swapped my grow bags for plastic nursery pots this year, hoping this will help with watering!  My baby tomatoes are in them now.  Had trouble with mice nibbling tomatoes last year so have taken steps to get rid of them before I have fruit on the vines.  Lost prob half to 1/3 of the harvest b/c the little suckers would take a bite out of every fruit they could reach  Evil or Very Mad
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