10 Smart Watering Tips for Your Vegetable Garden

[Music] Water – it’s a precious resource we’d do
well to use wisely, but getting smart with the way we splosh water about the garden isn’t just about conserving it – it’s also good old-fashioned common sense. it will save you a lot of time and money, and your plants will be all the better for it – a win-win scenario then! So in this video we’re going to share
10 simple tips to help you save water in the garden. Watering by hand means you can be more
selective about which plants you water. Only water if they really need it. If you’re not sure, you can check the soil moisture at root level – if it’s cool and damp,
just move on. When you water makes a big difference to how much moisture your plants take up. Watering early in the morning gives crops time to absorb
the moisture before it evaporates in the heat of the day. Any water that gets on the foliage
will also have enough time to dry off before nightfall, minimizing the risk from slugs and fungal diseases. If you’re watering by hand,
be sure to aim the flow of water at the base of plants where it’s needed, so that
every drop counts. This will also keep foliage dry. A really good soaking every
now and then is better than little and often and will encourage a more extensive
root system. Sunken plastic pots make excellent miniature reservoirs. Sink them up to the rim next to thirsty plants such as squash, then water into the pot. The pot will hold the water
so it seeps gradually into the soil rather than running off on the surface. You could also use upturned bottles with the
cap removed and the bottom cut off. If you want to automate watering, opt for
drip irrigation or leaky hoses over sprinklers. These types of irrigation deliver water closer
to the ground so that less is wasted. Place your setup on a timer,
and override it if it’s been raining or if rain is due. Keep an eye on
the weather forecast. Clay pots, such as terracotta pots, are highly porous. In essence, this means they suck moisture
out of the potting soil while other pots,
like those made of metal, heat up very quickly, accelerating moisture loss from
the root zone. So go for plastic or glazed pots instead. You can always hide ugly pots
within a more decorative metal or terracotta outer pot. Group pots together to cast shade at root level and slow evaporation further. Soils that are rich in organic matter
absorb moisture more easily, and hang on to it , so add well rotted compost or manure to beds whenever you get the chance. Add thinner layers in summer so you can
fork it in and replant, then thicker layers over winter. Laying mulches over bare soil
dramatically slows evaporation. You can use landscape fabrics on the ground
or pebbles and stones on pots. The best mulches are of well-rotted
organic matter such as compost which will also help to feed the plants
as they grow. Lay them at least 2 inches (5cm) thick onto moist soil. Coarser mulches such as bark chippings allow rain water to drain through more easily, while grass clippings offer a ready supply of mulching material. Keep mulches topped up throughout summer. Collecting rainwater not only saves
precious drinking water, it’s also better for your plants. Collect water off your roof, greenhouse and shed into water barrels close to where you’ll most need the water. Multiple barrels can be linked together to store even more rainwater. Weeds among your vegetables mean competition for soil moisture, so keep on top of them. Annual weeds can just be hoed off and left on the soil surface, but take the time to dig out the roots of more pernicious perennials such as bindweed or ground elder. Water does wonders in the garden, giving us
luscious plants and of course exceptional produce! I hope we’ve given you a few ideas
that you can use in your own garden. As ever, if you’ve got any water-saving tips,
please do share them. We’d especially love to hear from
gardeners in water-stressed regions. How do you make every last drop count? You can let us know
by posting a comment below. Now, if you’ve enjoyed this video, make
sure you’re subscribed to our channel. We’ll be bringing you lots of timely tips
over the coming months, so there’s plenty to look forward to. I’ll catch you next time. [Music]

40 thoughts on “10 Smart Watering Tips for Your Vegetable Garden

  1. Your videos are so inspirational, and your online resources are brilliant. I hope you continue to support the global community as we start to learn how to develop a small amount of self reliance and community… Cheers!

  2. Can you provide some simple rule of thumb tips for HOW MUCH to water for different plant varieties. For example, leafy greens which are potentially higher maintenance than more self-maintaining perennials like rhubarb or asparagus.

  3. HAHAHA, watering your plants is just not something you ever need to worry about here in Ireland. 😀 I actually had to build "roofs" with greenhouse plastic over my raised beds to prevent them from being soaked all the time. 😀

  4. I'd like to see a tips about gardening in areas that are hot, humid and get a lot of heavy rain – like the SE US. Both container and garden beds. Emma's comment below provides a great tip and is honestly something I've considered. Too much rain can cause all sorts of problems like algae & fungus growth and diseases like soil blight from frequent heavy rain. I found out the hard way tomatoes are very difficult to grow successfully here except for a very few varieties.

  5. Watering is tricky here in Florida. It gets so hot in the afternoons that if it doesn't rain, the plants just wither up, so I feel like I'm watering all the time. (Luckily, since it's summertime here now, it rains every afternoon, so I don't have to water manually.)

  6. I'm in Southern California and I've created my own drip irrigation system out of recycled plastic bottles (juice, milk, 2 liter bottles) sunk into the ground between plants. It definitely helps. We've already had some 105+ days and everything is still looking good.

  7. I'm in drought ridden Northern California and without summer rain I'm always looking for ways to get moisture into the beds without over-watering. I use the wash water from cleaning my veggies quite often (bonus! extra organic matter) and have terracotta pots in the beds with covers on so that I can go a couple days without direct watering when the weather is right in summer.

  8. Research "ollas" and set up a gravity-fed system to run water to the ollas. You can water your entire garden by tuning a tap on for five minutes. It saves 70% of your water. I use this in the south of Spain and it works incredibly well. You don't get any weeds either as the surface soil is bone dry.

  9. I swear by Ollas. I have them all over my garden and they automatically add moisture to the soil as needed. I rarely have any weeds since I'm not watering from the top of the soil but instead, the Ollas distributes moisture from underground. It's very efficient and saves water. I make my own so it's cheap but still works great.

  10. I just moved from New England where I had raised beds with soil I amended with compost for many years, to south central Ohio where I tilled up the grey clayish soil. On a limited budget and unable to collect grass clippings for mulch, I've laid out cardboard to help hold moisture and keep down weeds and grass.

  11. How about a bit of humour: Thwart the inevitable hosepipe ban by simply leaving your garden outside in the rain.

  12. I used to live in Arizona. When we had a drought, I'd put 2 bricks in the tank of the toilet to displace water (there was still enough to flush good). I'd catch rain water from the roof into a 5/gal bucket and bring it into the bathroom, and when it was flushed (if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down), I use the bucket to refill the tank.

  13. Here I have to struggle with a very sandy soil, so in dry periods I tend to NOT pull out all competing weeds (except large or nasty ones) in my garden beds as they keep the ground at least a bit moist. It's better to indulge them with a few drops then see the water running away to the next deepest point which usually is not where I want it. As well as it is suitable as a protecting shield in the cold season. Most winters I leave my carrots, beetroots, leeks in the ground, surrounded by any green survivors and gather them the moment they will be used. Bad weeds grow tall … but it ain't that bad altogether 🙂

  14. Unfortunately we get only a scant bit of rain in Oregon during the summer, windy and very dry! I rely on drip irrigation
    Grass, and leaf mulch. Composted soil, and shade cloth helps retain water on hot days! Great watering tips. Thanks!!

  15. Here in Vancouver it rains most of the time in Fall, Winter and Spring, but then it doesn't rain at all for about 2 months in the Summer, with temperatures around 30 C (86 F) most of the day and no cloud in sight. I'm struggling to keep up with watering my raised veggie beds every morning, not to mention the beans and peas I planted in the front yard. I'm using the Square Foot Gardening method for my beds, but with only 6 inches (well, the bottom has sunken, so it's more like 8) of "soil" mixture, I'm finding my plants dry out so quickly and look all sad and droopy by late afternoon when I get home from work. I did use a drip irrigation system out front when I was growing corn there, but it didn't work very well (it's a hilly sort of spot, and the irrigation system didn't work very evenly). Ollas are a great idea, but won't work well with my shallow beds. I think I'm going to have to build up my beds another 4-6 inches, but the wood and "soil" mix ingredients were a hefty investment in the first place, so I'm loathe to repeat it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm watering too much, but then the wilty plants in the afternoon say maybe not. And then I'm puzzled by the advice to add mulch around plants, because others say not to put any extra organic materials on the soil because it harbours bugs. Sigh. The internet – so much information, so little certainty. 🙂

  16. Is it beneficial/okay to mulch with fallen leaves? I was just thinking that it would be cost effective and help the soil retain water. In South Africa it is very dry in Winter and still gets to 20 plus degrees some times in the middle of the day so we have to water often.

  17. I'm in southern AZ in the US. Last week we saw 115 degree weather. My raised beds in my "sunken" garden are doing fine. No rain in about 6 months and I'm on 1/4 inch soaker hoses that don't put out much water as they are old and below the surface under compost and wood mulch. I water 4 times a day for 5 mins each. I like this "sunken" garden approach and hope to do it on a large scale with modifications at the next house.

  18. Thanks for these tips. This is very usefull for me because I live in a hot country and I only have rain water so I need to save it. Thanks!!

  19. Here in hot and sunny southern California I use self-watering pots on my back patio. In winter I only have to fill about once a week, in summer I fill at least 3 times a week.

  20. I recycle grey water from shower and washing machine into buckets with holes that are slightly sucken into the soil. Also, I mulch heavily, first with layers of newspaper and then on top of that, I put thick layers of leaves, sawdust, sticks and anything else I can find. Six weeks without rain and the soil is still slightly damp two inches below the surface.

  21. We use ollas to water our garden. It's unglazed pottery we sink into the garden and fill up with water every few days. The water seeps slowly out to water the roots

  22. I live in Las Vegas, NV..USA…desert climate. Fall-Spring is not such a challenging time…a good morning soak does wonders. The summers, however are a different story. 112-115 degrees (44-46 degrees C) in the day and NEVER below 80-90 degrees (27-32C) at night. Also, we are always water-stressed in the summer, so conservation is key. All my summer veg is on automatic root-drip irrigation (no loss from evaporation)….sunrise, noon and sunset for 10 minutes. This summer, I harvested 30 kilos of tomatoes from 5 plants.

  23. Enjoy your videos. I live in Louisiana & have greatly increased my organic garden yields utilizing the tips from the video's. Where water is not a problem, smart watering can be achieved & I use the sunken pot method.
    Thanks for the suggestion of grass clippings 2 seasons ago. I began mowing with a grass catcher & use the clippings, also a pickup truck load of free sawdust from a mill & obtain a truckload of free manure from a hobby sheep/goat ranch which brings the animals into an enclosed barn at night for protection.

  24. one tip is to take those cheap store bought pots that plants come in, cut the bottoms off, and place it in the ground with the plant, that way whenever you water, it is kinda a barrier and keeps in more water

  25. Hi, great video on water. My garden is in South Africa, and drought prone and hot area. My two additions are: planting seedlings closer together to prevent wends and for shade (you can think later if necessary); and using newspaper as layered mulch after seeds have emerged, on top of which I lay compost, lawn clippings and sawdust. Reduces watering requirements hugely in the dry season.

  26. Try this single shot or double drip method for those hard to reach vegetables. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84AMaUbaY7w&t=1s

  27. I’m using Hugelkultur beds this year to combat drought conditions here in California. Buried wood soaks up the rain and stores it beneath the roots, watering the plants when they need it and slowly breaking down into rich soil as well. And of course lots and lots of mulch on top!

  28. Thank you so much for these tips! I'm just starting a garden, and I don't know anything about gardening! 🙂

  29. I live in Ontario Canada where we usually get a summer drought… but every so often a wet summer.  Two methods I use to deal with drought that I don't think were mentioned here are 1/ plant early, especially potatoes, to suck up as much of the spring melt rain as possible.  A one week delay in planting potatoes can make the difference between a good crop and a failed crop.  2/ I plant my seedling deep. either in trenches or depressions that I don't fill in with soil.  That leaves a little depression that I can water if necessary without the water running away if I end up having to baby my plants.

  30. I take 2L bottles of water, poke a few holes in the cap using a screwdriver (or something that would make reasonably sized holes), dig a hole about a third of the size of the bottle, invert the bottle and simply place it in hole. No need for a watering can or hose pipe. The bottle acts a drip irrigation mechanism which lasts for about 8-10 hours until you have to refill it

  31. Great Gardening and Watering Tips …If you are in the USA, you can use this Easy to Use water hose (which has US 3/4" Standard Fittings) for watering: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=me%3DA1UC3ESBAHAF3N&field-keywords=expandable+garden+hose

  32. From Spring I do not use dishwasher. After the washing up, I collect the water and use it in the garden. As much as 15 Lt. per washing after rinsing.
    After the shower, I collect the water and use it in the garden.
    Once a week I change the water used by my duck
    I collect rain water using 3 water barrels(1000lt.)and upcycle large water bottles that my neighbor puts in the bin.
    It's a small garden, but growing vegetables use a lots of water.
    The rain water has been used before the end of Summer.
    Saves a few pounds in water bills.
    Yet the garden prefers rainy days, everything grow faster.

  33. I have a tip to speed up composting. I place the kitchen scraps in plastic bags, then inside compost bins and leave it over winter. In Spring those bags have been used by earthworms as a nursery. I place the content of these bags in pots, cover with soil and compost and plant seeds.
    The next season I empty the pots and all the scraps are almost gone.
    Less hard work and less time to produce compost.

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