Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Solving Your Vegetable Garden`s Water Problem

Last vegetable gardening season marked one of the wettest we have had on record here in the northeast part of the United States. It seemed to rain nearly every day and when the rain fell it was not a light drizzle but constant down pours. Your vegetable, fruit and herb plants require water just like everything else in life, but too much water can do more harm then good.

Regardless of the amount of rain you receive there are remedies that you can implement that will help whisk away the excess water. I recently posted this question on our vegetable gardening Facebook fan page to see what the expert gardeners had to say and what they recommend helps them through periods of too much water.

It is a light hearted fan page so we do receive some funny solutions from our expert vegetable gardeners, which included Orvil`s suggestion of using sponges, to Mickie`s naked rain dance and of course Franny saying to “just tell the rain to go away.” All great suggestions of course, but none really too practical. They did have more real world solutions though and here they are.

Water Crystals
Available for just a few bucks from your home or garden center, water crystals make for a great way to help absorb the excess water. A very practical solution for those with smaller gardens, but if you have a larger garden then this option could get pricey so keep that in mind.

Sand/Compost Mixture
Many suggested using a good mix of sand and compost together too help absorb the excess water while at the same time using the water run off itself to push the nutrients of the compost into the soil.

Moat/Trench/Raise the Beds
This was the most popular answer and I have combined all three of them here because the premise works the same for all three. The idea is to create a drain where the excess water will run off away from the plants and into the moat or trench. Raising the beds of your garden will create a natural trench between the rows. One person suggested a very creative idea and that was to whisk that run off through a French drain into some rain barrels so that the excess water can be used at a later date when you may experience dry spells.

These are just three of the many solutions that are available out there to make sure your vegetable plants do not receive too much water. Remember, too much water for a plant could result in root rot which will kill your vegetable plant. So make sure you monitor how much moisture your soil contains. You can either pick up a soil meter from your local home or garden center for a few bucks or go the el cheapo route like me and pick up a handful of dirt from your garden and squeeze it. If water drips out after you squeeze it, your soil has too much. If that is the case, try one of the solutions above and test regularly until you have your water issues under control.

About the Author
Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC is the exclusive home of the seeds of the month club where you can get 4 packs of vegetable, fruit and herb seeds every month.

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