Thursday, June 3, 2010

Three Watering Tools for your Home Vegetable Garden

I recently taught an introduction to home vegetable gardening class at our local library here in Burlington, NJ. It was fun to not only pass along what I know, but bounce off some ideas that other local home vegetable gardeners have had success with.

During the course of the evening an excellent question arose from a student that recently moved from Austin, TX. What lead to his question was from a fascinating discussion we all had about the heat and water issues that the Austin, TX area suffers from.

Here in NJ, we may get the occasional drought, but nothing like what this gentleman described. So, being that he moved from an area that receives very little water to an area that has access to plenty of it, his question was, “How do you know if you water too much?”

It was an excellent question and what lead me to write this particular article. The best way to make sure you are not overwatering your garden is with the help of these three tools that I am about to describe. Used in conjunction with one another, you will be able to be near perfect with your (and natures) watering efforts.

Rain Gauge
Do you know how much rain fell this morning? Last week? Most people would answer no to this question as many do not monitor how much rainfall they receive. I think this is a bad mistake. Although it may seem that your garden received plenty of water from yesterday’s rainfall, there is a possibility that it has not. With this simple tool all the guess work is gone. Available at any home or garden center for under $5 (sometimes cheaper) you can monitor exactly how much rain you received. This information will come in plenty useful when it comes time to watering your vegetable garden.

Moisture Meter
There are a number of different styles and varieties as well as included features with them, but all moisture meters work pretty much the same. On the bottom of the meter are probes that you will insert into your soil. On top of the meter is a box that will then give you a readout of exactly how much moisture is in your soil. Available online, or at any home or garden center, the cost is less than $20 and it will give you all of the information you need to make sure you are watering your vegetable garden properly.

Water Timer
Do you take week long vacations or will you be out of town for a few days? This could put a real damper on your home vegetable gardening efforts. Let’s face it, in the hot months here in NJ which is usually July to August we can go a few weeks without water. A water timer will help should I be away during those periods to make sure that my plants still receive the water they need. Most water timers simply screw on to your home’s hose spigot and then the hose screws into the timer. Basic models will let you set how long you want the water flow to continue, where as advanced models will allow you to set gallons, specific times of the day and so on. They vary in price and are available at any home or garden center. Pick one that is right for you.

Water is as important to all life. Without it, your plants simply won’t grow. Arm yourself with these three available tools to ensure your garden will be well taken care of.

About the Author
Mike is the administrator for the largest vegetable gardening group on Facebook and the very popular Seeds of the Month Club. You can now join the Seeds of the Month Club risk-free.

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