Bob Ewing – There has been no rain or snow for that matter for almost two weeks. In the late spring and early summer this could spell problems for the garden especially in zones where water use is restricted. If you are planning a vegetable garden, making sure the plants get sufficient water to produce is vital. Often you cannot count on the weather to take care of this, nor can you simply switch on the tap and let the water flow.
The following two methods will keep your garden from going thirsty and suffering and will make wise use of the rain when it does fall.
Covering your garden bed with an organic mulch, such as leaves or straw, serves several purposes. It can keep weeds in check and it also mulch will keep water and nutrients close to the soil. Mulch also keeps the soil bed from drying our because it protects the soil from the direct rays of the sun. In addition, mulch slows down the rate of evaporation and thus helps the soil retain the moisture that it needs
In order to thrive, plants need strong and healthy roots and water is important to their development, mulch helps the plant develop the roots system that will produce healthy vegetables and fruits. If you want to enhance the beauty of your vegetable garden, it is possible to purchase hardwood chip mulch. It lasts throughout the season and comes in a variety of colours. I have used both red and yellow in gardens.
Rain Fall Harvesting:
The second method collects the rain that nature provides so that it can be sued when periods of no rainfall or drought happen. If your house has eaves troughs you can purchase a rain barrel and attach this to the down sprout. Rain barrels are especially designed to keep out mosquitoes and only let the rain in. You can run a hose from the barrel to the garden bed.
The most effective way to water your vegetable garden, when you must, that lies at the base of the plants. Set it on a timer for the early morning before the sun rises. Be sure you can turn it off on rainy nights. Water deep and long. You want the water to get to the roots.
Do not take water for granted, simply because you can turn a tap on and it flows does not mean this will always be the case. Water is essential to life, not just the garden so use it wisely and conserve the supply.