June 22, 2006

How much water?

Here, as promised is a photo of my fabulous red hose nozzle. I've been using the "shower" setting but, I've got lots of options including "mist", "soaker", "cone" and "jet". It was pretty expensive but, its quite cool.

I am really trying to do a better job of watering this year. Watering may sound like the easiest part but, somehow despite the fact that I think about my garden and how it's doing ALL DAY LONG, I managed to screw up the watering last year. My biggest downfall was confusion about how soon to water after it had rained. I think I just let the soil dry out a little too long when the plants had been soaked by rain and I thought they needed a break. What happened was "blossom-end rot" which basically made half of my tomatoes and peppers turn black on the end and rot (duh). As I understand it, you get this when the plant can't absorb calcium which it can only do when there is enough moisture in the soil.

So this year I'm keeping track of my watering and mother nature's with this calendar. I just look up recorded weather from the National Weather Service and add the average temperature and rainfall for the day. The only thing I'm not sure of is how many inches I'm actually providing when I water with a hose. I water for a good long while but, I still think it's probably only 1/4 inch or so. I'm trying to err on the side of watering when I think it might need it even if rain is in the forecast, I think I'll use the 50% rule -- meaning if the chances of rain are 50% or less I'm watering anyway. Like today, its been really warm and sunny for most of the past week and it's only rained a little so I watered this morning. It might pour later and then I'll feel a little stupid but......what can you do?

Frankly this is all about tomatoes. They can be very picky and I pretty much feel like I'm their bitch -- always trying to please them never knowing if I'm doing it right. I know I'm not alone.
This year I am also going to try "pinching" out the tiny sprouts that grow in the joints of larger branches. This is supposed to give me bigger, better tomatoes and who doesn't want that? Here is a good link on tomatoes that I found. I think I'll go back to it a lot this summer.

PS: The small blue chair makes me happy every time I see it so I thought I'd share it with all of you. I finally saw the kids that use it last night. They are very hardworking so, it makes sense that they would need something to take a break in.

PPS: Please comment! If you are a gardener and you have some advice or even if you just want to vent about how sore your back is from weeding or how your hands already feel like sandpaper or you have no garden but you like to observe crazy people, please say hello.


snappy said...

I love your blue chair.I have a similar yellow one for the familys young kids.I hate watering as well.I either overdo it, and mildew/blackrot, or i dont do it and the plants fall over dead!
ha ha.Not all of them but some.At least you are like me thinking about the garden day and night prior to sleep..

Anonymous said...

I really think the chair is awesome, but you need something else in the pic for a perspective! Maybe you could get a tiny garden moose to sit in it so we can see exactly how small the chair is.

Jenn said...


rachelle said...

yeah, i'm experimenting with water too. i hear they need an inch a week. so i am going to get a rain gauge for the garden, and suppliment any shortage of an inch with the hose. i don't know if i'm doing it right, but, i am getting wondrous results so i must be doing something right!

your garden looks beautiful, so you must be doing something right too.

Girl Gone Gardening said...


I am a gardener AND I enjoy watching crazy people. wait....or am I one of those crazy people?

I don't even know anymore.

Everything looks good :)