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Summer Garden Irrigation

Summer Tomato Garden

Tomato Plants

Hot three-digits were already present in the High Desert to officially welcome summer on June 21st. If you aren’t aware yet, mandatory water restrictions are in effect now in the High Desert. Victorville, Hesperia, and Apple Valley have posted their watering guidelines which include certain watering days.


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Is it possible to keep up the herb and vegetable gardens in this heat and current mandatory water restrictions? It is, although gardeners must stay on top of it. It does help to choose a good type of irrigation. Soaker hose gardening is an easy and inexpensive way to water gardens. However, soaker hoses sometimes get larger holes that spurt out major streams. It’s better to install a drip irrigation system, although there is a snip-and-drip type of soaker hose system that can be used.

Clay Elam, an ethnobotanist, recently spoke in Lucerne Valley about simple historical irrigation setups that anyone can do. Two types of irrigation he mentioned were the unglazed clay pot and the rockpile mulch. Both are easy for anyone to do. Read more about this at the blog post, Resources of Native Southwestern Plants and Trees.

Utilizing the area that gets water from my soaker hoses, I planted tomato, strawberry, onion, pepper, grape, carrot, corn, sugar snap bean, and broccoli plants and a dwarf Macintosh apple tree. Every time I’ve planted strawberry plants, they’ve never made it. This time all of the plants in the soaker hose area are thriving. There is one more section that gets watered from the soaker hose that I’ve observed. I’m getting ready to plant yellow squash seeds there.

Do you water manually, or do you have your watering system set on a timer? Small kitchen gardens or square foot gardens may not be large enough to require a more sophisticated irrigation system. Unless you have a family member or friend who waters for you if you go on summer vacations, it’s important to invest in a good water timer that has a rain delay such as the Rainwave 3-Zone:

This timer is compatible with drip and soaker hoses. Don’t forget the container plants. There is even a drip system for containers:

Once your water hoses are in good shape, the water timer is set, how do you plan for your vegetable harvest when you are planning a summer vacation? Do you ask someone to gather the vegetables, or do you take a chance and leave them until you return? Vacations don’t usually last all summer, so a few days of ripe vegetables not being brought in may be no big deal. One thing for sure, though, is that you’ll be busy harvesting when you return home.

Got any helpful garden tips? Offer your garden irrigation ideas in the comment section below.

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