In hot climates, it’s important to water vegetables early in the day. Most edibles need at least 1” of water weekly, more if temperatures soar. Keep at least 2” of mulch on your garden beds to retain water and keep roots cool. Regularly insert your finger 1” into the soil; if it’s dry, your plants need water.
The best time to water is first thing in the morning before the sun is too hot. If you aren’t home in the morning to water, set a timer to run soaker hoses for 30-45 minutes each morning. Make these hoses more efficient by covering them with mulch.
If you wait until afternoon, most of the water evaporates from the soil so rapidly that it doesn’t reach the roots. Water applied in the evening sticks to plant leaves and fosters diseases.
MOVEABLE SPRINKLERS AND HOSES:
If you have the time, water by hand every morning; make sure your garden gets a good soak each day. Sprinklers attached to the hose are easier and can be moved around the garden.
Soaker hoses are the most efficient and least expensive way to water plants. Thread along plant rows throughout the garden. Link several together and add a timer and rain sensor so you aren’t watering when it’s raining.
DRIP EMITTER SYSTEMS:
Drip systems are more costly, but once installed, they are permanent and efficient. A properly installed and maintained system saves water and money in the long run. It requires a garden plan for maximum effectiveness, but the extra work is worth it. Each spring, plant veggies around the emitters to guarantee a steady source of water. For maximum ease, install a system with a timer, aimer and moisture sensor.