Many gardeners do not realize the importance of selecting the proper watering methods for raised-bed garden. There is a wide range of watering systems available and all have varying degrees of success based upon the type of soil and plants that the garden has. If you are not sure about which watering system will work best for your garden, then it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you evaluate your options. A professional can also recommend different watering systems based on the size and overall shape of your garden.
1. Components of Watering Systems
Most watering systems that are designed for gardens with small plants have one primary component – a large water reservoir that holds enough water to wet the soil. Most of these systems have a built-in water holder in the middle of the garden, and the water will slowly trickle down from the reservoir into the bed of the plants. It is important to remember that a very slow trickle is necessary for plants to actually absorb moisture from the water that is used. If you overwater the plants, they may not be able to grow and thrive.
2. Aim to Water all Plants
You should always aim to water all of the plants in the same way, regardless of the type of soil they are growing in. For example, if you have sandy soil, you will want to water your beds using a water-sealer system. The water will run over the top of the bed of soil, while staying below the surface. However, watering in this fashion should only be done when the soil is dry. When the soil becomes saturated with water, you should remove the water and refill the bed. This process will occur each day, until all of the water is removed.
3. Using Hose or Spray Bottle
If you do not have a water-sealer system or another system that you can use, it is OK to just give the beds a quick spray before you water them. It is not important to saturate the soil with water; just a quick wet spray will suffice. You can either use a hose or a spray bottle. When you spray the soil, be sure to saturate the area completely. For areas that you do not want water saturation, you can add water to the bed, wait for it to settle, and then empty it out. Be sure to check the beds frequently to make sure that the system is working properly.
4. Watering In Different Intervals
Some people choose to water their plants in different intervals throughout the day, rather than one consistent time. To get the best results, you should make sure that there is no sudden drop in temperature that will cause the watering methods to cease working properly. You can keep your lights on, even if the weather is cold, for several hours before you water your bed. As long as the water is warm enough to stay in contact with the roots of your plants, you should be fine.
5. Watering by Hand
In most cases, it is one of the best watering methods for raised-bed garden by hand. Although it is more labor-intensive than using a sprinkler or hose, it is much easier to control where the water goes. Just remember that in order to keep the soil moist, you should water all of the leaves and stems of your plants, not just the tops of them. This water-stopping strategy also helps the roots of the plants from drying out too much.
6. Using Sprinkler or Hose
If you’re using a sprinkler or a hose as one of the watering methods for raised-bed garden, you’ll want to know what direction you water them in order to avoid running the risk of washing away the roots. In general, you should water from the bottom up, spraying from the front to the back of the bed. This ensures that the water travels to all areas of the bed.
7. Water According to Size and Shape of Bed
In order to determine the frequency and amount of water you need to use on your raised-bed garden, you need to know the size and general shape of the bed. For example, if you have a square-shaped bed, you will need to water more often than if you had a round shaped bed. Moreover, if you have an organic material or grass in your garden, the roots may need to water more often than if there was no grass or other material in the garden. Your first watering of the season may be particularly dry, especially if you have just put in a new bed, so plan on a minimum of one full day of water per week.
One of the best ways to water a raised-bed garden is to water in the morning. For the rest of the day, you can water in the evening. You should water in the early morning hours only and try to avoid getting the soil wet in the afternoon or evening hours. This can cause rot and mildew problems for your plants. Check your soil in the morning and afternoon for moisture content and watch for it to be just below the ideal moisture level.