Q: How can I keep my vegetables growing and still do my best to meet the current water restrictions?
Q: How can I keep my vegetables growing and still do my best to meet the current water restrictions?A: Laying soaker hoses (the kind that ooze throughout their entire length) 1-2 ft apart throughout the bed (the closer spacing for fast-draining soils where the water moves down faster than outward) is a great way to do this. Covering the hose with mulch will help reduce evaporation, and using a quick connecter will make it easy to move your regular garden hose from one soaker hose to another. Another method is to bury leftover 5 gal plastic pots about half their depth near plants to be watered. When you fill the pot, the water will leak out the holes in the bottom, targeting the roots. Even 1 gal plastic pots will work, although they won't do as well for deep-rooted plants like tomatoes as the 5 gal ones will, and may need to be refilled several times to make sure that the water is reaching the whole of the rooting area. Once the soil is wet to the desired depth, then stick your finger in the soil every day (or use a moisture meter) to see if the top two or three inches are still damp, If so, you can delay watering a few days or more depending on how hot it is. For either method, watering early or late is best as that reduces evaporative loss.