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A Helping Hand

July 11th, 2011

I talked about my love of watering in the evenings last Friday, mostly because we’ve had a really dry June/July here at Chiot’s Run. From my records we’ve had less than an inch of rain over the last 6 weeks. As a result things are dry, dry, dry (at least it’s raining while I’m writing this post so that’s a welcome change). Most of the time I don’t worry too much about my gardens, with the leaf mulch and the soil improvement I have to water less and less each year. This spring however I planted 350 shrubs for a hedge around the perimeter of the property, I’ve also added 15 new hydrangeas, 50 crowns of asparagus, 17 new boxwoods, and 20-30 perennials. These plants are not established and need a good dose of water each week to make sure they get well rooted in to be drought tolerant in the coming years. That means I’ve been spending a lot of time hauling watering cans and using the hose to make sure I don’t lose any of these new plants.

Since I’m a busy person, I have come up with a few ways to maximize my time watering. Beside some of the new plants, I added small garden hooks that used to have hanging solar lanterns on them (I have 8 of them). I hang the hose over the hook pointing at the plant and turn the hose nozzel on a low spray. While the plant is being watered I can use my watering cans on other plants that need watered. This way I can be watering two different things at once. I usually wear a stop watch and set the timer for 10 minutes, then I switch the hose to the next plant.

This works like a charm if you have specific plants or small garden areas that are in need of more water than other areas and you don’t want to set up the sprinkler to water large portions. This does a better job at spot watering to save water, and is especially handy because you can weed, or do other garden tasks while the plants are being watered.

Do you have any great time saving gardening tips?

8 Comments to “A Helping Hand”
  1. Allison on July 9, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Interesting. We’ve had so much water here, that I haven’t had to water since May. We’ve been getting a heavy dose every two days.
    Allison´s last post .."Ye Olde Kitchen Garden" – from the New York Times

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  2. Melissa on July 11, 2011 at 7:54 am

    That’s a great idea! I re-landscaped our whole front yard this year, so I’m in the same boat if we don’t get rain. We’ve been pretty dry except for the nice shower we had on Saturday. I’ve designed the front yard to be drought tolerant once established– but that whole establishing thing seems to take forever sometimes!
    Melissa´s last post ..The Pause Button – Garden Update July 11, 2011

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  3. Mary W on July 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I attached drip irrigation to the rain barrel in the hops garden. The rain barrel isn’t near any buildings, so it still takes time to fill with the hose, but that takes less time than hand watering and I can focus on weeding and observing what else is going on out there. The system is on a timer that works on 0 psi, so I don’t have to worry if I can’t get out there on a particular day.

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  4. Val on July 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I have a much smaller space to work with, but like you I have lots of new plantings (and transplantings), so this drought is giving me a run for my money (literally, I dread the water bill!), and watering is so time consuming! I bought a hose splitter for about a dollar, so I can run two hoses at once ( I just lay them on the ground), or I can place one hose and fill watering cans from the other spout.
    For my more established plantings, I set up a hose/sprinkler system for $40.
    These strategies are supplemented by lots of rain dances!
    Val´s last post ..Found a Cosmos

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  5. Sincerely, Emily on July 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I like to water in the evening. It is so hot here I think it gives the plants time to drink and revive over night and hopefully help them make it through the next hot day. When I am using watering cans, I have old empty kitty litter jugs that I have filling from the rain barrel, so when I empty the watering can I am using and can quickly re-fill it and get to another plant. The only negative is that I am easily distracted int eh garden and can forget I have the jug filling. I too carry a timer a lot to help me remember what I was doing (something in the oven while I am outside in the garden or hose on the rain barrel trickle soaking a tree) Emily
    Sincerely, Emily´s last post ..Loofah’s (or luffa): Blooming and Growing

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    • Susy on July 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      I used to do that as well, I finally got a piece of large hose for filling the watering cans so it doesn’t take more than 15 seconds or so. No more spilling over of precious water!

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  6. Tee on July 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    With seven children who all love gardening I have no shortage of waterers…. But I am with you I enjoy watering.
    The abandoned solar hook is genius my girl.
    Tee
    Tee´s last post ..Ungrateful Child

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  7. Sherri on July 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

    That is a brilliant idea! Currently, I have no flower/shrub beds to speak of yet (we have been renovating our home and the gardens/landscaping will be done next year). Since we moved in 2 years ago, all of my time out of doors has been spent establishing a large organic veggie garden and small fruit orchard. We are on a well with low water pressure so a sprinkler isn’t an option. If I need to water, I use the wire perimeter fencing in a similar manner by draping the hose through the holes in the fence to target certain areas. It works exceedingly well, freeing time and hands :) Love the stopwatch idea, as I lose all sense of time in the garden and often get “lost” out there for hours at a time. You have done a lot of planting this year – it sounds lovely…
    Sherri´s last post ..Eating From The Garden

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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