Archive for the ‘Watering’ Category

How to Plan a Drip Irrigation System For Your Grow Box


Brown line in a grow box

Having an automatic watering system set up for your garden can save you many hours over the course of the year. I love watering my garden by hand, but it takes dedication and consistency. It also makes it very hard to go over night anywhere during the summer.  It is well worth the few hours of work it takes to install the system. I would highly recommend doing a drip system vs a sprinkler system. Sprinklers do not conserve water as much of it evaporates, but also the leaves of the plants get wet opening them up for


Battery powered timers in a box that is run with lines run underground.

disease.  Your drip system can be run entirely over ground, partially under ground  or all the way under ground until you get to the grow box of course.

For example, if you do not have the infrastructure set up for the system to be under ground with the timers and pressure reducers already in place, you can do it from the hose sprocket! Simply connect the reducer, and the battery powered timer at the hose then run the hose over to the grow box, then run the drip lines around the grow box. That is the fastest way to install a system. The problem is the hose and pieces exposed to the sun and elements will deteriorate faster than if they are protected out of the elements.


Close up on how to connect brow line at the head of the box.

Drip Irrigation System for Vegetable Garden

Reducers and timers in a system planned out and set up before the yard and garden was installed.

Or you could dig some trenches around the boxes, and up into the boxes and connect into your water line. Then you can install in line timers for each box that are battery powered. The draw back to battery powered is they will need battery changes and you would need to watch for the batteries to need to be changed. But the nice thing about this is you can set each timer differently for each box so that if one box needs more water than another, you can customize it for each box.

The best method is to plan ahead, trench and run all the lines for each box ahead of time, then install the garden after. This will last the longest but will also take the longest initially to install.

Drip Irrigation System for Vegetable Garden

This is a one gallon dripper that we used to use for our tomato plants. We changed over to the brown line for everything as it is less work than to adjust this to accommodate our garden changes every year.

We used to customize our drip system every year depending on what we had planted there. For the tomatoes and squash plants we would install 1 or 2 gallon drippers and some would have the brown line with drippers every 6 to 12 inches. But after doing this a few years realized that it was not cost or time effective and the beds with the brown drip line seemed to work for even the tomato plants. So now we just do the brown drip line in all of the boxes. Then we don’t have to worry about  changing it each spring depending on what we have planted.

How to Prevent Powdery Mildew in the Garden

what dose powdery mildew look like, how do you prevent powdery mildew, what is the disease on squash plant that  make them turn white or gray called? how dose powdery mildew spread, Nothing can be more frustrating than disease killing those plants in your garden before you have gotten a good harvest. It is one of those things that gardener’s dread. How can you prevent the disease from happening? Or can you?

There are several different kinds of diseases or fungus’ that can kill your garden plants. One of them is powdery mildew. This one is particularly frustrating because it is spread by the air and can be spread through water. This is what can kill off the squash plants half way through the season. It is not entirely possible to totally prevent it however there are measures you can take to keep it from happening early in the season and maybe even stop it from happening all together.

  1. Just like a home needs to be built on a solid foundation, the plant needs great soil to withstand all that comes it’s way. Adding plenty of organic matter every year, and mulching around the plants to keep their roots moist and from drying out too much in between watering. This will help your plant be healthy. A healthy plant will be able to resist disease better than a stressed plant will. Your plant is only as healthy as the soil it grows in.
  2. Be sure to water it enough- according to its needs. This too is to keep it healthy.
  3. Powdery Mildew can be spread by water droplets, so watering your plant at the soil level will help the disease to not reach the leaves as easily. Put away the sprinkler and get out the drip hose or better yet get your garden plumed for drip irrigation.
  4. There are some varieties that are resistant to Powdery Mildew. By choosing those varieties dose not mean they will not get the disease, but they will resist it longer and you can usually get a good harvest from them before it succumbs to the disease.
  5. Plant in an area that gets good air flow so the the disease is not sitting there circling around the plants and spreading quickly to your whole harvest.

Remember- a healthy plant will produce more and resist disease so do every thing you can to keep them healthy and growing and you will be rewarded with a great harvest.

Happy Gardening!

Growing a Greener World

The following post is from a guest writer to my blog named Joe Lamp’l. Thanks Joe for the great advice!

joe lamp'lSummer is officially here and with temperatures on the rise, now is the perfect time to be outdoors! A 2012 study conducted by NASA revealed temperatures all across the United States have been hitting all-time record highs and rising! The Month of July is typically the hottest month of the year, and with the average household using about 60% of their daily water use on gardens and lawns; Now is the perfect time to learn about water conservation and what we can do to protect our landscapes while saving millions of gallons of water this summer

The EPA estimates that about 7.8 billion gallons of water – or anywhere from 30 to 70 percent depending on the region – are used outdoors in the U.S. each year. And as much as half of that is wasted due to inefficient watering methods. Today’s homeowners should know the methods that allow them to efficiently utilize their natural resources, which as a result saves them money on their utility bills and minimizes their time spent on upkeep.

Learning how to properly maintain and keep lawns and landscapes healthy, green and thriving is not easy as temperature rises in summer, especially for the water conscious landscaper.  Certified Landscape Professional and Master Gardener Joe Lamp’l of ‘Growing A Greener World’ shares his expert advice to help bring out the green in everyone’s yards. Joe Lamp’l offers consumers water conservation tips and techniques to help build consumers’ master garden or landscaping plans, such as:


  •          Simple tips on how to keep yard and garden weed free
  •          Ways to keep your lawn and garden healthy while minimizing outdoor water consumption and maintaining sustainability.
  •         Which plants help achieve optimal water efficiency
  •         Easy methods to properly water our yards
  •          Tips you can share that will benefit everyone when they start to tackle their lawn and landscape



ABOUT Joe Lamp’l:  

As a Certified Landscape Professional and Master Gardener, Joe Lamp’l combines his television experience and expertise of landscaping, environmental stewardship and passion for living a more eco-friendly life, as creator, host and executive producer of the award-winning national public television series Growing a Greener World®. The show, which is entering its fourth season, focuses on the stories of people, places and organizations that are doing good things for the planet, with an emphasis on landscaping topics. He also serves as a landscaping and sustainability guest expert on national morning shows like NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America and The Weather Channel, among others.



How To Use Drip Irrigation In The Garden

Installing drip irrigation takes a little time to set up but will save you many hours later. It is also nice to be able to leave for the weekend and not have to get someone to water your garden for you. Watch this video to learn more about how to plan and install drip irrigation.

Happy Gardening!

5 Things You Should Be Doing in the Garden Now

what are some things I should be doing in my garden right now to get a good harvest, how do i start my garden, what are some things to do in the garden, how do you grow the best garden, to do list for garden, important things in the garden, What should you be doing in your garden right now? There are many things you could be doing in your garden right now and really it depends on what your particular garden needs but here are a few ideas for you.

  1. Adding organic matter. I add organic matter AT LEAST twice a year. One is in the fall we grind up our leaves with the lawn mower and spread them all around the grow boxes after they are all cleaned out for the winter. Then we also add a nice thick layer of mulch around

    Continue reading

How to Keep Your Seedlings Growing Strong

what is wrong with my seedlings, why did my seedlings not grow big, why did my seedlings die, why are the seedlings spindly, tips to grow healthy seedlings, what are some things that go wrong when growing seedlings, Growing your own vegetables, and even your own flowers from seeds is very fun, and also can save you money. However growing them from seed might seem a little tricky at times. One of the keys to getting healthy starts is keep them growing fast. There are a few simple tricks you can use to keep them healthy and growing fast.

  1.  After all of the seedlings have their true leaves, with a very light fertilizer, feed the seedlings.
  2.  Thin them out with a pair of scissors or something that will not disturb the roots. However if you are growing onions, they will grow back if thin them out with scissors so they have to be very carefully pulled out. Thinning out will make it so they are not competing for light and nutrients.
  3.  Lightly brush the plants with your hands everyday or as often as you think about it. This will help them build up stronger stems. It is what the wind dose for them out in the real world. You can even keep a fan on in that room to help the plants get good air circulation and it helps so that no fungus or mold grows on the soil.
  4. If you seedlings are spindly and look as though they are stretching to reach the light, they are not getting enough light. This can happen if you are using a window seal to grow them, or if the fluorescent lights are not close enough to the plants. I keep them just a few inches and move them up as the plants grow.
  5. Water the plants from the bottom. This encourages the plants to extend their roots downward and gives them a better foundation.
  6. Transplant the seedlings when they start rubbing leaves with the next door neighbor plants. Root bound plants if left long enough, can cause the plant to be stunted it’s whole life.

Happy Gardening!


How To Conserve Water In The Garden

how to water your garden, how to conserve water in your garden, when should you water your garden, how often do you water a garden, how much water do plants need, what is the best way to water a garden, how do you tell if you need to water your garden,Watering your garden is a very important step in the process of growing your fruit and vegetables. It can also be of big concern when it comes to using too much or too little. How do you find that fine balance? That answer can be different from yard to yard, and from state to state. Here are some tips that will help.

  1. Water in the morning. Watering in the early morning before the sun warms up the air and ground will help to prevent most of the water being lost to evaporation. Watering at night might also do that, however, you might also open up the possibility for fungus and mold to grow with the water having such a long time to sit. The plants are better prepared for the day with a nice drink of water first thing in the morning.
  2. Use drip irrigation vs sprinkler. The whole plant dose not need Continue reading

Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Are you looking for a great gift idea for the gardener in your life? Here is my top 10 list:

  1. Gardening Book. This is always a welcome addition to the gardeners library from the advanced to the beginning gardener, having a gardening book on hand is always welcome. You will most likely spend around $25 up to $40.
  2. Getting a window herb kit would be a great way to keep the avid vegetable gardener growing through the winter. Plan on spending anywhere from $25-$50 depending on the kit.
  3. Out door temperature gauge is a must for every gardener. We have our thermometor stuck to the outside of our kitchen window so that Continue reading

Drip Irrigation System for Vegetable Garden

Putting in a drip irrigation system in my garden has been one of the best time saving things I’ve done. I used to water my garden by hand every day from a hose and I thought that it was better because then I was out there every day knowing if I needed to water more, or weed or take care of it in other ways. Then as we expanded our garden, it was taking over an hour to water my garden every day. So we set up our drip irrigation system, and I decided Continue reading

Using Milk Jugs For Watering Your Garden

How you water you garden is an important part gardening. To me the easiest and best way to water your garden is to set up a drip irrigation system with an automatic timer. But what if you do not have that option? Are you planning to just water your garden by hand? If so, a great option is to bury a milk jug with holes drilled in it next to the plant. *Note: the reason we use milk jugs is because we do not drink pop, but the milk jugs can only be use for one maybe two years then they start breaking apart and need to be thown away. Pop bottles might be a better option and will take longer to break down. Continue reading