raised box garden watering techniques

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by gobug, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've gardened in raised boxes for 20 years now, but have never been satisfied with the different watering methods I've tried:

    I've used 3 laps of a soaker hose, but still had dry spots.

    I've used furrows and sprinklers and made several custom sprinkler arrangements.

    How do you water?

    (I tried to insert a picture of my garden, but I couldn't figure it out.)
    gobug
     
  2. Sedition

    Sedition Well-Known Member

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    I use soaker hoses buried with a couple inches of straw. Works like a charm for me, encourages earthworms, and reduces evaporation quite a bit.
     

  3. Ray_Scheel

    Ray_Scheel Well-Known Member

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    A soaker is my standard, but when seedlings are just getting established I'll spray them occasionally. Once the plants get to be good sized, thier roots drop below teh dry zones and tap into the wide cones of watered ground below the soakers.
     
  4. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have always buried my soaker hose about 3" under the soil, run water about 20-30 minutes a week and just for fun top water once a week after I pick stuff. Works fine for me for for the last 10 years or so. Maybe you need a bit more compost/humus to fluff the soil a little more?
     
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK you soaker hose heads ;) : Tell me how you plant your boxes.

    When I bury the soaker hose in the dirt, I have problems with succession plantings and it doesn't work so well on the shallow rooted greens. The deeper the hose the more dry spots.

    I don't mulch the greens, but add mulch as they are harvested. Laying the soaker on top of the dirt doesn't do well for me either.

    I plant the boxes intensively and with companions - seeds 2 inches apart in rows 2 inches apart - in the early spring. As these are harvested seedlings go in. Its not possible to change the soaker hose once the garden is started.

    My soil is good. Since my yard is boiler plate clay, I bought good quality garden soil when I built the boxes. I add compost each year. I can push a 12 inch shovel blade up to the top without standing on it. I can usually turn the whole box without getting in.

    When I prepare the soil in the spring, I form a cookie pan shape with the edges sloped up at the box. This seems to help keep the water in the box.

    Thanks for your comments, there are not many people whom I can ask these questions.
    gobug