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Worry-Free Watering
By Plow & Hearth
2/21/2013 2:39:00 PM

Automatic watering devices are a great way to save time and work when watering the garden, but you will need to consider the needs of your plants before you choose one. A standard sprinkler may work great for the lawn, but it won’t be beneficial for your vegetable garden. Choose a watering device that matches the needs of your garden and the time you have available to water. Here are some popular ones:



Sprinklers

Most people think of sprinklers first when it comes to automatically watering the lawn. They do save the work of manual watering, but keep in mind that they’re not always the most efficient devices when it comes to saving water - oscillating sprinklers can lose up to fifty percent of water they put out to evaporation and “drift.” They also don’t water evenly, since more water is put out close to the sprinkler itself. A way to avoid the latter problem is to move the sprinkler around at regular intervals to ensure even watering of the entire lawn.


Soaker Hoses

Soakers can be very effective for watering flowerbeds and vegetable gardens because they let water seep out slowly over the length of the hose. This means the plant leaves never become sodden, reducing the likelihood of rot and disease. The water goes straight to the root system and very little is lost to evaporation. Soaker hoses must be left on awhile in order to really soak the roots. Be aware of your soil type when determining how long you should let your soaker hose run.


Root Watering Systems

When used properly, root feeders can be very useful for keeping trees and shrubs hydrated. The key is to be sure to place them not too near the trunk not to set them too deeply into the soil. This is because the roots most efficient in water intake reside away from the trunk and within 12-18 inches of the surface of the soil.


Self-Watering Planters

Perfect for patios, porches, balconies or even inside the house, self-watering planters make container gardening even more low-maintenance – and give you one less thing to worry about when you go on vacation. Available in a wide variety of attractive sizes and styles, these smart containers not only save you work, they prevent over-watering, too.

When it comes to watering your lawn and garden, you’ll need to experiment to find the method that works best for you, your lifestyle, your chosen plants and your location. Use the above information to help you find the best way to keep your garden hydrated all summer long with a minimum of fuss and expense.



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