Watering Techniques

There are many ways of getting water to your garden. The simplest is holding a hose. Some people love hand-watering; they relish the time as a few minutes of quiet in which to enjoy the garden and pay attention to each plant. Other people, however, can’t afford the precious minutes it consumes, and prefer an automated watering technique. This section evaluates the many watering techniques.

Buckets and Watering Cans

Pluses: Less expensive, convenient for mixing liquid fertilizers, handy for small areas and container gardens.

Minuses: Limited amounts of water at one time, best used in small areas, labor intensive

Hand-held Hoses

Pluses: Inexpensive, pleasant, allows custom delivery of water to each plant

Minuses: Time-consuming, takes skill.

Hose-end Sprinklers

Pluses: Inexpensive, distribute water where needed.

Minuses: Moving hoses to new locations somewhat labor intensive, can waste water if not attended to properly.

Underground Sprinkler System

Pluses: Can be fully automated with timer, easy to water lawn areas regularly, excellent in areas with adequate water supply.

Minuses: Usually needs professional installation and maintenance, comparatively expensive, can waste water if not operated wisely.

Drip Irrigation Systems

Pluses. Bring water slowly and evenly to planted areas and root zones, minimize evaporation, deliver water in prescribed amounts and rates, cut water waste.

Minuses: Can be complicated to assemble, needs frequent maintenance to keep the system adjusted right and unclogged.

Soaker Hose Systems

Pluses: Water-thrifty, needs less care than drip systems, easy to install.

Minuses: Works best on row crops like vegetables.