The Art of Watering

The Art Of Watering


by Suna Turgay
Garden Steering Committee Member

This summer is bringing below average rainfall, so water conservation in food production is critical.  Here at the Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden, water shortages provide an opportunity to focus on the basics: soil preparation, heavy mulching, and targeted watering, all of which bear better results for our plants while using a fraction of the water.  Win, win, win for our plants, our pocketbooks and our region!
The right amount of water is very important to vegetable production. Too much water and plants begin to rot and are more susceptible to diseases, not enough water and they begin to draw water from their limbs and eventually dry out.  How and when you water and how you prepare your soil for plants can make all the difference.
Proper watering begins at the soil.  Soil that is loose and has sufficient amounts of organic matter (like compost) will receive and hold water better than compacted soil. Cultivating even the top few inches of your soil can improve your soils ability to absorb water. When watering, think about watering the soil that the plants will take their water needs from, rather than watering the plants.