I know. It’s the middle of winter. I’m writing about watering. The words freeze to the screen before they’re typed. Garden blogs in winter are brutal.
One thing that sort of confounds me is that so many gardening information sources advise against overhead watering. I get the reasoning…wet leaves are supposed to invite disease. But somehow this strikes me as garden worry-mongering.
It’s good to step back and involve logic sometimes. Does nature not overhead-water every plant growing in the earth? I’m sure you’ve also had this thought if you garden, but sometimes the voices of the Internet can be loud and overbearing.
I’ve tried soaker hoses. They’re a pain. Haven’t tried drip irrigation, and I don’t mean to offend anyone who’s invested in it. I’m sure it’s great. But for me anyway, it seems like overkill.
Overhead watering, if done properly and conscientiously, won’t sink your garden in a pit of despair and fungus. It’s no different than rain, except you choose the time and duration; both pretty important choices.
I overhead-water only in the morning when the leaves are already wet with dew anyway. The plants only get water when they need it (I can’t quantify that…maybe read a better blog for answers). I always run the sprinklers to soak the soil well, an hour and a half to two hours each. I rely mostly on two T-post sprinklers spaced to cover the garden.
If it’s been dry and I don’t have three or four hours, I head out with a hose set to a gentle cylinder on the spray head and hand water (making sure not to wet the tomato leaves, and never in the middle of the day).
Lest I get Garden-PC-policed, I’ll mention that the water we use is from a well less than a hundred feet from the garden. We don’t exhaust anyone else’s supply (we’ll be the ones to suffer for overzealous use; the well will go dry) and we don’t have to pay for it. I guess the excess water even eventually ends up back in the well.
A lot of folks don’t have that luxury, in which case, they’ve just wasted time that they’ll never get back.
Now a deft return to the premise.
Overhead watering. I use it carefully, it works for me, and that’s all.