This week I figured a blog about getting your garden through a dry spell would be beneficial. In our area we haven't seen rain for weeks now and that is making a huge impact on our gardens. All plants need adequate water to survive and do well and with no rain this can be a time consuming and very labor intensive chore. Most vegetable's need 1-2 inches of water per week. This is very important through the hottest months of the growing season. If plants do not get enough water their roots can't grow deep and strong enough to feed the plants with the nutrients they need to grow and produce well. Overhead watering or sprinkling is a good method for watering most leafy vegetables such as lettuce, salad greens, mustard etc. But for other plants such as tomatoes, squash, carrots, and some of the cole crops it is best to water around the base of the plant to help prevent fungus and disease in the leaves. Try and water your plants before 10:00 A.M or after 5:00 P.M.
Some people are using tap water to spray their gardens, but this can become expensive after a while and for those participants with a well it is unsustainable simply because with no rain the well of course gets low to and can deplete the family's source of water for their home. A few of our participants have been packing or pumping water from a near by stream. Although very labor intensive, this is the most sustainable and practical way (other than a rain barrel) or if a rain rain barrel is unavailable or has been emptied .
We have suggested using a rain barrel to catch the run off from the roof of their houses. It is important to try and get these set up in the early spring when the rain is more plentiful. A rain barrel can be constructed fairly simply and at a reasonable cost. I have added a link that teaches 3 ways to make a rain barrel for less than $10.
So until mother nature decides to give us a hand and provide us with some much needed rain try and keep your plants watered with what ever method you have available.