How often should I water my vegetable garden?
We live in South Portland and there is a drought at the moment. How often should we water our vegetable garden?
Ideally, 1.25 to 1.5 inches of rain per week is enough for most gardens. A rain gauge can help you decide when to water.
It’s good to get water down to 5-6 inches of soil depth, but there are a lot of factors at play: your soil type (sand or clay), how much organic matter your soil has in it, what growth stage your plants are in, whether you have raised beds, whether your garden is mulched, how much sun and wind there is, etc.
When watering, it’s better to water deeply but less often; this encourages plant roots to move further down into the soil. Since roots need oxygen, never keep your soil saturated.
Another important tip is to water at the base of the plant (rather than on the leaves) to prevent disease. This is especially important for tomatoes.
How to Water your Garden is a new video we’ve just produced that will give you more info and strategies for dealing with this drought.