What’s the best way to water my vegetable garden while I’m away?


Our camp is on Schoodic Lake. I want to grow a vegetable garden, but we aren’t there every day. Sometimes we are gone a few days, sometimes a week back home. I am looking for ideas for watering while we are away. Is there some kind of small pump I can use to water right from the lake? Or can we get a rain barrel type thing and get an irrigation system going with that? I’m definitely a novice gardener with lots of “failed” attempts including “self watering” planters for a tomato plant that didn’t hold enough water.


Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties

A trickle irrigation system with a pump and timer might be the best solution for your garden. Check out Bulletin #2160, Trickle Irrigation: Using and Conserving Water in the Home Garden for some tips and further reading on this type of system. Well water is going to be the safest source for watering your garden- we do not recommend rain barrels for vegetable gardens and it may not be possible to draw from the lake. There is an article in Victory Garden for ME all about irrigating your gardens that may be helpful as well.