If water is scarce……..
In a perfect world, you’d plant your off-grid garden and it would rain the day after and several times during the week, says Pat Veretto of www.frugalliving.com, allowing enough time for the sun to beam good things to the plants. And then we want rain every week after that of course.
In the real world, garden seeds and seedlings usually need to be watered by us whether it’s cloudy or sunny.
The most primitive, but not necessarily the most frugal way to water the garden, is to carry buckets of water and pour on the plants or on the soil around them. It seems as if it takes less water to water by hand, than either by hose or bucket, but test the soil when you’re through and you’ll see that often the water doesn’t penetrate very far – usually an inch or so, which is a long way from plant roots where it’s needed! It takes a long time to properly water anything by hand, but it’s not an unenjoyable task for a leisurely morning.
The next step “up” is digging ditches or small furrows to carry the water from the source to the plants. Furrows take the place of garden paths, but they have advantages over hand watering.
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For one thing, you don’t have to carry anything. For another, they can wet the soil to the depth of the plant roots. One drawback is that water standing in ditches will evaporate, sending your utility money into thin air. Another is that digging ditches makes a mess of the garden and leaves little space to weed or harvest. We won’t talk about the labor involved.