Saturday, April 7, 2012

Water Wise Garden - Know When To Water

Know When & How Much To Water
Best Water Saving Tip You'll Ever Receive!

I do much of my vegetable gardening in a desert community located in Mira Loma, California - Riverside County just 40 miles easterly of Los Angeles.

Compared to most of America, we have year long growing seasons because, it often hot and arid. Our main stay is agriculture, farming, ranching, dairy farms, golfing, etc. It's a mecca for retirees and snowbirds, Brits and Japanese who love desert living.

Visitors to Mira Loma love seeing horses tied up at the post office or sitting at the same red light as you are, folks taking a daily walk with their llamas, sunflowers and sweet corn on displayed in the front corner of your yard, any sort of animal imaginable etc.

Nascar, golfers, outdoor athletes, tourist, horse and thoroughbred race horse breeders/trainers, Hollywood movie makers, animal sanctuaries and beloved gardeners love our slice of southern California because, weather is predictable, there's lots of space, everyone has a garden, and native plants are everywhere. There's even been walking tours for cactus enthusiast. Riverside county is a leader and an award winning county for solar energy, wind energy, recycling and victory gardens.

Even though we receive on average 11 inches of rain per year and our temperature is moderately 70-75F during winter, 95F+ during summer and pretty much arid all year long, we've all adapted to watering wisely.

Mira Loma actually has its own water company and home owners own stock in our water company. We're not under the thumb of the huge water conglomerate who tells us when and how much we can water. We vote on issues and take notice of wasteful usage. As a community, we've all taken it upon ourselves to use water wisely and not in excess. The more water saved on plants can be used for animals and swimming pools!

 Looking for a discount on your water bill? With a few easy watering tips, you can have a wonderful flower garden or vegetable patch without having a high water bill.

Plants really don't need much water to survive even if they're not drought tolerant plants. Just know which plants can be planted in full sun, particular shade or full shade. Almost all plants vegetables or flowers take in the same amount of water for survival. The trick is knowing when to water and how much to water and you'll do just fine by having a successful garden with a low water bill.

*Watering wisely means instead of watering every day and only achieving a shallow level of water, water less frequently by deep soaking which more beneficial to plants. You'll have a lower water bill, less fungi, plant and soil diseases, evaporation, water dependant plants, damaged leaves, attracting unwanted bugs, etc.

Water wisely means to water for the plants needs and not when you feel hot and sticky. We all make the mistake in thinking that our plants need the same attention as we do. Flowering shrubs, vines, succulents, bushes etc. need to be watered at most once every two weeks after established. At times the humidity level does plummet and more water is needed more often but, on the average most plants only need watering once every two weeks.

*Vegetable gardens and tender flowers do need watering (soak) once a week. Watering means setting a sprinkler out to water for 15 minutes or more or deep soaking a plant. 

TIP: Folks here generally build a mote or well around plants. When we water we fill that well up and let it soak into the ground. After it's fully absorbed into the ground, we then refill the well around the plant and walk away for two weeks. Grapes, citrus, tomato plants and peppers are grown everywhere here. Building a circular mote is a perfect way to water your plants and trees. The well should be as wide as the branches or leaves and about 2 inches deep for trees and one inch deep for flowers or peppers.

There's plenty of weather station gadgets and software available that measure humidity, barometer and temperature. Some will even give you a 10-day forecast.

Purchase a weather station or download software so that you're able to plan ahead by monitoring humidity levels. It will really helps to know when your plants really do need a good soaking. Weather station gadgets are often titled differently by numerous manufacturers or retail stores.

Recommended Garden Sights For Weather Station Meters:,,,,,,,,,, Google Shopping.

Recommended Software and Apps For Weather Station Meters:, weatherBug,, search using keywords:  Weather Stations / Humidity Software / Precipitation Software / Barometers / Weather Meters / Outdoor Temperature Thermometers / Weather Instruments / Anemometers / Humidity Meters / Wind Speed Altimeters / Humidity Gauges / Garden Meters / Garden Gauges etc.

Watering wisely saves money, water and maintenance. By choosing to water deeply and less often compared to sprinkling water on your grass and plants daily will actually make your plants thrive. Using mulch really does inhibit weed growth and greatly reduces soil erosion and water evaporation.

TIP: Always look ahead by knowing the near future weather forecast. If rain, fog, or any condensation is in the the near future.. . let mother nature water your plants instead.  

  • Always design for water conservation by grouping plants together with the same water needs. Always place the 'alike' plants together in areas of the garden that best suit their needs.

  • Don't plant a succulent near lettuce plant or petunia. lettuce and petunia's are 'alike' plants where they're a tender plant needing more water compared to a succulent plant that generally draws water from the air. Now a succulent plant will do extremely well with poppies or marigolds. Get it?


Water-wise: Give a plant a good soaking and water less frequently instead of sprinkling your plants every day. It's good on your water bill, conservation and good for the plant.

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Thank you very much for your comments and questions.I will be sure to reply as soon as I can. With Regards ~Emma