Last month we discussed the basics of watering and dispelled some myths around properly hydrating your garden. In this month's blog we will look at the pros and cons of hand watering to determine the best way to provide water to your landscaping. Each garden is unique with its own requirements, so we hope the next two blogs will help you and your plants’ requirements!
By far, the biggest benefit to hand watering is the very low up-front cost. There are no parts to buy, no failing components to worry about - just a hose, a faucet, and your time in the garden. Another huge advantage of hand watering is that while you are watering, you can look for signs of disease and pests on each plant. Powdery mildew, spider mites, aphids, and many more problems are much easier to treat when noticed early. The last advantage that hand watering has over an irrigation system is that you can easily adjust how much water an individual plant gets from day to day. If the plant is drooping due to heat, give it some extra water. If the plant is getting too much water, simply water less.
On the negative side, hand watering can be a hassle for a variety of reasons - dragging a hose around your property, the amount of invested in watering all your plants, and inconsistency in the amount of water your plants receive if you are in a hurry. These reasons may lead you to prefer installing an irrigation system, which has pros and cons of its own. Keep an eye out for next month’s blog as we discuss the details of installing and using an irrigation system.
Phil’s Blog Bonus Tip: In order to water efficiently with a hose you should have a posa (mound of dirt - see photo) around each plant. This allows the water time to soak deep into plants root system rather than run off into surrounding areas. Posas can be a hassle to make and maintain, but they are a very important part in using water efficiently in New Mexico.