Last June, we asked readers which ways of watering the garden work best for them. Here is a sample of the answers. You can read all of the responses by searching for this title at www. MotherEarthNews.com. Post your own irrigation experiences in the comments section of the online article. — Mother
Because we have no outdoor spigots, we’ve had to hand-carry water from our basement out to the flower beds. After seven or eight trips with a watering can, we get a good workout. This year, hubby fastened a length of clear tubing to the outside of the window air conditioner, and now we are catching that free water in a 32-gallon plastic trash barrel. We just take off the lid, and dip out the warm water. It’s just a few feet from the garden beds, so it doesn’t take long for all the flowers to get a drink.
My wife and I live on a tiny Caribbean island where fresh water is scarce. We collect rainwater from our roof during the rainy season and store it in a concrete cistern under our house for the dry season. To avoid running out, we’re careful how we irrigate. Three years ago my wife and I installed drip irrigation in our garden, which has worked extremely well for us. We grow lettuce, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, okra, black-eyed peas, yard-long beans, sweet potatoes, papayas, pineapples, coffee, and occasionally cucumbers and melons.
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
My absolute favorite way to water my garden is to set my 8-year-old granddaughter loose with a hose and let her do it. It’s play for her, and my garden always gets a good, hearty soaking. She’s here more days than not, so until she loses interest, I’ll stick with Jadyn.
Cindy Scott Day
We use drip irrigation and have set up two rain barrels this year. We are lucky to have a good well and a separate cistern that refills overnight from an underground spring. We use a small sump pump to pump the water from the cistern. The garden is slightly downhill from the rain barrels and cistern, so gravity takes the water to the garden and through the irrigation system.