Below you will find crop by crop organic garden watering
tips. Keeping plenty of organic matter in your garden soil, and mulching your organic garden, will conserve moisture, reduce watering,
and prevent soil crusting. A soil moisture meter is a cheap and effective way to make sure you are keeping your garden at the perfect moisture level.
Beans- Beans are shallow rooted. Water up to 1/4 inch per day in hot weather.
Beets- Water evenly. Keep well watered during root development, especially during the 5th and 6th leaf stage.
Broccoli- Keep the seed bed of your organic garden evenly moist until seeds have sprouted.
Cabbage- 1 to 1 1/2 inches per week required for steady growth.
Carrots- Soil crusting will prevent carrots from sprouting. Maintain even soil moisture at all times- mulching will help.
Corn- Corn does not like wet soil- keep just moist until 4-5 inches tall, then water regularly and deeply.
Cucumbers- Keep garden soil lightly moist! Disease prone when wet/too wet.
Eggplant- Keep soil moist, but not too wet. For seedlings, provide bottom heat if possible.
Garlic- When growth begins keep soil slightly moist. As harvest gets closer, water less frequently to prevent bulb rot.
Herbs- Keep soil evenly moist, but not soaked. Do not let dry out. A humidity dome will help during germination.
Kohlrabi- Should not need watering.
Lettuce- Moisten soil if wilting begins.
Fennel- In dry conditions, spray lightly just to moisten the soil.
Melons- Seedlings prefer warm, dry conditions. After transplanting, keep soil at even moisture levels (garden soil should remain moist to the touch).
Onions- Keep seedlings moist. Water after transplanting. Avoid over-watering. Especially near harvest water should be withheld to discourage bulb rot.
Parsnips- Do not soak, but keep soil moist until germinated. Should need little water after growth begins.
Peas- To prevent stress from prolonged heat or lack of water, mulch around pea plants and water frequently at the base of the plant (leaves are disease pron when they get wet).
Peppers- Keep the organic garden bed evenly moist through germination. After transplanted, keep soil evenly moist but not soaking wet. Peppers prefer a hot, dry climate.
Potatoes- Prefer well drained soil. Water heavily when needed, but let the soil dry considerably between watering. Mulching will help reduce watering.
Sweet potatoes- Same as potatoes (water deeply every 7-10 days).
Pumpkins- Like melons, seedlings should be kept just moist. Transplants should also be kept with the garden soil evenly moist.
Radish- Radishes have shallow root systems and need plenty of water. Mulching will help reduce the need for watering. Planting in mounded rows will help prevent bulb rot.
Squash/zucchini- Keep soil just barely damp until seeds germinate and begin to grow. Too much water will cause seed rot. Once growing, keep garden soil evenly moist.
Tomatoes- Water seeds lightly and cover with a humidity dome. Once growing, allow soil to dry on top between watering, but do not let them wilt. Once transplanted, continue to water very lightly to help establish roots.
I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT
having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow
your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality
nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with
and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as
possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!
As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...
And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only
just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only
because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique
and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more
high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole
year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to
increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the
same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your
own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food
And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...
The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->
This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.
Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!
The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!