Watering the allotment

by Jane Moore

I only water plants that look as if they might die - it's the 'tough love' school of vegetable growing!

Image of watering can being submerged into a water tankIt's so hot I'm having to water my vegetable crops up to twice a day at the moment. Everyone on the allotment is desperately trying to keep the plants productive and, more to the point, alive.

We're lucky to have taps dotted around the site, which makes watering easier for those with hosepipes. Others try to be less wasteful with water, preferring to use watering cans. I tend to fall into the latter camp, although I do have a hose tucked away in the shed in case I get into a panic in spring when all the seedlings are tiny. I have two large watering cans so I can empty one while the other one fills to save time.

I only water plants that look as if they might die - it's the 'tough love' school of vegetable growing! At work, I'm much kinder to the vegetables, but the veg garden at the hotel has to look good all the time for the guests, whereas my allotment can be a little rough around the edges. I do try to obey the golden rule of watering, though: water in the morning or evening, but never in the middle of the day. For me, that means early morning watering at work, followed by wanderings with my watering cans in the evening on the plot.

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Gardeners' World Web User 03/07/2009 at 23:00

I think this is a good pollicy to only water the plants that need it especially in drought conditions

Gardeners' World Web User 04/07/2009 at 07:26

Shortly I'll have a greenhouse so I read the advice on the site about damping down the floor in hot weather by emptying a can full of water over it. My greenhouse has a wooden base so is this a good idea? I'm thinking of the water being in contact with the wood and rotting it. Wouldn't standing a large bowlful of water add moisture to the air just as well?

Gardeners' World Web User 04/07/2009 at 14:45

Gill, victorian greenhouses had watering tanks in the greenhouse full of water all the time (and staff to do the watering of course!). I think a large bowl would be good, but the water needs changing regularly so as not to go stagnant and bring other pests/diseases in. I stand my tomatoes in pots on large trays which I fill with water, this gives some moisture to the greenhouse atmosphere, and keeps the tomatoes watered for a couple of days.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/07/2009 at 18:39

is there anything that will watter plants baskets for 2 weeks while away ??? thanks sory about spelling

Gardeners' World Web User 05/07/2009 at 10:57

...try neighbours sgtmoody!!

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