ArticlesIrrigation Techniques for a Vegetable Garden

There are several techniques for irrigating your vegetable garden. Here's the basics of some of the more common ones.

Rain: Nature's Irrigation

Up Front Effort: none
Ongoing Effort: none
Effectiveness: low to medium
Relying on rain to irrigate your vegetable garden is very dangerous in all but a few climates. In general, vegetables prefer a consistent watering schedule and rain normally won't accomplish that. If you want minimal effort, it is possible to rely mainly on the rain, with help from a hose, but plant growth will definitely suffer.

Manual Watering with a Hose

Up Front Effort: none
Ongoing Effort: high
Effectiveness: medium to high
Irrigating your vegetable garden with a hose can be a relatively effective technique. However, it is very time intensive to do properly and most people fall into using poor habits. For even those of use that have the time everyday to spare, life still has a habit of getting in the way and if several days go by without watering, your vegetables will be adversely affected by it.

Sprinkler Irrigation

Up Front Effort: low to high
Ongoing Effort: low to medium
Effectiveness: medium to high
sprinkler irrigation Sprinkler irrigation of your vegetable garden can be an effective technique. Your sprinkler system can vary from a standalone sprinkler connected on a hose all the way up to a full ground installed sprinkler system. The most common system is one or more standalone sprinklers connected to a hose, ideally connected to an automatic water timer. This set up helps combined low up front effort with low ongoing effort while resulting in pretty good effectiveness.

Drip Irrigation

Up Front Effort: high
Ongoing Effort: small
Effectiveness: very high
Using drip irrigation for your vegetable garden is the most effective technique to grow disease free, bountiful vegetables. Drip irrigation takes time and effort to set up, but once installed it requires very little ongoing effort and is easier to set up in subsequent years. Many gardeners swear by drip irrigation and its positive effect on vegetable growing.

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