After gardening in the Tropics during the rainy season, which occurs each year from roughly from June to November in Barbados, I can confirm that watering is a tricky proposition, which is further complicated by utilizing a raised bed system. The raised beds ensure efficient drainage, but as the beds hold the soil entirely above ground the soil temperature is higher and the soil becomes dry much faster. Right now I am still getting the hang of when and how much to water. Originally I was tempted to use the hose, but with such a wide variety of vegetables and herbs in such a small area it was difficult controlling how much water each plant received. There is also the issue of conserving water to be considered.

Bearing these things in mind I developed a simple system which seems to be getting the job done. Using a (recycled) plastic Joint Compound Bucket and a (recycled) 32oz. Yogurt container I am able to water the entire garden, 80sf, in about 1/2 an hour. I fill the larger bucket (4) times and use the smaller container to distribute the water. The advantage of using the smaller container is that I am able to direct the water where it is needed most, on the roots, rather than spraying the leaves. At the same time I also have a mental list of how much or how little each plant, or group of plants may need. For example:

  • (1) Tomato Plant, which occupies (1) 12″ X 12″ portion of the SFG grid receives (1) 32oz. watering per day.
  • (2) Sweet Pepper Plants, which share (1) 12″ X 12″ portion of the SFG grid receive (2) 32oz. waterings per day.
  • (8) Marjoram Plants, which share (1) 12″ X 12″ portion of the SFG grid receives (1/4) 32oz. watering per day.

and so on… Some of my more delicate herbs such as Marjoram, and Thyme cannot withstand direct watering with a hose or too much water for that matter. SFG in theory is supposed to require less water, and so far this seems to be the case. Another advantage of hand watering is that it allows you to take a close look at each plant, see how it is growing, and check for pests.

No matter how you elect to water your garden do so in a way that it is responsible, enjoyable, and beneficial to your plants.


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