Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Green Thumb: Garden irrigation

A hose watering plants
Jonathan Borba
A hose watering plants

Hello, this is Ben Scow with Utah State University Extension in Washington County. I'm the county agriculture and horticulture agent and I have a gardening tip for you as we go through the hot summer months regarding irrigation.

So as we go through June, July and August, we get a lot of questions at the extension office like, "How often and how frequently should I be irrigating my vegetable garden?"

One of the things that we have found with irrigation to be able to get a good quality crop of tomatoes or peppers or kale, whatever you're trying to get, is that they do require a little bit more irrigation than our lawn or our shade trees do (where we can go sometimes days in between irrigations).

Our vegetable gardens require almost daily irrigation; especially if you have a sandier or loam type soil you will need to irrigate daily, usually in the morning when it's a little bit cooler to give them enough water to go through the day. If the soil is dry by evening, you may give them a little bit more irrigation to get them through the night so those vegetables will continue to develop in form good fruits and vegetables.

If you have a heavier soil like a clay, you may go two days in between irrigations. If you go out and you can feel the soil around your plants is still pretty moist, you can go off in two days if you have a heavier soil.

For the most part, it is going to be more of a daily irrigation — and that's something that people aren't necessarily used to, but we found to be able to get a good quality product at the end where your tomatoes aren't cracked and you don't have knobby potatoes, you will need to have a consistent supply of water.