Summer is Here, so I Should Be Watering, Right?

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How much water do my plants need? Maybe not as much as you might think.

I have been working to clean up my garden. Organize the chaos. Staking vines, such as one particularly unruly tomato plant, has been a routine job. The one task that I have not been focused on is watering my garden. That is a shame because I hand water the garden, which gives me the time to relax and view the different nooks and crannies around my home. I did finally set up a soaker hose for one side of the house. This is a narrow strip between wall and fence. I have calla lilies, taro, and ginger along with a compost covering in this area. I do not water there on a normal basis, but I do need to take care of the foundation.

    Why you ask, am I not out there setting up the sprinklers, like my neighbors? I have been watching the skies, feeling the dirt, and looking for other signs. We have been having storms pass through Houston. On some days, rain may be coming down heavily a few miles from my home, and I remain dry. On other days, I can obtain all of the water needed for the week. So I listen to the news to hear the forecast for the next week. I watch the clouds drift by. Watching the clouds is a popular part of the day with my daughters. I do walk through the garden to observe the plants. I look for signs that water may be needed. Wilting leaves or other signs of stress are water indicators. I find that we obtain more rain than people realize, so a few neighbors over water their yards.
    I have been watering my potted plants. Potted plants do dry out faster. Interestingly, potted plants do behave differently from each other. My eggplant requires water faster than the pepper plants, so I do  have to watch the signs here as well. I do use my cooking water for the pots. I know gardeners in areas where water rationing occurs this is a habit, but I have not heard of Houstonians taking this step. I have sort of convinced myself that I am somehow adding nutrients back into the soil, but that may be minor. I simply do not want to waste water. For me, water is a precious resource that I want to make the best use of.
    In the end,my water bill shows almost the same usage. I discovered that my daughters are having fun with the hose, water, and bathing suits. Oh well, it is summer after all.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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