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Question: I have an above ground garden that I recently built. I live in Arizona and currently temperatures rise to 100-110 degrees. I need to know how often and how long to water it.

Reason for Above Ground Just in case this pertains, I picked this because I have a 6 month black lab puppy who loves to dig. That and we live in a rental property and I really don't want to have to uproot a garden when/if we move.

Soil: 50/50 mix of Miracle-Gro Potting Mix and omni. I did not use any AZ soil.

sunlight: Garden sits along west wall of backyard so it gets about 6-8 hours of sunlight and that tan shade is drawn over it at all times during the summer.

veggies

  • cilantro
  • basil
  • garlic
  • onions
  • chives
  • spearmint
  • thyme
  • jalapenos
  • annaheim peppers
  • green beans
  • tomatoes
  • artichoke - this has been re-planted in the ground as i learned they get quite big!

Watering Method The picture shows a soaker hose, however I have replaced the hose with a sprinkler system, with a single 360 degree sprayer for each bucket. I can control flow on an individual bucket basis. However, timer is set for the entire garden

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Very nice garden, I'm envious! –  Jarrod Dixon Apr 25 '12 at 2:13
    
Thanks, my other in pot tomato plant has BER and i need to get it treated. –  gorelative Apr 25 '12 at 12:19
    
@Mike: BER is preventable, but as far as I know, isn't really treatable. Search in tomatoes on this site for some questions on BER. –  bstpierre Apr 25 '12 at 15:49
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The simple answer is to water when the garden needs it. Make a small investment in a soil moisture probe. Check the moisture level in the morning. If the soil is dry, run the water. If there's enough moisture, leave it alone.

Checking the soil surface isn't good enough: the surface can appear dry but there's still moisture deeper down where the roots are. That's why you need a probe.

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ill pick up a soil moisture probe this weekend. –  gorelative Apr 25 '12 at 12:19
    
Ditto here - the surface almost always appears dry, here in North Texas. I end up watering daily when it might not be necessary. –  uncle brad Apr 26 '12 at 14:06
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