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My vegetables and herbs are all in pots outside in full sun. I don't have a drip system. I just water my plants by hand with the hose on the mist setting. How do I get the 1" per week amount of water for my plants, without a drip system?

I planted tomato (basil and oregano in same large pot), cucumber, zucchini, spearmint, sweet bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, buttercrisp lettuce, and spinach seeds. (I planted the spinach seeds in the same pot as the spearmint.)

I live in the North San Francisco Bay area of Marin County. The temperature is in the mid-70s to mid-80s. The summers get plenty of 90 degree days.

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Different plants need different amounts of water. Veggies like tomatoes and curcurbits like the warmth and consistent watering. Particularly with tomatoes a consistent watering will help to avoid blossom end rot which is the result of a calcium deficiency that typically happens when watering is haphazard.

The way that I test my containers is to stick my index finger down into the soil maybe halfway in and see if the soil at my fingertip is moist. If it is, then I don't water it but it is dry, I water it deeply until the water runs out the bottom.

Just a note on mint - you might already know this - mint is great but it needs to be kept under control because it'll take over a container.

  • Thank for the tip. I will definitely check down farther with my finger to make sure it feels moist. – Sara T May 20 '13 at 20:07
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I'd add one thing - your fruiting plants will need watering daily in those temperatures, but the mist setting on your hose isn't really the thing to use, it's the roots which need watering, not the topgrowth. You'd be better off running the water through the hose at a lower speed and inserting the end of the hose inside the pots and giving them a good soak till the water runs out. If the compost is already dry when you do this, you will need to go back and repeat the process ten minutes or so later, and again if they were really dry, because the water doesn't always absorb immediately into dry compost, it simply runs off.

As for giving them the'1" ' per day, provided your pots have drainage, just water them daily when it's hot - any excess will drain away.

  • Thanks for the advice. I will definitely give them a good soaking today. – Sara T May 20 '13 at 20:08
  • I soaked the pots through completely, and I can already see that they are perking up and looking happier. Thank you so much! – Sara T May 20 '13 at 23:01
  • Keep it up then, enjoy the veg – Bamboo May 21 '13 at 21:01

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