Garden watering is a meditative exercise that helps you focus on the needs of individual plants, the calmness of a quiet garden, the beauty that is blooming, and the life that is growing. Because it needs to be done regularly throughout the growing season, it helps to keep you committed to a schedule. It’s a time to reflect on our use of water and assess the garden’s health. In this post, I’ll share my mindful watering practice and the watering system design that conserves water.
SPONSORED: This post is sponsored by Gilmour who also provided me with the Flat Soaker Hoses and Thumb Control Watering Nozzle with Swivel Connect™ that I used to set up a mindful watering garden design. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of this post from Gilmour!
Mindful Garden Watering for Therapy
One of my favorite books is Brian Brett’s Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life. In one of the early chapters, Brian describes how he starts his day each day by walking the farm in just his gum boots to take stock of the plants, animals, and land. I’ve adopted this practice in my urban garden, with a few modifications. I don’t do a garden walk first thing in the morning and I certainly don’t do it in my birthday suit like Brian does! Instead, I grab my hose and head out to the garden each day to visit the plants and see how they’re doing.
Having the hose on hand means I can give a bit of water to parched plants, containers, and seedlings. More than that, it gives me the opportunity to greet the plants that day and see if they need me for anything.
Garden Water Conservation and Appreciation
While watching the water sparkle as it percolates into the soil, I take the time to appreciate this glorious natural resource and honour it. The water that sinks into the soil helps to create a lush garden that feeds my family and visiting wildlife.
For most of my lifetime water has been an abundant resource. I’m surrounded by freshwater lakes, rainforest, ocean, and snow capped mountains. With such abundance, it is something that I previously took for granted. But with drought, wildfires, and increasingly warmer temperatures, it’s become clear that water conservation, collection, and recycling are a global issue. I’ve added a list of ways to reduce water consumption at the end of this article for ways you can reduce water in your garden.
This is not to say that no supplemental water should be used in a home garden. I have fountains and bee baths for birds and insects to drink from. I water my vegetable gardens, containers, and newly established gardens. My kiddo splashes around in a little pool and we have water balloon fights. It’s being mindful of water waste that helps to enjoy water wisely. The water from the kiddie pool us used to water the plants and we play with reusable water balloons that splash water on the plants and the people.
And for the veggies, seedlings, and containers, I’ve designed a system that allows me to efficiently water while enjoying my time doing it.
Setting Up a Mindful Garden Watering System
My watering system was designed so that I could direct water easily to where it is needed most, is made up of two tools that target water just where it is needed to grow strong, thriving root systems and healthy plants.
Flat Soaker Hoses
Throughout my garden I have laid down Flat Soaker Hoses that slowly drip water on the soil and allow it to percolate down to the plants roots. Soaker hoses are great for both new and established plants.
- For seedlings and vegetable gardens, run the water more frequently and for a shorter time period to help establish new roots.
- For established gardens, water less frequently and for longer, to allow the water to seep down into the soil where it can be accessed by mature plants’ deep roots.
The clog-free fabric hose lays flat in the garden and can be covered with mulch. My hoses last for many, many years when buried under mulch because they are protected from the sun which can fade and degrade the fabric more quickly.
With the soaker hoses in place, I can run water to the gardens on a regular schedule using a timer, or as needed depending on the weather.
Thumb Control Watering Nozzle with Swivel Connect™
On my daily garden walks I take a hose with a Thumb Control Watering Nozzle with Swivel Connect™ along with me. The thumb control nozzle is easy to use with one hand. I like using thumb controls rather than front controls for spray nozzles because I find that when I have to constantly hold down a front control spray nozzle my hand gets fatigued. But the thumb control allows you turn the water on or off and adjust the water pressure just by moving the thumb lever. Plus, the swivel connect feature means the nozzle won’t get all twisted up when I’m carting it around.
I also like this spray nozzle also has a number of different watering patterns.
- For seedlings. Use a gentle spray that had a wide reach to help augment the soaker hoses’ reach.
- For containers. Use a setting that is more like a watering can. I’ll often just set running water in the container while I do a little deadheading.
- For aphids and mites. Use a stronger jet spray if I need to remove a little collection of pests off some leaves.
Garden Watering Giveaway!
My friends at Gilmour have offered to give away a Mindful Watering Prize Pack to two lucky Garden Therapy Readers. The prize pack is made up of:
- One Thumb Control Watering Nozzle with Swivel Connect™
- One 50 ft Flat Soaker Hose
- One 50ft Flexogen Super Duty Hose
This contest is now closed. The two lucky winners are Inger and Linda! Congrats to you both.
Want to Save Even More Water? Here are 10 Ways to Reduce Water Consumption
- Water the soil not the plants (or air).
- Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep, self-sufficient roots.
- Stop watering the lawn in summer. Brown is beautiful! How to Water Your Lawn by Doing Less (and Conserving More).
- Replace lawn with gardens that feed your family and wildlife.
- Xeriscaping Principles: Gardening for Water Conservation.
- Landscaping for Drought: Inspiring Gardens That Save Water along with the Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Perennials.
- Create a shade garden that needs less water with the 7 Best Perennials for Shade Gardens.
- Collect and store water.
- Intensive Planting Boosts Yield and Saves Water.
- Mulch the soil to hold water and reduce evaporation.