Lifestyles
How to water your garden while sleeping
By Raye Niliusy, Grayson County Master Gardener
Aug 2, 2022
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Grayson County, Texas -- When I moved to Texas, I had a lot to learn about growing vegetables in the Lone Star State. Clay soil, blistering heat, and a variety of pests put a hit on my dreams of homegrown, plump tomatoes.  

Nothing, however, was as confounding as rain.  Rainfall averages 37 inches a year in my area, most plentiful in the spring months, but not enough to sustain a vegetable garden.  Vegetables need water on a regular basis.

So there I was, out there at first light, watering the raised beds with a hose that stretched 100 feet from the house. I lost sleep. Mosquitos bit me.  It was boring. One morning as the sun was rising, I realized I couldn’t do it by myself. I needed help!

So I bought two assistants - hose timers that turn on and feed a micro-sprayer system in my raised beds. The programmable timers operate off batteries and attach to a hose. I installed one long hose to the house spigot and ran it along the fence to the garden where it is connected to a 4-port splitter. The timers are connected to the splitter ports and the micro-sprayer system in the raised beds is connected to the timers.

The timers follow my instructions precisely. Watering begins at 4 am when there is less water lost to evaporation and less demand on the water system.  They water inside the raised beds, not the surrounding yard. Timers last a few seasons before they need to be replaced. Good quality hoses with secure connections prevent leaks.

If you need help watering your garden while you sleep, try a timer.  They can be purchased at big box stores, or online.  Experiment and pick the one that suits your needs. Happy gardening!