We all know that plants need water to survive. Knowing HOW to water is equally important for a thriving food garden.
1. Start with what you know.
Where you live, how much rainfall do you get? If you live in a drier part of the island, or if you are planning a container garden on your lanai, you will need to water regularly. Perhaps you’ll implement some kind of irrigation system. A soaker hose is ideal for an in-ground garden or raised bed, as water drips from the surface of the soil down to the roots. On the other hand, if you live in a place that gets nightly rainfall, you may not need any supplemental watering to grow your own food.
2. Water early, water deeply.
Early morning is the best time to water your garden. Gentle overhead watering is best for germinating seeds, while the soaker hose is better once your plants are established. Depending on your sun exposure, your garden may need an afternoon refresher. Just be careful not to water too close to the end of the day. Putting your plants to bed wet encourages rot and fungal diseases. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty; the best way to know if you are watering too much or too little, is to stick your finger in the soil and feel how moist it is – or isn’t – a few inches down.
3. Know your plant preferences.
Not all plants need the same amount or kind of watering. Some vegetables, like beans, prefer a drier environment and you should avoid getting their leaves wet. Conversely, leafy greens, like lettuce or Swiss chard, flourish with a lot of overhead watering. With a little planning, taking into account your sun exposure, irrigation needs and plant preferences you can ensure a healthy, flourishing garden.
Garden to Table Recipe: Grilled Cherry Tomato and Feta Spread
I recently made a fantastic recipe that called for grilling cherry tomatoes. While I love eating washed cherry tomatoes raw, a little char from the grill turns them into smoky-sweet flavor bombs. Adding some feta and fresh herbs makes a delicious, versatile spread.
1 container Ho Farms Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Macadamia Nut oil
Naked Cow Dairy Feta
Fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, tarragon, or oregano (optional)
Skewer tomatoes and lightly brush with macadamia nut oil. Char on a grill, until tomatoes begin to color and blister and get soft. Carefully remove from heat without letting any slide off the skewers. Transfer to a bowl. Add feta and favorite herb to taste, pressing down on tomatoes to release their juices and stirring. Use as a topping for local grilled meats, or toasted baguette. Enjoy!
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