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intertruth: the garden of eden is your cure

Rosa Lokey Orbe, J.D. CalBRE License # 02067079


is the best fertilizer

No garden is alive without water. 

  • It takes the medium of water to create all the chemical reactions in plants and their roots sytems so that plants can grow and be healthy.
  • The movement of nutrients through plants and through the soil requires water to facilitate that movement.
  • Plant cells are made up mainly of water
  • approximately 2 bucketfuls of manure per square yard, store about 2 inches of rain.

Water Loss:

  • On a bright sunny day, plants lose about 3/4 inch of rain every 10-14 days.
  • On hot windy days plants lose about 1/4 inche of rain per day.
  • In cool, still weather hardly any rain water is lost.
  • HAND TEST YOUR SOIL by sticking your index finger 3 inches into your soil. If the soil is dry three inches down then it is time to water.

How Much Water:

The rule of thumb is:

  • vegetable and flower gardens do not need to be watered unless the rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  • Under NO RAIN CONDITIONS, approximately 4-1/3 gallons of water per square yard every 10 days.
  • And of course you have plants that love lots of water and plants that like little water. 

Mulch in gardens, manured gardens, closely planted gardens and soil with clay or rich organic matter will need less water than a garden with sandy soil.

Newly Planted:

  • When you plant something new you will need to water heavily for about three days to insure the survival of that tree or plant.
  • If you dig a plant or tree up from its roots and plant it else where again you will need to saturate the plant for about three days to ensure the survival of that plant. 

Feshly Seeded:

  • When you fresh seed a garden you must water the seeds daily until they root but be sure to give newly planted seeded a "gentle and very light" water.
  • You do not want to drown the seeds. Remember they are babies. MOIST SOIL is the cure.

Water, Watering Times and Water Meters:

  • You can water TOO MUCH or TOO LITTLE.
  • Too little water and the plant will dry out and die.
  • Too much water and you can have root rot and upper plant disease.
  • If your plant looks too watery it probably is. And if the leaves looks like the ocean waves, they probably are watered too much. Certain plants like lots of water such as tomatoes and roses.
  • I have found that the best way to water plants, is to give them a good soak about three times a week and then let them dry out somewhat.
  • In other words, water them good today and give them a day or two to dry out. This keeps the root from suffering with too much water. I try to water only the roots and to keep water off the leaves.
  • I prefer to water around 4 pm. This gives the plant matter and root plenty of time to dry out the next day and the ground stays moist but not too moist for a good drink through the evening. I find I have less problems with this watering schedule.
  • But anytime is a good time to water if your plants need water. 

Rapitest Water Meter:

I have a rapitest water meter and the meter tells me what level the water is at in my soil or container. I let the water level hover around lower to middle range water level. I find this is the best way to treat your plants. This way they are never too moist or dry. Included in the meter is a list of just about all plants , trees, fruits, etc and what level of water they need.

General Rules of Watering:

  • Shallow rooted plants need watering more than deep rooted plants.
  • Plants in containers need watering more often than plants in earth.
  • Plants that are flowering need to be watered or else the flowers can droop. BUT Do Not water just before a bulbing it may keep the flower from blooming.
  • HOWEVER: Peas should not be watered TOO MUCH as they are flowering or before or they will have a low yield. Peas only need about 1/2 inch of water per week once they are up until they start to flower, then 1 inch per week until the pod fills out.
  • The more sun and wind that you have in your site, the more water you will have to supply to your plants.

Water Drainage:

  • It is very important that you have good drainage for your plants whether they are in the earth or a container.
  • The best way to find this out is to water heavily and watch to see how readily the water drains.
  • The water should not sit upon the soil. It should absorb into the soil fairly quickly and smoothly.
  • If your soil is draining too slowly, adding alittle sand will help to absorb the water more readily.
  • If your soil is draining too quickly add alittle bit of compost soil.


Try to water the soil and not the leaves. The proper water level and drainage combined with organic manure can keep your garden healthy and free of disease.



Ultimate Encyclopedia of ORGANIC GARDENING - RODALE