Califlower and Broccoli Watering
We're going to move our califlower and broccoli from g-houe to garden this weekend. I've never really grown these types of plants before so I have a question about how to water. I believe I heard they do best if you don't run a sprinkler on them but rather water directly at the base. Anyone know if this is rumor is true? I would expect they'll get some natural rain but what is the issue [if any] with using a sprinkler?
Thanks in advance.
I'm only two years into the gardening gig, but I've always sprayed mine with a hose nozzle that sprays a pretty wide cone. I don't see how what I've done is any different than using a sprinkler, so in my limited experience I'd think you would be fine going with a sprinkler. On a side note, make sure you harden them off for a few days before putting them in the ground. Indoor or greenhouse-grown starts will struggle in the wind and sun if not properly hardened off.
I don't water with a sprinkler. Water temps out of the hose are in the 40s.
You can do it but the cold water slows growth, reduces production & cools the soil.
I warm the water up in elevated 55 gallon drums & use gravity to water all the garden plants.
I only water at the base of the garden plants, why water the weeds too? Also I can add an inch of water in a few seconds just around the plant & let it soak several inches down to the roots, but with a sprinkler it takes hours.
Before I had the 55 gallon drums, I'd keep several black 5 gallon buckets full of water in the garden that would get warm during the day to use to water the plants.
After years of gardening here, almost everything I do is increase temperatures of the air & soil. A few degrees matters.
ie: Green house for tomatoes - peppers & cucumbers, raised beds in the garden, warm water for watering, clear plastic to let the sun heat the soil & hold in heat at night etc.....
Ever have short - multi legged carrots? When the root hits soil temps around 40 - 45 degrees the stop growing down. Other plants do the same but you don't notice anything, it's hard to notice less above ground plant growth & production until you compare it to a plant with warmer soil .
Interesting stuff. Due to a low flow well, we have a 300 gallon holding tank in our garage. All of our hose water comes from that, so I guess without thinking of it I've been using warmer water as well, as the garage is usually in the 60s. Good to know.
Thanks for the responses...
Plants have been hardened for 3 days and tomorrow they'll find a new home in the garden since they're already root-bound and have had a hard time in the heat of the g-house and direct sunlight. I will do my best to water with warm water in both g-house and garden as well ~ just makes sense [now you've brought it to my attention].
I don't think watering with a sprinkler will slow the broccoli and cauliflower much. The more cold sensitive plants though you should definatly water with warm water.
Did a little measuring. Water coming out of my well over here off of KGB Rd is 46 degrees. Water having set in dark blue and light blue 5 gallon buckets in direct sunlight for a day and a half is 68 degrees. Water setting in a gray Rubbermaid trash can inside the GH is 70 degrees. There obviously has to be less shock factor to the plants when using 22 degree warmer water than what would come out of the hose. I been thinking on building a barrel reservoir system similar to MudBuddy's. Guess it's time I did a little more than just think about it.
We will water with warm water when we're home since our operation's quite small. We will have no choice but to use tap water when we're away and must rely on timers for garden sprinkler and the g-house drip system. One thing I did consider after being educated by great responses to this post was adding additional segments of hose to our timer and allowing the sun to warm what's in the hose and drip lines. This said I figure I can water twice a day and for a very short duration [just a few minutes each time to keep things from drying out] to primarily use the warmer water in the hose segments/lines.
I had 1 black plastic 55 gallon drum, the other was blue, I painted it flat black.
May need a new coat of paint, that was 10 years ago.
Originally Posted by mudbuddy
nice setup you have there, i wonder if you used some old windows around the barrels if that would help like a mini greenhouse, and would keep the wind from sucking heat out of the barrels also.
Akluvr95, If you want to keep warm water for watering on a timer just get a hot water heater ,strip all of the insulation off and paint it black ,then plumb your water into it just like it would be in everyday use. That way you will have 40 to 50 gal. of warm water that you can use with presure and your timers will work right. Someone is always giving away a heater that they have changed out the price of free is GOOD.
Originally Posted by Big Bend
how are you using it with pressure? using air pressure? i figured it would have to be gravity feed.
Just hook your house water supply into it with a garden hose and just leave it turned on . Most of the timed systems work better with pressure.
That's how we do it.
When we had a bigger garden and g-house in Idaho we ran a splitter and two timers with off-setting times so they didn't run all the same time.
Here the timer kicks on and the sprinkler hits the garden and we're in the process of installing our drip system to the g-house. Nothing too fancy ~ 5/8" main line with 2 GPH droppers set to each tomato, pepper and herb...flow can be adjusted by seeing how moist the soild gets and then adjust the timer for more or less duration.
Our operation is very small here. Mostly the wife's salsa support system!
Originally Posted by Big Bend
Water every day, even when it drizzles, when it's pouring your ok. I will water twice a day during hot dry spring weather, especially during late evening, so the sun does'nt evaporate the water so fast. I also will dig out a hole and replace the dirt with my compost mix for each plant. The plants will get huge if you do what mudbuddy said as well as what I have added. If you use something like Premium Crop, the heads will be larger than a dinnerplate if the summers even decent.
Originally Posted by mudbuddy
I have tried using a chemical fertilizer on plants in just garden dirt with water, cow manure dirt mix with water, chicken manure dirt mix with water, but found the two manures measuring about 30-40 percent of the medium, combined with something like a miracle grow supplement, out produced all other methods by far. The organic ones were just smaller, uglier, but the taste was the same, and I would bet my left knee that the vitamin content is the same too, and it's most likely as safe as organic methods. I'm not talking about making them glow with chemical fertilizer though, a half strength dose once a week should be enough.
As a side note, my land is creek bottom black dirt with more clay than most others have, so its rich and holds water pretty good too.
This is not a great cauliflower example, but what I found for now, and the broccoli will get bigger yet.
I know it is a late response to the original post, but the sprinkler/overhead watering usually is not used for these reasons.
1. Water waste and conservation
2. Splashing allows soil borne disease to reach the plant
3. Watered too late in the day, the plant may suffer from a chill where the water drops remained
If you haven't these problems, I'd continue
I agree that the water should be close to soil temp as it doesn't shock the plant...too cold or too hot will hurt. I use the leftover hot water from cooking corn-on-the-cob to kill the weeds growing in my driveway (organic weed control).