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Gardening with asthma – watering tips?

Watering is the hard part of gardening … For me at least. And it doesn't take me that long– maybe it should be taking me longer… I'm probably not doing it right –Do you have any watering tips?

I have 2 bell pepper plants. The wind had blown them over but I set them back up and watered them yesterday and they are recovering. 

It is hard for me to just get out there for 5-10 minutes and water a few plants– and I am pretty much just filling a few watering cans up and walking them around and sprinkling them on stuff. But it tires me out. Tommy helps a little bit because I make him, but he isn't that into it. 

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  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, I thought your question was so good and the topic so right that I created a new topic out of your question from the Daily Roll Call!

    Have you thought about investing in an inexpensive drip irrigation system with a timer? I use one of those, and it really helps.

    The hose is a tiny little hose that's pretty easy to install — you can get it all in a kit for, hmm, certainly less than $50. You don't have to use a timer — just having the drip irrigation means all you have to do is turn on the faucet and remember to turn it off.

    If you want a timer, it's not THAT expensive. You can get an analog timer for less than $15 and a digital one for around $30 to $40. 

    It pays for itself with the avoidance of one forgotten time turning off the water — or one crop of dead plants that went a couple of days without water in this blistering southern heat. 

    What other ways do you manage asthma AND gardening? I haven't planted anything this year … maybe I should? 

  • Marie E Natzke

    Shea you can also take a plastic soda or.mild container. But the bottom off and put the small end into the ground. Then fill it up with water as the ground dries it will release water from the bottle. 

    I try to do the watering in the evening when the sun is going down,  helps with the evaporation that the plants get the benefits from being watered. But we've had a lot of rain so far this spring and now this summer I haven't needed to water too much. 

    You can also get peat moss, but will need to wear a mask when you put it around the plants. 1 it helps to keep the weeds down and 2 it helps to retain moisture so the plants don't dry out so much. It comes in small bags or bales depending on how much you need. 

  • LK

    Shea, One thing I have done in the past is to put one or more bricks or heavy rocks in the bottom of the containers.  It helps to keep them upright on windy days.  Marie's suggestion to use some sort of mulch is a good one.  You can also use straw as a mulch if it is easier to get.  You can cut the straw or break it to fit over the dirt.  Hopefully you are not allergic to at least one of those.  I have at times also used just dried grasses as a mulch when nothing else is at hand.

  • Shea

    Thank you all for the tips! 

    I have added stones to some plants pots to keep the pots from tipping. 

    I also plan on trying out that idea with the plastic bottles. 

     I do have a soaker/drip hose but it is the type where I would need a row of plants, and I am going to wait for cooler weather to do bigger work like that. But you are right, that will make watering easier! When I do that work, I plan on mixing in some peat moss and using some mulch too. I will wear my mask and long sleeves and gloves to prevent allergy. 

     

  • Emelina

    My secret: toddler boys! They love watering and helping. One of the first things my 5 year old said when he was little is “momma likes flowers” and he went around our old house yard picking dandelions to give me a bouquet. Great suggestion guys about the stones in pots! Last year it become common place to see my poor tomato and kale plant pot knocked over. 

    I had a crazy idea to go buy a barrel, fill it and grow radishes and carrots in it.

  • Shea

    Oooh I love that barrel idea! And awwwwww on the 5 year old picking you flowers! That is so adorable

  • Deborah Bartlett

    If digging in the dirt….the soil contains contaminants and bacteria. Wearing a mask and disposable gloves is important!!

    Watering in the hot sun is not good for plants and grass. Water evaporates and can cause things to die. Early morning is best. Doing the watering at night can cause mold and fungus growth. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Good reminder, Deb!

    And Marie, I LOVE your idea of a self-watering DIY! 

    Lisa, I'm going to use your bricks or rocks idea … I think it will help with some of my lightweight plants.

    Em, your secret was my mom's, too — only she had girls instead. 

    Shea, so glad these ideas have sparked a, "Wow, that could work!" in you! My mom loved to garden, but as her asthma and COPD got worse, she found it a struggle to tote water to her plants. That's when I bought her an inexpensive drip irrigation system. But these other ideas would work, too! And you may have some supplies that will work lying around the house. It could be a great science project for you and Tommy.

  • Shea

    Thank you again, I am loving this info! I will totally water in the morning from now on (thank you Debbie)!

    I am going to put the self watering container by my baby lemon tree.

    And Cynthia, eventually I am going to work up to a system and a bigger garden.

    Baby steps. But the smell of Progress is in the air! 

     

  • Shea

    Haha– we are both half alive, but remain optimistic, and our new living conditions favor a full recovery!

  • Marie E Natzke

    Shea hows the garden doing??

    I know this has nothing to do with gardens but here in Chicago We have an area of the city called Humboldt Park. There they have a lagoon. Some knucklehead had a alligator as a pet. Didn't want it or it was getting too big they say it's 4 feet, and they let it loose in the lagoon. Someone spotted it and called the police. The police in the beginning thought it was a crank call but they checked it out and after a few hours it was spotted..So now they are trying to catch it and plan on sending it to a zoo. So it's day 2 of the gator watch!! There's even a Facebook page someone started..the police are looking into who had it and let it loose…poor animal wasn't right what was done.

  • Shea

    Send it over to Florida– we are used to them here! Lol. That is so crazy… Alligator in Chicago… My brother used to work on a golf course here in Florida and saw them every day. Tommy and I usually see one when we go on hikes. And I do not swim in fresh water because of this… They can be aggressive. 

    It has been raining lits again so I havent needed to water lately. Good thing too because it is yucky humid out there. It is nice to watch Mother Nature water the plants from the window in the nice A/C. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Mother Nature may pay us a visit tomorrow. I have been watering early in the morning. I like to get it done before it gets too hot. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    Shea the gator is playing hard to get…They still haven't been able to lure it into the traps. It comes up for air and sinks back down…🐊🐊🐊🐊