Thursday, July 11, 2013

Keep It Growing: Getting The Most Moisture During Times Of Drought

Heavily mulched with hay, leaves and organic matter

This has to be one of Mr. Gardens favorite subjects.Since he is an irrigator by occupation, he is actually anti-irrigation by nature...this probably makes him one of the best in his line of work for the value he places on the use of natural resources like water. He will most definitely save you money on the water bills in the process.

Drought periods are historic in our State of Texas.If you want to have some successful gardening experiences, basically it is going to require beginning with the soil. With several different soil types being found throughout Texas, one could pretty much say the majority of the land is made up of clay and sand.

The lack of organic matter in the soil can make drought periods during the year along with extended periods of extreme temperatures very difficult for farmers and gardeners alike.

However, there are some simple things that can be accomplished for a bountiful harvest. I've asked Mr. Garden to write in his own words his best advice on watering and water delivery systems so I could share them with you..

Mr. Garden a.k.a. Bryan Kimsey


"As least as possible! For growing vegetables nothing can replace seasonal rain."

"Rain is a natural fertilizer. Irrigation is only supplemental to seasonal rain fall. Quality of fruit is totally dependant upon rain."

"Drip or soaker type systems are best. Organic mulch such as leaves, hay, straw or natural wood bark are best for maintaining soil moisture between rains or watering."

"Remember deep watering once or twice a week is far better than daily or every other day watering."

"Periodic drying out promotes roots to search deeper for moisture and withstand scorching heat from the sun."

"Hope this helps." ~ Mr. Garden

Pammy working the raised beds

Thanks Mr. Garden! It's a start indeed!

We are polyculture and natural growers.No tilling and no chemicals of any sort. We rely on native and heirloom diversity, companions and natural biological insect control. Creating habitats for all life by working with nature instead of against it. Most importantly, leaving a healthy environment for future generations.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Love this article. Sweet and to the point. One thing I did not know was to let them search for water at times! Thanks <3

    1. Hi Shell!! yes, that would discribe Mr. very direct :D <3

  2. Hey Pammy,

    Wish I could share our water with you. I have lavenders that are rotting and dying with all the water we have had! Yes, soil is the key. We have clay soil and so it retains more water than herbs need! It is definitely a balance. Now off to amend my soil! xo Nancy

    1. Well we got 1/2 inch today Nancy!!! You were so sweet to share. Hope you share your amendment tricks when to much rain! Gee Whiz.. Sorry to hear about the lavenders...

    2. It is just a big challenge to garden anywhere these days! I will share when it is done. xo

    3. It's so hard to even know what to expect out of what our normal weather patterns once were. I've been hearing the complaints from both sides of the coin. Look very forward to hearing about what you have going on!! xo

  3. What an interesting post! I am new to gardening in reality, I have been studying gardening, specifically permaculture with a seasoning of biodynamics for many years... maybe about 10, but never had the place to garden. We just moved into a rental place that allows me to garden. I have been following Ruth Stout's ideas somewhat and mulching with straw as you have in your picture. It's been great! In an Alpine Desert area I have not had to water more than a time or two in two months. Yea! Recently, a professional landscaping person told me that I am going to lose all my plants to mold and mildew because I have such deep mulch on top of the soil (4" is deepest). I doubt it, but I am not an expert. What do you (or Mr. Garden) say to this? Christina in Colorado

    1. Hi Christina!
      So nice to meet you. Most of the mold and bacteria created by mulching is actually beneficial to your soil in creating healthy micro organisms and beneficial nemetodes.

      It is good practice in most cases to not lay the mulches up against your plants...but to leave some space around them for a bit of air. When pushed up against the plants it will most likely cause the stems to rot.

      I love to picture the garden as a natural forest....the forest floor is thick and rich with organic matter...and survives quite well all on its own. Hope this helps some!! xo

  4. Replies
    1. El Spud saying it again Ruth hehe!! :))