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How to Make Garden Watering Easier

How to Make Garden Watering Easier

    I love gardening. I carefully make my plans, prepare the soil, plant the seeds or plants, provide them with mulch and support and the right amount of light.

    That’s usually when my forgetfulness kicks in and I forget to water, turning my once-lush dream into crispy stalks of brown.

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    I decided last summer that there had to be a way to make watering easier. It turns out there is.

    Directional Sprinklers

    Sprinklers are the devices that send water through the air onto your garden beds. They can cover large areas at a time, but with the wrong timing or direction, can waste water by evaporation or by watering non-garden items. Recent innovations in sprinklers have made it easier to cut down on the improper direction problem.

    Oscillating sprinklers send a vertical arc of water back and forth over an area. These can be adjusted, though, to send a partial arc, eliminating wasted water. These sprinklers are excellent for covering regularly shaped (rectangular) areas.

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    Pulsating sprinklers cover a horizontal arc. They can be adjusted to run any part of the arc up to a complete revolution. These sprinklers are best for areas that can be covered by a “wedge” of water.

    “Noodle” sprinklers are covered with “noodles” that can be aimed in different directions to cover odd-shaped areas. These are great for covering irregularly shaped beds or different areas with a non-watered area in between.

    Pattern sprinklers can be set to different watering patterns. They send water into the air like an oscillating sprinkler, but don’t have the back-and-forth motion. The watering pattern is pre-set into the sprinkler so it will not need adjustment like the noodles, and makes watering different-shaped beds very quick to set up.

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    Soaker and Mist Hoses

    Soaker hoses provide dripping water to the roots of the plant in a steady drip. The hose can be flexed around the plants themselves, allowing you to cut down on wasted water. The soaker hose can also be left on longer than necessary without turning your garden into a swamp. The down side to these hoses is that they only water the area right underneath them, and are not very good at getting large beds wet. The upside is that there is very little evaporation, and they are excellent for watering specific plants.

    Misting Hoses have small holes throughout to provide a misting spray all along the length of the hose. This allows more area coverage than a soaker hose, while still allowing for flexibility in where the water goes. The mist from these hoses is very prone to evaporation on hot days.

    Plant Water Spikes

    These plastic spikes attach to 2-liter bottles and slowly deliver water to the root of the plant. While not the most attractive item in the world, these devices have saved my front porch plants from frying in the southern sun. These spikes can even be made at home: attach a plugged stiff tube with small holes drilled in it to a 2-liter bottle and push it into the soil.

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    There are glass equivalents of these devices made for inside plants, and while they are much prettier, I have found that they do not weather well. Not to mention picking broken glass out of the soil is extremely difficult.

    Self-Watering Pots

    Most pots come with drainage holes and bases; these holes are strictly for drainage, though, and will not absorb excess water back into the pot without some sort of wicking. Self watering pots use a tube to pour water into a reservoir, which is then brought up into the soil through a wicking grid. There are commercial versions of these pots available, and many instructions on how to make them on the web. I use these pots for my blueberry bushes on my deck, and the plants are always lush during even the hottest days.

    Hose Timers

    Even with all of the options to help me water above, I still had a problem remembering to turn the water OFF. Host timers are the solution. Sitting between the faucet and the hose, they allow water for a given amount of time and then shut it off. I turn them on before my morning walk, and I forget about them until the next day. I no longer have to dread my neighbor coming over to let me know that the garden and yard were under water.

    There are both digital and analog versions of these timers. The analog versions work very much like kitchen timers that you turn past the time to “wind up” and then set the time. The digital versions are much more precise, but require batteries for power.

    Do you have any watering tips? Share below.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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