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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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