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Delivering the H2O your plants need to produce the best veggies is a job to be taken seriously. Too much water and you can drown the roots; too little and your plant will under-produce. There are as many irrigation options for container gardening and backyard gardens as there are urban-farmer personalities. Here are five low-maintenance systems to consider for your needs:
1. Self-watering containers. Whether you build your own with Urban Farm’s instructions or purchase a ready-made self-watering container (also called a self-irrigating planter), you can kick back and let the built-in irrigation channel do the watering work.
2. Ollas. Just bury these little water reservoirs throughout your garden, and don’t worry about water again until they run dry.
3. Drip irrigation. A favorite of dry-climate gardeners, these systems deliver the moisture directly to the plant — no worries about runoff from hoses or watering cans.
4. Water-absorbing materials. Guard against loss of precious water with materials that keep it next to your plants’ roots: compost, mulch and water-absorbing crystals are three options to trap water where it belongs.
5. Ditch it. With a little help from our friend gravity, an irrigation ditch carries water where it needs to go — right to your plants.
If you want to conserve water, consider building a rain barrel. Here is a list of our favorite plans on how to build a rain barrel.