Gardening for Life!


2010HCFSPP1 (10)

Drip Tips

  • Make sure water is diverted away from any building.


  • Managing hoses: Lock up all water accessories such as nozzles, spigots, wands, hoses etc. 


  • Install a water meter onto the tap (to visually remind gardeners to conserve water) at the cost of the community garden group.


  • Irrigate using T-tape.  It releases 1 litre of water every 4 hours.  Do not use acid to unblock it!
  • Post a notice on "Basic Watering Tips" and ask all gardeners to initial that they have read it. (This works well in a small community garden.)
  • Include an article in the July community newsletter on "Basic Watering Tips".
  • People sometimes overwater and get watery vegetables and fruits such as "watery tomatoes".  Advise gardeners to water less as the growing season goes onward.  Show them how to stick their finger in the soil to check below the surface for moisture.  Teach them to water the soil not the plant and to water longer and less frequently in order to develop the roots of plants.
  • To retain garden bed moisture and get relief from daily watering try Rechargeable Solid Water (RSW) in containers or individual raised beds.  1 RSW bag stores up to 300 ml of water after 10 minutes of soaking and releases water up to a period of 30 days depending on weather conditions and soil type. RSW is non-toxic and biodegradable when exposed to sunlight. Soak it once and put into ground at a 45 degree angle near the root zone.  Cover completely with soil.  Every time the garden bed or container is watered the RSW re-absorbs more water to be released. 


  • Water-soaked peat moss can also help.  However, peat is not a renewable resource so cocoanut fibre bricks are better.  Put one cocoanut fibre brick in a bucket of water.  It really expands and holds the water!  Spread the fibre below the surface of the garden bed soil and it will keep moisture in raised garden beds longer each time you water the bed.


  • Watering support for vacationing gardeners:  Every gardener is introduced to their Watering Buddy when they sign up to rent a garden space. They decide how they will keep in touch in order to water each others' beds when either one of them is away.  For shared garden beds everyone takes one week acting as Garden Angel / Garden Hero when they are responsible for watering the shared gardens during the growing season.


  • Use signs in the garden bed:  "Please Water Me I'm Thirsty"  or "Water Me Before I am Very Dry"


  • Water harvested from roofs can be used for trees and flowers on public land but not for food crops because of caution needed to maintain public health hygiene.


  •  The Barrel Man has a business converting food grade barrels into rain barrels. Also, they can supply 1000 litre container with framing around outside, dimensions 3 ft x 4 ft and 7 ft tall, pink or black. Calgary Plastic Container Supply also converts food grade tighthead barrels into rain barrels.


  • Remember to drain, clean and dry out water barrels before winter


  • Learn how to identify where a swale could be placed in the garden site in order to keep rainwater soaking into the soil instead of becoming water runoff. (Swales are water running courses that fit the contour of the existing land site and keep rainfall soaking into ground instead of flowing away without being absorbed.)


  • Consider using wicking beds in garden bed expansions.  They are constructed using gravel, weeping tile, watering tubes and overflow prevention.  Water a wicking bed every 5 days by connecting water to the bottom of the bed (not the top of the soil). Here are links to articles and How-To videos:


Instructions, Photos and Diagrams



How -To Videos




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