Five rules for Tiny Farming

Rule 2: Water

In short, don’t wait on watering. Make it the very first thing you handle, after doing your rounds. Again, this isn’t rigid and demanding, it’s establishing first things first. For example, if you do your rounds in the morning, and like to water at the end of the day, of course, don’t change that. BUT, if beans are starting to flower and set, and you think today’s the day to give ’em some water, don’t put it off because you have hoses to drag around and it’s been a long day, tomorrow is just as good. Get that watering done!

Your situation naturally makes the difference. If your tiny farm is located in a few containers on your balcony or deck, or you have a small kitchen garden right outside the door, or you have drip tape laid out in the field at the beginning of the season, watering is easy not put off. If you have two acres and no installed irrigation, however, it’s very easy to put off doing what it takes to water a particular section. Don’t put it off!

There’s some subtlety here. This isn’t about following watering recommendations, it’s about doing what you think you should do. Like, for good yield and quality, it’s a common rule to make sure plants are well-watered while their fruit are setting. You may have had decent rain recently, and your tomatoes are shaping up fine, so you think you don’t really need to top up the water, even though ideally you would. Don’t think that, do the watering. On the other hand, if you’ve decided to rely on natural rain as much as possible, then if the toms look fine, you’re golden!