Florida’s fall growing season is approaching, and if you have decided to add vegetable gardening to your schedule, plan and then plant. Vegetables require light, nutrients and consistent irrigation to thrive. Because water is essential for photosynthesis and transportation of important nutrients, we strongly recommend you consider irrigation before transplanting. Which type of irrigation will you choose? Let’s think about this for a moment.
Rain seems plentiful this time of the year, but how likely are you to hand water your vegetable garden after the rainy season? Be honest. Plants need water for certain growth stages, like fruiting and flowering, and water stress can negatively affect harvest by limiting root development or causing fruit to drop. If you cannot commit to regularly watering your garden, we recommend using microirrigation to avoid wasting water resources and time. Microirrigation is a convenient, water-saving option for vegetables. Installation and maintenance are simple. These systems connect to an outdoor spigot and can be used with automatic irrigation timers.
Vegetable gardening is a tasty, rewarding hobby. I can attribute much of my gardening success to microirrigation, and we want you to be successful, too. We have decided to host a vegetable microirrigation workshop via Zoom where we will teach you how to install microirrigation for vegetable gardens. You will receive essential resources, and we will share helpful gardening tips. Hillsborough County residents who attend will receive a vegetable microirrigation kit to get started. What do you have to lose?
Planning is essential for gardening success, so start now. You can register for the Vegetable Microirrigation workshop at sept26vegetablemicroirrigation.eventbrite.com.
For horticultural assistance, call UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County at 813-744-5519. Check out the calendar of events at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/hillsborough/upcoming-events/ and, while you are there, check out our composting workshops. Composting is a great addition to vegetable gardening. Happy gardening.
Jacqlyn Rivas is the Water Conservation Program Coordinator for Florida-Friendly Landscaping University of Florida/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County.