Week 7 of the Garden Digest – Watering & Maintenance

Watering & Maintenance

The Importance! Lets Talk Watering & Maintenance.

In light of the recent dry spell experienced here in Southern Ontario, we believe it’s crucial to address the essential aspects of watering and maintenance in our gardens. To ensure a productive and abundant kitchen garden, it’s important to establish a consistent watering and maintenance routine that is both efficient and manageable.

At Willow Lane Garden Co., we place great emphasis on the proximity of a water source to your garden during our consultations. Understanding the location of your hose bibs in relation to your garden design is key. You’d be surprised at how much time and effort can be saved by having easy access to water without the need for extensive walks around the house.

In addition to watering, garden maintenance plays a pivotal role in ensuring the health and vitality of your plants. This encompasses various tasks such as pruning, weed control, and pest management. Each task requires its own approach, and incorporating them into your daily or weekly routine is highly advisable.

Overhead watering with a watering can on healthy vegetables in the ground - nurturing and hydrating plants for a thriving garden. Watering & Maintenance.


Walking around your house to fill up a watering can can significantly add hours to your weekly routine. Fortunately, there are practical solutions to streamline this process and enhance your gardening experience. One effective approach is to strategically design and position your kitchen garden near a water source. Most of our clients have hose bibs conveniently located on the exterior of their houses, serving as the primary water supply. However, there are alternative options worth considering, such as water barrels or a drip system.

Water barrels offer a sustainable solution by collecting rainwater from your house or garage roof, or even from a greenhouse. This stored rainwater becomes readily available for your garden’s watering needs. In our own yard, we have three rain barrels that efficiently collect and store thousands of liters of rainwater. This abundance of water sustains our garden for weeks at a time, providing us with an invaluable resource.

For added convenience and efficiency, a drip system can be a true garden luxury. Controlled by a dedicated controller connected to our hose bib, our drip system operates on a set schedule. It precisely waters our raised beds every two days for 30-45 minutes each time. The drip tubing is equipped with emitters placed every 6 inches, delivering a steady flow of 0.5 gallons of water per hour. While this option requires some initial investment, the system becomes automated once set up, allowing you to allocate your time to other garden tasks.


Pruning plays a vital role in maintaining the health and productivity of your kitchen garden. When it comes to tomatoes, it’s important to prune them in a way that ensures there is a sufficient gap of 8-12 inches between the soil and the leaves. Additionally, removing suckers from your tomato plants is crucial for maintaining control. Allowing suckers to grow unchecked can lead to an overwhelming tangle of tomato vines.

Regularly inspecting your plants for signs of disease or pests is another essential aspect of garden maintenance. Recently, we encountered an issue with our Swiss Chard, which appeared to be experiencing leaf damage and browning. Upon closer examination, we discovered eggs underneath the leaves, indicating the presence of a pest. Taking immediate action prevented the problem from spreading and causing further damage to the entire bed.

Effectively managing weeds is also crucial for fostering a healthy kitchen garden. By promptly addressing weed growth and removing them when they are young, the task becomes much easier. Applying a layer of natural mulch or using hay can be effective methods to minimize weed growth and keep them under control.

Diagram illustrating optimal tomato plant pruning techniques - guidance on strategic pruning for healthier and more productive tomato plants. Watering & Maintenance.

5 Key Takeaways

1. Efficient watering: Designing your kitchen garden near a water source, such as a hose bib, can save you valuable time and effort. Consider placing your garden in proximity to a water supply to minimize the need for lengthy walks to fill up watering cans.

2. Harvest rainwater: Install water barrels to collect rainwater from your roof or other structures. This stored rainwater can provide a sustainable and abundant water supply for your garden, reducing your reliance on tap water and conserving resources.

3. Drip irrigation system: Invest in a drip system for automated and precise watering. This system, controlled by a controller connected to a hose bib, delivers water directly to the plants through emitters spaced along the drip tubing. It offers consistent and efficient watering, allowing you to save time and focus on other garden tasks.

4. Proper pruning: Prune your tomato plants to maintain a healthy and productive garden. Ensure there is sufficient space between the soil and the leaves, around 8-12 inches, to prevent disease and facilitate proper airflow. Regularly remove suckers to prevent excessive growth and maintain control over your plants.

5. Vigilant pest and disease management: Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests or diseases. Early detection and intervention are crucial in preventing the spread of issues and minimizing damage. Stay proactive by promptly addressing any pest or disease concerns that arise in your kitchen garden.

By implementing these practices, including efficient watering, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, proper pruning, and diligent pest and disease management, you can establish a well-maintained and thriving kitchen garden that yields bountiful harvests and promotes a sustainable approach to gardening.

We are here to help you achieve your gardening goals! Reach out with any questions that might come up throughout your journey. 

We are excited to announce that there are some new DIY plans on our Etsy store. Whether you need some more storage in the garden, are looking to spruce up your curb appeal or are looking for a new way to grow your tomatoes, we have something for you!

Check it out here – https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WillowLaneGardenCo

Best regards,

Tessa & Kyle

Willow Lane Garden Co.

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