Pros and Cons of Different Watering Systems
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At this point most of us have had to water the garden at least once. Was it manageable? Could it be better? Depending on where you live how judicious you need to be with water. There are different methods that have their own advantages and disadvantages. 
If conserving water usage is a big one for you, a drip line is the way you will want to go. Drip lines deposit the water close to the ground at the base of the plant, so the water gets exactly where it needs to be, and no were else. You can even plum them up for raised beds by running the pipe along the base of the bed, then a hose up to the surface. These can be pricy to install the first time, but worth it in the amount of time saved watering individual plants and water saved. Make sure to have a drain or flush valve at the end for water to escape once the freezing temperatures arrive. 
Hand watering is the cheapest and most water conserving method. Unless of course you have a 5- and 3-year-old running the hose. Then all bets are off. This works well for small beds or garden patches close to the house or hose. They are perfect for seedlings as well but can be difficult to get enough water to the plants as they mature. You can also control where the water lands to some extent and water the base of the plant avoiding getting wet leaves. 
Broad cast sprinkler is probably the easiest method to cover a large area. The downside is you can lose quite a bit to evaporation, you will get the leaves wet, and will probably water the leaves and lawn a little. The big benefit is you can set it and walk away. 
To get the proper amount of water to the plants, set a timer on your phone. You can also buy automatic water shut offs, but I have never actually tried them. 
When plants are small seedlings, they need water frequently until their roots develop and can handle a bit of stress. Seedlings will need water about every 1-2 days depending on heat, wind, etc. Just make sure the top doesn’t dry out too much. Bigger plants can do with a good soaking about once a week. 
My garden is divided into 5 areas. Now that it is established, each area is watered once a week and receives a good 3–4-hour soaking. I aim for morning, that way the leaves are all dry by night fall, to avoid mildew. 
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