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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - March 24, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Watering
Title: Watering a vegetable garden in San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you give me a general idea how long to run my drip irrigation on my raised vegetable garden? Currently I use it twice daily for one hour. The soil feels slightly moist but not very damp. Should I irrigate longer or is that wasting water from my well? Last year I had to double up during the hot summer.

ANSWER:

This is out of our range of expertise, in that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. Most, if not all, vegetables are not only non-native to North America, but have been so heavily hybridized over the years that there is really no way of identifying the resultant plant. This doesn't mean we are opposed to vegetables (well, some of us are) but just means we don't know much about growing them.

However, we should be able to point you to resources that do know about vegetables, and help you find the information you need. From Colorado State University Extension here is an article on Irrigating the Vegetable Garden. Another closer-to-home resource is the Texas Agrilife Extension Office for Hays County. There is contact information and an index of subject matter on that webpage that should lead you to answers to your question.

 

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