How much? How little? What kind? These are all questions I get from people with regards to watering their Bogs… or CP in general.
First lets start off with what kind of water. I’ve been asked so many times what kind of water is best, tap, RO, spring, distilled? The answer is VERY simple… rain water! That’s what waters them in the wild… so water them with rain captivity! Rain water is soft and generally acidic. Granted it can have pollutants and other non desired things in it… but that’s what waters the plants in the wild! So do what you can to collect and store rainwater. Remember, keep your containers covered or standing water can become a west nile breeding ground!
Unfortunately, mother nature doesn’t tend to water my bogs as often as needed. In the heat of the summer, water evaporation is high, so I use my reserves. I have a 200 gallon tank that I’ve redirected a downspout into. At the top of tank is a large drain pipe that takes the overflow and drains it away. My tank has a tap and garden hose connected to it at the bottom. So anytime that the bogs need a watering… I just carefully lay the hose in the center and turn on the water very slowly, and let it run for an hour or so in each bog, until I can see the water level has come up.
Here is my tank.
If push comes to shove and I’ve run out of rain water, I’ve used regular old tap water in a pinch with no ill effects.
This is all fine and dandy for large bog gardens… but what about a small tray of plants. Again, collect rain water. Failing that, I’d got with distilled and NOT spring water. Spring water has too many minerals in it!
The next big question is how often to water. Remember, roots of plants like to get air too. At the edges of my bogs, I have sunken pots. These pots allows me to see how much water is in the bog. When I water, I add water until the bogs are full (or let the rain do that). Then I let all the water evaporate in the bogs until there is no water visible in the sunken pot. Then, I let it stay like that for a few days (3-7 depending on how hot it is) … then fill the bog back up with water. I think this approach mimics the natural rise and fall of the water in the soil in nature. This also lets the roots “breathe” a bit as well. Important thing is to make sure the soil is moist! It doesn’t need to be soggy!