For me, the task of watering the garden becomes very tedious this time of year. Maybe it is because I do not have to do it very long in our climate, so the short period of time when I need to water daily or nearly daily becomes an annoyance and takes up a lot of post-work-before-bed relaxation and hang with my family time. I would prefer to relax after a long day instead of dragging garden hose all over the garden.
This year, I finally broke down and purchased a solution:
This is one 50' length of soaker hose, I ended up buying four of them. They cost me about $10 each, but they are very worth it in the long run. All I have to do is go out and turn them on for an hour or so each day.
The trick is getting them laid out around your vegetables.
These are beans growing in a raised bed at the side of our house. This 50 foot length is covering two raised beds full of beans and a few peppers, and the cucumbers and peas running along side them.
This is the the soaker running next to the leeks I am letting go to seed and some very pitiful peppers. This is the main garden area and I connected three lengths of hose here in order to cover the raspberries as well. This means I have 150 feet of soaker hose here and it probably stretching its effectiveness.
The added bonus for using soaker hoses or drip irrigation in lieu of sprinklers is that the water goes exactly where you want it. Much less water is wasted through over-spray, runoff or evaporation. The plants get the water at their roots where they want it, and the plant itself can stay dry which will help prevent pest problems. The hoses I purchased are even made out of recycled rubber!
My next improvement will be to add timers to the hoses, so they go on and off on a schedule and are not reliant on my tired-end-of-the-day brain to remember to turn them on...or off in a timely manner. It is better to water in the morning anyway and when I get a timer, I will set them to do just that.