How To Water The Plants With Minimal Water And Physical Strength? Dosed Watering, Mulching. Photo

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How To Water The Plants With Minimal Water And Physical Strength? Dosed Watering, Mulching. Photo
How To Water The Plants With Minimal Water And Physical Strength? Dosed Watering, Mulching. Photo

Video: How To Water The Plants With Minimal Water And Physical Strength? Dosed Watering, Mulching. Photo

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Video: How To Feed Your Plants - Water, Nutrients & PH 2023, February
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We have a drought in the Kuban. Dry autumn turned into dry winter, and that, in turn, into dry spring. The river that flows past us has been represented by a stream for the third month already. Small pools-puddles are completely filled with frog eggs. The frogs scream with bad voices, but they still have nowhere to put their caviar. Under these conditions, the problem of providing plants with moisture is very acute. I will tell you in this article about what options are available for a particular site and how to use water rationally without adding extra work for myself.

How to water plants with minimal water and physical strength?
How to water plants with minimal water and physical strength?

Content:

  • How can you water?
  • Metered watering methods
  • Can I not water?
  • The nuances of "irrigation free"
  • Moisture-retaining materials

How can you water?

In fact, there are only two ways of watering plants: sprinkling, beneficial for all plant inhabitants of the site, and "targeted", highlighting favorites. The second, of course, is many times more economical.

Sprinkling is effective, perhaps, only for the lawn and all kinds of lawns. In other cases, this is an unreasonable waste of water and growing weeds. We are talking specifically about a personal or summer cottage - the situation in the fields is completely different.

The "targeted" water supply includes all other types of irrigation, both conventional (from a watering can) and "exotic" (using wicks). The most economical option is drip irrigation, which delivers water in a strictly metered manner.

The method was officially invented in Israel. It is vital there, because 60% of the territory is occupied by the Negev Desert. But, in my opinion, the idea was always in the air. Drip irrigation options were used by craftsmen in places with a shortage of water or time, and the Israelis patented it and introduced it into mass production. And they automated it to get confused with installing the system once and not worry anymore.

Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation

Metered watering methods

Drip irrigation systems, the most diverse, you can simply buy by choosing the ones that are suitable for a specific site and the needs of the owners. It remains to attend only to the source of water. It is desirable to have a large container in which the water would be heated. The container needs a closed and dark color - it will heat up faster, and algae will not start in it. The inconvenience of the system is that all these pipes and hoses strongly clutter up the space. It is better to try it in a greenhouse, and then decide whether this option suits you, or not. For hot and dry areas, this method is very good.

You may not buy, but look at the diagrams and assemble yourself from the available materials at hand. Old hoses with holes in places will come in handy.

The vast majority of popular hoseless and tubeless drip irrigation methods are based on the use of plastic bottles. Fortunately, there are usually no problems with these resources.

Bottles with a cut-off bottom and holes in the lid are stuck with the lid down near the watered plant (or group of plants), it remains only to periodically add water there. You can use special conical drip tips.

There are options:

  • with suspended bottles and medical droppers fixed in them;
  • with hanging bottles and slightly loosened corks;
  • with a system of cut 1.5-liter and 5-liter bottles (the small one contains water, and the large one collects condensate that flows into the ground);
  • and a lot of other diverse options, depending on the needs and imagination of gardeners.

These methods provide a guaranteed supply of water to plants for several days, but require filling numerous containers as they are empty. If there are few dry periods, it is perfectly acceptable.

An interesting option borrowed from indoor floriculture is wick watering. Everything is just like at home: a container of water is placed in the middle of the garden bed, strips of fabric from the water stretch to the plants (you should sprinkle them with a little earth). And plants independently "pull" water for themselves. Multifunctional plastic bottles can be used.

Watering from watering cans, buckets, hoses with different nozzles does not lose their relevance, but they require timeliness, that is, the constant presence of the owner on the site. Water consumption is much higher. This event also requires a lot of time (and regular).

All of the above applies to herbaceous plants. Trees and shrubs are watered, as a rule, from a hose (in grooves, special pipes or diffusers) and for a long time.

For drip irrigation, you can use special conical drip nozzles
For drip irrigation, you can use special conical drip nozzles
An interesting option, borrowed from indoor floriculture - wick watering
An interesting option, borrowed from indoor floriculture - wick watering
There are watering options with hanging bottles and medical droppers fixed in them
There are watering options with hanging bottles and medical droppers fixed in them

Can I not water?

The number of waterings can be reduced to a minimum or reduced to nothing. Moreover, get a lot of additional bonuses. Mulching solves this problem. The materials used, the thickness of the mulch layer can be very different: hay, straw, non-woven materials, wood chips, rotted sawdust, compost, cones, wooden boards and even stones. In an ornamental garden, this function is successfully performed by ground cover plants.

For garden crops, the best results are shown by hay, straw, rotted sawdust, cut grass, cut siderates.

The main advantage of this method is not only the preservation of the moisture that was in the soil, but also the retention of that that is formed every morning in the upper layer of the soil from the temperature drop (condensation). That is, natural watering without additional water input.

Additional bonuses of mulching:

  • the top layer of the soil is not compacted, does not erode, does not require loosening (due to which the suction roots of plants are inevitably damaged);
  • mulching significantly reduces the amount of weeds;
  • the surface layer of the soil does not lose beneficial microorganisms from the heat, sun and wind, processing organic matter into elements available to plants;
  • the lack of regular watering does not wash out nutrients from the root layer;
  • earthworms happily settle under a layer of mulch, fertilizing the surroundings with their coprolites.

If organic matter is used as mulching materials (cut green manure, grass, compost, rotted sawdust), bonuses are added:

  • mulch processed by soil microorganisms serves as a fertilizer;
  • carbon dioxide released by these voracious creatures is the basis of photosynthesis, which provides plants with 94% of nutrition for growth and development (only 6% is provided by mineral nutrition);
  • the heat, which inevitably forms during this feast, provides a more comfortable environment for our pets;
  • mixing soil with organic residues by soil inhabitants significantly improves the structure of the soil.
Mulching with stones
Mulching with stones
Grass mulching
Grass mulching
Layered mulching
Layered mulching

The nuances of "irrigation free"

It is better to mulch freshly planted seedlings to retain moisture in the soil. Plants that sprout from seeds are mulched after the formation of true leaves, by which time the earth has already warmed up. If you cover the cold ground with a layer of mulch, it will stay cold for a long time. Plants will be stunted.

On our site, we use cut grass as mulch for garden plants - we have a lot of it.

Growing green manure right on the beds with their subsequent cutting and use as mulch is more effective because it solves several problems at once. First, it inhibits the growth of weeds. Secondly, the roots of the green manure, which will remain in the soil after cutting, will be consumed by soil microorganisms and will turn into fertilizer. In this case, the remaining cavities will condense moisture on the walls. The more roots, the more moisture.

Thirdly, when fresh plants are processed, the nitrogen and carbon dioxide necessary for vegetables are formed. Fourthly, some siderates, for example, white mustard, are capable of scaring away the bear and slugs with root secretions.

Mulch must be added during the season, since the lower layers will be processed by soil microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, protozoa) and mixed with the upper layer of the earth by larger soil inhabitants, primarily earthworms.

For roses, I use a complicated version of mulch (layered mulching): dry grass, cotton fabric (old T-shirts, for example), still dry grass, cones. In the summer (Kuban!) I water roses once a month, if there is no rain at all. The tissue stores water and slowly releases it into the soil. At the same time, damp cloth helps to cool the surface of the earth and, due to the temperature difference between the air and the soil, condenses additional moisture. If you rip open this whole structure, you will find cool, moist soil and a bunch of earthworms.

I covered the soil with small stones in the place where drought-resistant plants grow. So, it turned out that under the stones it is also almost always cool and there is moisture. The reason is the same - condensation. In the stones, the plants turned out well.

Another favorite method is ground cover plants. Under the lilac, a variegated periwinkle has grown, rooting in all possible places and creating continuous thickets. The soil under it is never dry even in extreme heat, although it still requires watering once a week. In the forest, I see a wild periwinkle in the driest and most shaded places.

Also, for dry places with poor soil, subulate phlox, creeping tenacious, stonecrops are suitable, a little in the shade - monose loosestrife. There are a lot of ground covers, you can always find the right ones.

There is no need to be afraid that some plants will take away food from others, the most terrible enemy is bare earth. Because she's practically dead.

Mulching beds with all kinds of non-woven materials is most often found on strawberries, but it is quite suitable for other crops. By the way, if you put white on top of the black mulching material, the effect will increase - the earth will not overheat and condensation will accumulate more actively. In addition, reflected light is no less useful for plants than direct light.

Ground cover plants are an excellent solution for "no watering"
Ground cover plants are an excellent solution for "no watering"

Moisture-retaining materials

There are options for storing moisture directly in the soil. For this, a large amount of peat can be added to the soil for acidophilic plants (lovers of acidic soils). The greatest effect is achieved by placing peat in the area of ​​the suction roots. Peat is able to absorb moisture from 500% to 1800% (maximum - sphagnum peat) during irrigation and during rain. And then the plants suck it out from there.

When watering, vermiculite and perlite absorb 500% and 400% of water, respectively, and then slowly water the plants with moisture. Not very suitable for repeated use, with each cycle their absorbency decreases. But they never cease to structure the soil.

The hydrogel has the coolest absorbency: 1 g of dry gel is capable of absorbing 200-300 g of water. The hydrogel can repeatedly dry out and swell, it lasts about 4 years in the soil, then the soil microorganisms will finally use it.

The use of moisture-retaining materials gives excellent results on light sandy soils, in containers, hanging planters, vertical beds.

Dear Readers! Providing plants with moisture is a very creative process! The combination of different methods will only benefit the plants. Good harvests to everyone!

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