Table of contents:
- What are the watering methods?
- Hose watering
- Root watering
- Drip irrigation
- Subsoil watering
- Snow retention
Water is life. Without water, it simply would not exist. For the plants we grow, water is just as important. And, unlike weeds, which have adapted to feel great, being content with just precipitation, most cultivated plants without watering, if they do not die, then they will not develop normally and bear fruit. In this material, we will talk about how to properly water the soil so that the maximum benefit from watering is.
- What are the watering methods?
- Hose watering
- Root watering
- Drip irrigation
- Subsoil watering
- Snow retention
What are the watering methods?
First, let's look at what types of watering are, and then - the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.
To date, the following types of irrigation are mainly used in the care of the garden and vegetable garden:
- Watering from a hose;
- Sprinkling (when we put a rotating sprayer with a hose and doze in a deck chair with a newspaper, periodically rearranging it from place to place);
- Drip irrigation (almost the most advanced type, which has the largest number of different variations: root irrigation, subsoil, etc.);
- Snow retention (this is also a real watering, only for you and me it is less noticeable, and for the soil, at times, even more noticeable).
So, we learned about the types of watering, but before we go into more detail about their advantages and disadvantages, let's talk a little about the intricacies of watering itself. For example, about its regularity, because the highest quality and longest watering can play a negative role if it is not regular, only temporary, and the soil will either dry out, killing the tips of the roots, then again stimulate their growth, which will cause the plants to suffer.
The climate of your area also plays an important role: after all, if it rains often enough for you, then why even more waterlogging of the soil? Or if the soil type is swampy, it is already full of moisture, how much more? If there is a lot of sand in the soil, then more water is needed, and where there is more clay, then less.
In general, water is not only food. Everyone knows that plants consume substances dissolved in water? Water also plays the role of protection from bright sunlight. Of course, if it is not turned into minimal droplets through inept sprinkling. You cannot water the garden in the heat, when the water lowers the temperature of the soil, sometimes literally knocking it down to critical levels.
How convenient - you turn on the tap and water the plants. In the best case - under the root, or even directly over the foliage, it's good that not during the baking from the hot sun. In fact, there is much more harm than good from such watering.
With prolonged watering, the soil is moistened to a depth of 20-30 cm, which is quite enough for most crops, but what a shock the plants feel! Try an icy shower after your run in the summer heat. Hose watering has only one plus - we moisten the soil, but no more.
If you want to inflict as few injuries as possible on the plant, then water with a hose only late in the evening, when the soil is not so hot from the summer heat, and lay it on the very surface of the soil, closer to the stems. And do the minimum pressure so that the water does not erode the soil, enrich it with moisture and at the same time cool the hot soil.
It sometimes happens that a proud summer resident, often hiding in the shade himself, generously waters the garden with a rain of icy water rich in volume. No, it's great if the drops are large, warm and under the pump are supplied from a barrel heated up during the day and painted black, but if, again, from a hose, where the water is cold like ice? From such an execution, the leaves may even shrink.
Sprinkling has undoubted advantages, especially if "thick-skinned" crops such as potatoes, corn, root crops are grown on such sites. Then, by irrigation with the help of sprinkling, you will definitely exclude waterlogging of this area, soil salinity and water the area with greater benefit, because drops falling from a height, albeit a couple of millimeters, but still penetrate deeper into the soil.
In addition, by sprinkling, it is better in the evening and with water heated to room temperature with fertilizers dissolved in it, you can still carry out quite effective foliar dressing. This is also not worth forgetting.
The disadvantages, in addition to those that we have already described, are still a very large volume of water that is needed to wet this or that unit of area, high labor costs - you will have to stand for a long time with an irrigation hose-spray, or high cost - if additional sprinkler installations will be provided.
This method is effective and very, but it is most often used in small areas where several shrubs and flowering plants grow singly or in the form of flower beds. Most often, root watering is used by summer residents who come to the country for one or two days, and then leave their pets for a whole week, and sometimes for a longer period. And if fertilizers can somehow be added for future use, then with water it is usually more difficult.
But, as you know, laziness is the engine of progress, so now dozens, if not hundreds of different devices have been developed that can, in your absence, retain water in themselves and slowly consume it, pouring it into the root layer, and if it rains, then maintain balance in the tank at a certain level.
Let's start with the accessories that can be purchased - usually these are cones of different sizes, having holes of different sizes over their entire surface, depending on the diameter of the cone. For greater effect, the cheapest Chinese lanterns powered by solar batteries are also attached to the ends of such cones. They are supposed to remind the gardener about watering while walking in the garden.
What is the essence of the cone - you very carefully, so as not to damage the roots of a cultivated plant, dig the cones into the bite zone, fill it up to the top with water and calmly leave for your apartment. Water slowly penetrates through the holes - by the way, the fewer of them, the less it will be spent too - and moisturizes the plants right in the root zone.
The advantages are obvious: moisture stays on the site much longer, and the disadvantages are also: water in the heat sometimes evaporates literally the next day, and if you close it with a lid, then it will not fill up from rain, and of course, the price will be more expensive.
Why pay if you can do it differently and no less effectively? At home, everyone has a dozen plastic bottles with a tapered neck, although I think straight lines will work. Cut off the bottom, make a dozen holes in the bottle a couple of millimeters wide (ideally with a hot awl). Further - the most important thing - you dig in those places of the site where the plants grow, so as not to damage the roots. Fill with soil, it is possible with fertilizers, strictly following the instructions and the season. And, for my advice, it is tightly to close the open part with a net that we use to protect against rodents - then both debris and insects will not get there. It remains to fill the container with water, go from the dacha, and for a couple of days you can definitely sleep peacefully without thinking about watering.
This system is complex, on the one hand, it is extremely cheap, and on the other, insanely expensive. At first, the very essence: through tubes with holes (droppers) water (sometimes - with nutrients dissolved in it) is supplied directly to the bush zone of plants.
As a result, time is saved (compared with manual irrigation), a sea of water is saved (if the water is not free, then feel the difference), and the plants are happy - in their Procrustean zones, water flows through the droppers not a lot and not a little, but just as much as need to. These pipes, droppers, can be laid directly on the surface of the soil, or they can be deepened a little, some are even buried, but more on that, and water slowly flows out of them (and maybe the nutrients dissolved in it).
Drip irrigation, perhaps, is not especially necessary for a hundred square meters of land with cucumbers, but for perennial plants, vineyards and similar crops, especially those located in places where the relief "jumps" and the water strives to escape either down the slope or accumulate in some hole, it is very relevant.
In addition, the supply of water through drip irrigation, this process is, by and large, continuous, so there are neither sharp increases in doses of water, nor decreases, and the plants receive as much water as they need.
About the essence of the method itself in terms of costs. At my dacha, there is nothing simpler: I placed a two hundred liter barrel to the drain from the roof, or better, brought the two drains together, raised the barrel by a meter or half and made as many holes in its very base as needed for droppers in order to scatter them in rows … The deed is done, it remains to fill the barrel with water, cover it with a mosquito sect so that garbage does not get into and clog the droppers and forget until there is water in the barrels or when nutrients need to be added to the water.
Option two is more difficult, but eternal. First, a well with water is dug, then a garden is laid, a 500-liter barrel with a pump and water heating up to + 25 … + 28 degrees is placed, and from there droppers are supplied to all the trees. One minus - if the electricity is cut off, the pump stops, then you will have to buy an electric generator, but sometimes on sandy soils it is really worth it.
A more complex method of drip irrigation, in fact, is the same, but the dropper tubes are not laid out on the surface or slightly sunk into the soil, but are buried there almost entirely. This method is ideal for irrigating deep-rooted plants such as walnuts and the like.
It has been noticed that drip irrigation with tubes strongly compacted into the soil gives a slightly smaller increase in the vegetative mass, but a more significant increase in yield. Apparently, plants simply do not need to invest extra energy in creating powerful roots and aboveground mass, spending them on crops.
Oddly enough, but snow retention seems to be a completely banal event, but it is also considered additional watering. Snow usually accumulates a lot in the spring, but in careless owners it rolls down the slope to a neighbor, and even the young was washed away, but bare the roots.
Therefore, do not be lazy, at the beginning of March, walk along the drain of snow in felt boots, and properly trample it, creating obstacle rollers, through which the melt water will not jump, but will linger, again enriching your soil with moisture. And again - this is more important in the country, where hardly anyone appears before May, and even then only to start planting potatoes.
In addition to trampling snow, you can take care of and plant green manure crops on the site since autumn, leaving stubble no more than 70-90 cm from them, it may well retain snow, even if it is not a slope at all, but a simple flat area.
In addition, spruce branches: there are many trees left over from the winter celebrations everywhere, you can throw them around the site or just walk and crush the snow over the entire surface of the square, so it will melt much more slowly.
Conclusion. Here, in fact, are all the tricks of watering. If you say that you did not mention the watering can, then it is not so often used today. Now half of the summer residents have a sore back, besides, you can easily wash out the roots with a watering can. But if you consider this a lack of material, then feel free to write about it in the comments.
In general, I would like to receive more comments from you with advice. For example, I heard that before leaving the dacha, one person spreads moss crumpled in rolls on the soil and watered it well. Maybe you are doing something similar?