How To Water The Garden Properly? Watering Rules, Types, Norms, Terms

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How To Water The Garden Properly? Watering Rules, Types, Norms, Terms
How To Water The Garden Properly? Watering Rules, Types, Norms, Terms

Video: How To Water The Garden Properly? Watering Rules, Types, Norms, Terms

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Video: 5 Watering Mistakes You're Probably Making 2023, January

The importance of watering can hardly be overestimated. However, competent watering is not just a daily saturation of the soil with moisture, but also a reasonable approach, including the peculiarities of the culture and irrigation technologies, which, as a rule, provide savings in irrigation water. These are techniques that help retain moisture in the soil. This is a combination of cultures by similarities in agricultural technology. This … etc.

Watering the garden
Watering the garden

Watering methods

There are different ways of watering. The choice of one or another depends on the possibilities of planning and arranging the site, the type of soil and culture. In general, irrigation is distinguished by the type of water supply and is distinguished: surface irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation and subsurface irrigation.

Surface watering

It represents irrigation along furrows, including ring furrows (around the boles of trees or bushes), as well as on checks and bowls. It is advisable where the surface of the site is leveled, and the soil has sufficient water permeability.

Longitudinal furrow irrigation

Longitudinal furrow irrigation is the most common. It is used for straight-line planting of crops and is best suited for ridges that have a minimal slope (otherwise, the water either escapes too quickly, not having enough time to wet the soil, or stagnates at the beginning of the groove, again, not providing uniform moisture).

The depth of furrows with such irrigation can vary from 10 to 15 cm. The distance between furrows is from 50 to 60 cm on sandy loam soils, from 60 to 80 cm on loamy soils and from 80 to 100 cm on clay soils. These recommendations are related to the fact that on light soils, water mainly goes into the bottom of the furrow, and on heavy soils it is evenly distributed in all directions.

Longitudinal irrigation grooves
Longitudinal irrigation grooves

Watering in bowls or checks

Watering in bowls or checks is used in gardens and is the filling with water, fenced with a roller of earth, around a bush or tree trunk. It is advisable where the soil is characterized by weak water permeability. In this case, the size of the irrigated area should be equal to the perimeter of the crown.


An equally popular watering method. It consists in crushing the water jet supplied with pressure into drops, which is achieved through the use of various nozzles.

The advantages of such irrigation are faster and more complete soil wetting, the possibility of irrigating areas with complex microrelief or a steep slope, less labor costs, water savings by 15-30% (compared to furrow irrigation), as well as the possibility of complete mechanization.

Sprinkling is great for light soils, for areas with perennial grasses, but not for heavy soils. Water on clay soils does not penetrate well inside, and therefore forms puddles, flows down, provoking erosion processes. Another disadvantage is the ability to soak the soil only up to 50 cm on heavy soils, up to 60 on light soils, which is significant when watering gardens and vineyards that require soil soaking up to 100 cm.

Sprinkler irrigation
Sprinkler irrigation

Drip irrigation

Irrigation of this type implies the supply of water in the form of drops to the zone of the greatest accumulation of plant roots and its gradual distribution in all directions. Such watering is carried out by means of special droppers, taking into account the watering norms. The number of droppers is calculated based on the irrigated crop, soil type, plant size and planting scheme (for adult trees, this is usually several droppers, for young, shrubs and vegetable crops, one per plant).

A significant advantage of drip irrigation is the possibility of using it on unleveled areas, areas with a significant slope, on the vast majority of soil types and for most crops. Saving irrigation water with such irrigation reaches 80%. The main disadvantage of this method is the tendency to clog the system with solid particles present in the water.

Subsoil watering

This irrigation method is still little known, but it is quite promising, as it is included in the category of the most economical. It consists in the fact that the water is supplied underground, directly to the root zone, through special humidifier tubes. This ensures a minimum of water losses through evaporation, less weed growth (since most of their seeds are in the upper, non-moistened layer), and the creation of optimal conditions for plant nutrition.

Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation

Irrigation types

In addition to the main irrigation methods aimed at maintaining optimal soil moisture, there are irrigations that have additional functions. In particular: refreshing watering, watering with simultaneous fertilization, water charging (or podzimny) and anti-freeze.


The need for this irrigation arises in conditions of long-term high temperatures. During such periods, plants evaporate a lot of moisture, as a result of which the water content in their tissues is greatly reduced, which leads to the difficulty of vital processes.

Refreshing watering is carried out during hot times of the day by fine-dispersion sprinkling (spraying water to a foggy state) with a frequency of 5 minutes after 1 hour. Spraying allows droplets not to drain, but to remain on the surface of plants, restoring their water content and gradually evaporating, cooling their tissues and the surface layer of air.

Such watering is carried out either with the help of special nozzles, or with a spray bottle (which is more laborious).

Watering with simultaneous fertilization

This type of watering is more economical than watering and fertilizing separately. The benefit is due to the fact that nutrients dissolved in water penetrate faster into the root zone and are better absorbed by plants.

Such irrigation is carried out by adding previously dissolved or infused fertilizers to the irrigation water. At the same time, the depth of fertilization is controlled by the time of their application: if it is necessary to apply fertilizers to the top layer of the soil, the solution is watered at the end of irrigation, if deeper, at the beginning.

What can be applied at the same time as the irrigation water? Fermented poultry droppings, slurry, herbal or compost tea, potash, ammonium nitrate, etc. In this case, the ratio of organic fertilizers should be 1:10 (with water), and mineral fertilizers 1: 100, since in a higher concentration the plants will get burned.

Most often, watering with simultaneous fertilization is carried out along furrows or from a watering can. If by sprinkling, then after it it is necessary to rinse the plants with clean water.

Watering in special grooves
Watering in special grooves

Irrigation water characteristics

Not all water has a positive effect on plants. Rather, for irrigation water there are recommendations for temperature and quality.

Very cold water, like too warm water, adversely affects the vital activity of soil microorganisms and the suction capacity of the root system. In addition, when watering with ice or hot water, the plants experience a temperature shock, which manifests itself in wilting and sometimes dropping of foliage. This reaction is associated with the fact that stress inhibits the performance of the root apparatus, while the process of transpiration (evaporation of moisture through the leaves) remains at the same level of intensity.

Thus, the temperature of the irrigation water should be oriented towards the optimum soil temperature, at which the most favorable development of plants takes place, and therefore equal to + 15 … 25 ° C. Therefore, if water for irrigation is extracted from a well or well, it must be preheated in a specially designated container installed at the highest point of the site.

The quality of the irrigation water is equally important. Do not use water with a high concentration of salts for irrigation (high mineralization is usually observed in groundwater and mine waters), undesirably containing an increased amount of suspended particles (dirty river or lake). You can find out the quality of water by laboratory research and based on the indicators, either defend it, or purify it by chemical methods, or water it with tap water, since it usually has average indicators for both the presence of salts and contamination with suspended particles. However, there is also a "fly in the ointment" - the presence of bleach and rather low temperatures, but settling again allows you to cope with them.

Rainwater collection tank
Rainwater collection tank

Optimal watering rate

Poor watering and waterlogging are other hazards associated with watering. The first does not allow the moisture entering the soil to sufficiently saturate the root layer, as a result of which the concentration indicators of the soil solution sharply increase and the plants cease to receive nutrients in the required amount. In addition, regular wetting of only the top layer of the earth leads to the fact that the bulk of the roots of plants is concentrated at the surface, as a result of which they do not receive enough moisture and nutrition.

Excessive watering oversaturated the soil with water, which also worsens the conditions for the suction activity of the root system and causes oppression of plants. With an excess of moisture in the soil, the amount of oxygen decreases, the percentage of carbon dioxide increases, root hairs (absorbing water and microelements) are destroyed, the risk of putrefactive processes increases.

A constant lack of moisture, as well as regular waterlogging, reduce the suction surface of the roots, lead to chlorosis, leaf fall, inhibition of growth processes, a decrease in the quantity and quality of the crop, and in berry and fruit crops, also a decrease in winter hardiness.

How to determine the optimal irrigation rate? In agronomy, it is calculated using special formulas based on constant monitoring of the state of the soil. Naturally, no one will do this in a vegetable garden. But you can still be guided by certain rules.

The simplest of them is to know to what depth it is necessary to soak the soil under a particular crop. For vegetables it is 30 cm (during seedling 5 - 15 cm), for strawberries 35 - 40 cm, for raspberries up to 40 cm, currants and gooseberries up to 50 cm, for fruit and vineyards - 100 cm.

In addition, the need for water in different periods of life in plants is not the same. Most of all, seedlings and the flowering period need stable moisture, but by the end of the growing season, moisture consumption by plants is reduced to a minimum.

Surface watering of the garden from a watering can
Surface watering of the garden from a watering can

Features of cultures

Watering the garden, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of individual crops.

So watermelon, melon, pumpkin, corn, forage beetroot, beans have the ability to extract moisture from the deep layers of the soil and are classified as heat-resistant plants. This group also includes most of the herbs.

Carrots and onions are especially demanding for watering in the first half of the growing season; later, excess moisture spoils the quality of their harvest.

Cucumbers, cabbage, radishes, lettuce, peppers, eggplants require constant soil moisture. For potatoes, watering is required during the flowering period. Tomatoes are able to adapt to insufficient moisture and love watering at the root.

Within the same culture, among the varieties, there are also differences in relation to moisture. The most demanding varieties are early ripening, less - late ones.

Garden plants also have preferences. Strawberries are the most sensitive to watering, followed by black currants, then raspberries, gooseberries, red currants, plums, apple trees, pears and cherries. At the same time, fruit and stone fruit seedlings grown with regular watering need more moisture than those that had to initially adapt to its lack.

Watering your garden using a drip irrigation system
Watering your garden using a drip irrigation system

General rules for watering

If all the watering rules are reduced to one list of recommendations, then you get the following:

  • it is better to water the plants early in the morning (before the onset of the heat) or in the evening (during periods of cold nights, preference should be given to the morning);
  • watering should be timely and regular;
  • spring watering should be oriented towards a smaller (by about 10 cm) depth of soil wetting, since moisture accumulated in the ground is still available for plants during this period;
  • the higher the temperature, the higher the irrigation rate;
  • in cloudy weather, the watering rate should be reduced, but you cannot completely rely on rain;
  • at the moment from emergence to flowering, plants are most sensitive to lack of water, therefore, it is especially dangerous to neglect the regularity of irrigation during this period;
  • the higher the planting density, the more abundant watering should be;
  • more frequent watering is required for crops grown on sandy soils;
  • for the effective operation of the root system, plants need not only moisture, but also oxygen, for this reason, after watering, it is necessary to prevent the formation of a soil crust, destroying it with the help of loosening, which, moreover, also helps to retain moisture in the soil;
  • in addition to loosening, mulching contributes to the preservation of soil moisture.
Mulching keeps soil moisture
Mulching keeps soil moisture

How to save water?

In order for watering to be economical, you need to know and follow certain rules:

  • take care of snow retention, collect melt, rainwater in specially designated containers;
  • plant seedlings in a timely manner, while the soil has natural moisture accumulated after winter;
  • watering not often, but abundantly, so that the root system can develop deeper;
  • after watering, mulch the soil or loosen, destroying the capillaries of the upper soil layer (agrofibre can be used as a mulching film);
  • choose the most economical type of irrigation for the given conditions: on a flat terrain - along furrows, on a slope - by sprinkling, or relatively new technologies - drip, point, subsoil irrigation.
Watering system for garden trees
Watering system for garden trees

The use of all these techniques in combination can reduce the consumption of water used for irrigation during the season by up to 50 - 60%, and with standardized irrigation (for example, using drip irrigation) - up to 80%.

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