Whether you’re an experienced horticulturist or you have the land and have thought about taking up gardening, there are a couple of things every gardener should know beforehand instead of learning about it the hard way. It’s not at all that difficult as it may seem at, but in order to have a high-yield garden, a good strategy is needed. Even if your garden is small, you can still harvest a lot of yummy veggies.
The trick is to know how. What is essential for a plentiful garden is how it is watered. Water is becoming scarce and it is of immense importance that water is used in a responsible and efficient manner. Still, this does not mean that your produce should suffer neither in quality nor in quantity. To get the general idea, read these 7 irrigation ideas which you can start implementing today.
1. Water Optimization
In order to optimize watering, it is necessary to water one’s garden when the weather’s right for it. So not when it’s sunny and hot, nor when it’s windy. To allow the soil to get all the water poured into it, you should water early in the morning, somewhere before 10 AM, or in the early evening when the sun is setting. Otherwise, a lot water will evaporate if the temperature’s high or if it’s gusty. One more thing to know is that too much watering makes roots shallow and this can bring about all kinds of weeds, fungus, and disease.
2. Manual Irrigation
For this type of watering all that is needed is a nice solid hose reel. If you don’t have a big surface to cover, then this is always a good idea. This way you control the amount of water so your garden doesn’t get flooded. But it is very important to use a hose with a nozzle, else water comes too fast for the soil to absorb.
You can easily see when one patch has received enough water, and then move on to the next. You’ll know this when you see that water is no longer being absorbed. If you’re unsure as to whether there’s enough moisture in the ground, just stick a longer screwdriver after an hour. The soil should have moisture somewhere up to ten inches of depth.
3. Trickle Irrigation
If you don’t want to be bothered with manual watering, then get a trickle irrigation system, or better known as drip irrigation system. They’re excellent for smaller surfaces as well as for any individual plants you might have in your garden. This system is extremely efficient as it can supply up to 4 gallons of water in an hour. The biggest advantage of this system is that there’s almost no loss of water either in form of evaporation or overflowing.
4. Use Sprinklers
If you have a big garden, then sprinklers are something you might want to consider. There are manual and automatic sprinklers. The latter ones can be programmed, so you don’t have to be present when the watering is taking place. Just make sure to adjust it correctly bearing in mind the weather conditions. So if there are showers, the sprinkler system must be turned off. If not, your vegetables will be swimming before too long.
5. Avoid Wastefulness
If you go for the sprinklers, then know that they need checking in every once in a while. You need to make sure that head spray onto the vegetables, and not into the street. Also, to see if the heads are turning properly and to unclog or replace all those that are damaged in some way. And one more thing. Look for any weeds around the heads that might prevent watering coming out.
6. Install Water Sensors
These babies complement the automatic watering system. There are two types of water sensors: rain and soil moisture sensors. Rain sensors shut down the automatic system when they detect rain. So there’s no danger of overflow in case a big cloud comes along. Plus, they are quite affordable and easy to set up.
On the other hand, soil sensors are much more precise as they can sense moisture all the way to the root. They provide more accurate measuring so you’ll always know how much water your vegetables need. However, they’re not that cheap nor so easy to manage. So if you don’t want to be bothered too much with this, then rain sensors are the safer choice.
7. Group Your Vegetables
One more thing to take into consideration. Not all vegetables have the same water needs. You should group your vegetables and plants into high, medium and low water ‘consumers’ and plant them accordingly. If you divide the garden into these 3 zones, then your vegetables have a good chance to prosper at the very start because they’ll irrigated the right way.
There you have it, dear gardeners. There is much more to know about gardening, and it takes time and dedication, but these 7 watering tips should be enough to get you started so that you can enjoy your home-grown products. ‘Cause, let’s face it: there is nothing so rewarding as reaping the fruits of one’s labor.