A Guide to Effective Plant Irrigation
Who doesn’t love a beautiful home garden? A well-grown garden is a desirable home décor for many, either to grow your own organic vegetables or to add ornamental beauty to your home.
Arguably, one of the most pivotal factors for the cultivation of plants is how well they are watered. Different species of plants vary in their characteristics as well as their needs for nutrients and water. There are plants that are very sensitive to water shortage and can wither away in a day, and there are also plants that can go several weeks on end without being watered, such as the Cacti.
It is important to recognize the specific watering needs of all your plants. You need to ask yourself two questions before considering an irrigation system for your plants:
- How much water do my plants need?
- How much water is the irrigation system expelling in each of its parts?
When you find the answers to both of these questions, you can align your watering system output according to your plant’s needs. Water is a valuable resource and yet is wasted by the tons.
The effective and efficient use of water should be a prime factor to consider while choosing an irrigation system for maximum utility and minimum waste. There are smart sensors available that can detect the amount of water in its environment and then regulate the water output from your automated irrigation system accordingly. Rain sensors detect rainfall and shut off the water irrigation instantaneously, thereby, retaining the moisture level of the soil. However, the soil sensors are much more accurate for this purpose, since they directly detect the water level in the soil. An easy way of assessing your soil moisture content is to press a screwdriver down, in a wet enough soil. The screwdriver should easily be able to penetrate the ground all the way.
Watering your lawn soil with a nozzle-less hose is an ineffective method. The plant roots absorb water from the soaked up soil, which makes the soil moisture level important. But, when you water your lawn with a hose, the hose throws water faster than it can be absorbed deeply by the soil which causes the water to run off the surface without being retained in the soil. If you’re watering by hand, it is a worthy rule of thumb to remember that trees and big shrubs are always to be watered under the edge of the leaf canopy since that’s where the roots are; hence that’s where it matters.
Sprinklers being able to cover a vast area are the widespread residential irrigation system of choice. It is important for automatic sprinklers to be set up correctly with regards to how frequently they water and for how long they water each time because both of these variables are vital. It is advisable to water early in the morning to reduce evaporation of water and shorten the watering times while increasing frequency to prevent runoff if there is any.