Choosing the best garden watering system-Organic Gardening-Mother Earth News

2021-11-29 03:47:33 By : Mr. Jason sun

During this gardening season, climate change has caused high temperatures and extreme droughts in many areas. Many of us will experience weeks or even months of rainfall that cannot keep up with the sun’s heat radiation. To quench your crop’s thirst, try some of the options outlined in this review of water-saving gardening strategies, from familiar garden watering systems (such as soaking pipes and drip hoses) to the lesser-known “partial root zone drying” system.

The best watering method depends at least in part on the planting arrangement and crop type. Planting leafy greens, onions, and other shallow-rooted plants in blocks rather than rows will simplify watering, especially if you water by hand. For crops that take up more time and space in the garden, such as beans, peppers, sweet corn, and tomatoes, better options include using soaking hoses, drip irrigation, or well-managed ditches. Even with regular rainfall, crops that require relatively large amounts of water to thrive, such as beans and sweet corn, almost always require supplemental irrigation.

A garden with water is not a place for weeds. According to research by Michigan State University, a combination of good weed control and adequate mulch can save up to 1 inch of water per week in the hot summer. However, if left unchecked, some weeds, such as crabgrass and fescue, will absorb more than 80 gallons of water and produce only 1 pound of plant tissue.

Basic organic gardening practices that improve the soil and limit weeds will lay the foundation for an efficient garden watering system. If you add compost or decaying fertilizer to the soil every time you plant, and use a biodegradable mulch that can be broken down into organic matter, your soil will better retain moisture. Generally speaking, the more grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and other organic materials are added to the soil, the less likely the crop is to suffer from water stress. Another reason to be crazy about mulch: Even before it breaks down into organic matter, covering a thick layer of mulch around the plants helps to cool and shade the soil, thus preventing your garden from watering or showering It dries quickly afterwards.

For a long time, I have been a proponent of the 25-foot soaking hose, which seeps water evenly along its length, as if sweating. The soaking hose is especially suitable for closely spaced crops and densely planted beds. You can make your own suction hose by collecting old or leaking garden hoses from friends and drilling small holes every few inches. Just cover or clamp the male end of the hose.

Drip irrigation systems regularly dispense water through a network of hoses or tapes with gaps, holes, emitters or drippers. They are suitable for rows of crops spaced at different intervals (if you are watering crops that are farther away, you can set the transmitter to a wider interval), and perform best on relatively flat ground, because sloping ground causes The pressure changes will cause uneven watering. If you have a large garden, look for a system that uses cheap drip tapes (brands include Aqua-Traxx, Chapin and T-Tape). The small holes on some emitters and drippers are easily clogged by soil particles, so at least one filter needs to be screwed into the water pipe between the faucet (or reservoir) and the distribution line of most drip irrigation systems.

A typical soaking hose requires at least a pressure level from a tap, but some drip irrigation systems can use gravity alone to gradually distribute water from a high tank or raised rain bucket to thirsty plants. For example, growers at New Mexico State University raised 50-gallon buckets high on a frame or platform, and connected several drip lines to large garden plots, with great success.

To get deep watering from a soaking hose or drip irrigation system, let the water flow for a few hours, then turn off the water for an hour or so, let the water penetrate, and then water again. Especially in clay, water from soaking hoses or drip irrigation may move slowly to the bottom soil, so it is best to use these systems frequently so that the soil does not dry out. I recommend using a timer to track when to open and close the soaking hose. Another memory aid: wear a rubber band on your wrist. If you are about to go to bed, but find that the rubber band is still there, it means you forgot to turn off the water.

Although drip irrigation systems are suitable for crops grown in rows, crops grown in wide beds may be better grown around buried reservoirs, which are designed to transport water to the root area of ​​plants. Many crops are approximately below the soil surface. 4 to 8 inches. In addition, the gravity feed system and buried reservoir can save you from worrying about whether you remember to turn off the water source. An ancient technique is to bury porous terracotta pots, called ollas, leaving only the mouth of the pot on the ground. Fill them up and they will slowly seep water into the roots of the plants. Handmade ollas are not widely available, but you can order them online at specialty stores such as Dripping Springs Ollas and Growing Awareness Urban Farm.

After noticing that hard-shelled gourds usually survive intact for more than a year in my compost pile, I plan to try them as biodegradable ollas this summer. I will drill some small holes, cut off their necks, fish out the seeds, and-look! ——Gourd Olas!

Try simple plastic milk jugs or cat litter containers for a more direct substitute for olla. Fill the kettle with two-thirds of water and freeze it. When they are frozen solid, take them outside, drill many small holes in them with drills or nails, and cover the shoulders of the jar with the holes. (First freezing will keep the sides stable to facilitate drilling.) Before planting crops, bury the water tank in early spring. Place such a reservoir in the place of a bean, or in the center of where you are going to grow three peppers, and fill them as needed.

If you have some black plastic nursery pots, you can also turn them into cisterns. Spread a double layer of newspaper on the bottom, fill the pot with small rocks or stones, then sink them into the soil to the edge, and add water as needed.

In extreme summer climates, at the end of the hot weather, plants will scream for water in the dry wind. If closely monitored, old-fashioned irrigation ditches are very useful. Your garden should be relatively flat and arranged in rows for the ditches to work effectively. When the crops are still small and you are hoeing to control weeds, dig shallow trenches along at least one side of each row. Then, when the plants need to wet their whistle, simply place the hose at one end of the ditch, continue with other housework, and then remove the hose when the ditch is filled.

Cheryl Long, editor-in-chief of MOTHER, likes to use irrigation ditches on most of her crops. “I choose soaking hoses for perennials, such as strawberries and asparagus, but for annuals, I find it easier to use a hoe to trim the irrigation ditches immediately after planting,” she said. This method does not require any additional equipment, it directs the water to the root zone of the plant and keeps you away from watering paths and other accidental areas.

When you need to keep the newly planted seed bed continuously moist, sprinklers are popular and affordable, which can save time. Regular use of sprinklers can help dissolve the salt that accumulates on the soil surface in certain areas. If you grow a lot of crops with a wide root zone, such as winter squash, whose roots can reach 25 feet in diameter in just 11 weeks, overhead irrigation through sprinklers may also be a good choice.

The main disadvantage of sprinklers is that they can be wasteful-they water sidewalks and other unplanted areas, and a lot of water is lost due to evaporation and wind. In addition, especially in humid conditions, the leaves wetted by the sprinkler may remain moist and become a breeding ground for diseases. Watering sweet corn, tomatoes, and other tall plants with a sprinkler can also be challenging, unless you raise the sprinkler head to a height above the crop. In most cases, other garden watering methods will be more effective.

One way to store rainwater is to direct rainwater from the roof to the garden. Most soils can hold a lot of moisture in the root zone, and roof runoff can help you maintain high soil moisture levels. We explained this method in depth in Better Rainwater Harvesting System. Many gardeners collect roof runoff in rain barrels for use in the garden. If the rain bucket is more than a foot higher than your garden, it will be easy to transport the stored water from the bucket to the garden, because gravity or siphon action will effortlessly transfer the water to your crops.

But what if your house is lower than your garden? The tallest bed in my terraced hillside garden is more than 10 feet higher than the nearest rain barrel. Gardens with an elevation higher than the water source are not uncommon. On an off-grid organic farm near me, farmers use solar pumps to transport water from springs to the highest part of the farm, and then store the water in tanks or above ground reservoirs. From there, the water enters the gravity-fed drip irrigation line-an elegant and simple system that can be replicated in the home garden by using the kind of pump designed to move water in a decorative fountain. On sunny days, this cheap solar pump can easily be used for more practical purposes, moving water from the bucket to the waiting reservoir.

For above-ground reservoirs, you can fill additional buckets, build a pond with plastic lining, or find a recyclable 275-gallon food-grade IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container), available online. The metal storage tanks in the farm shop also meet the requirements. Such tanks can perform multiple functions and can be used for decades. In summer, the water tank can be placed at the highest point of the garden as a reservoir and agricultural product washing station. In spring and autumn, use it to soak shiitake mushroom logs, wash dogs or other messy, damp work.

Sometimes, hand-held water is the only way to get water where it is needed, but the water is heavy. Most watering cans have a capacity of 2 to 2-1/2 gallons and weigh about 20 pounds when filled (approximately 8 pounds per gallon of water). When I have to lift water, I prefer to lift two partially full watering cans instead of one full. I sprinkle less like this, and this method is easier on my back. Even better is to use a support rod, also called a "yoke", which can straddle your shoulders so that you can use more body parts to evenly balance the two buckets.

In long-term arid climates with poor soils, such as the southwestern United States and West Africa, when crops are planted in sinking beds, vegetable production will increase sharply, and the rainwater captured and retained by these sinking beds is insufficient. The Zuni Pueblo tribe of New Mexico has long carved their gardens into a series of 2 to 3 feet wide squares, and the excavated soil is piled up in the ridges around each square to form a waffle-like design. The ridge directs rainwater to the bed and provides a little shade and wind protection for the crops.

The Zai method is popular in Burkina Faso, a small African country. It involves digging a series of holes—about 8 inches wide—and then refilling them midway with compost and manure. The excavated soil is then piled into a berm, which provides shade and directs water to the double rows of permanent planting holes, which are renewed with manure and compost every year. The Zai method has at least tripled the productivity of millet in arid desert climates, and has also created miracles in the degraded soil of Ethiopia. It has increased potato production by five times, legumes production has tripled, and overall water efficiency has been improved. According to a report published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, on average.

In the terrible situation where the hot sun and wind threaten the dryness of the garden, you can reduce the heat by placing sunshades or windbreaks next to the plants, or by planting shade crops. For example, old window screens or light cloth pieces attached to the stakes on the south side of the tomatoes can achieve this purpose. In most parts of Texas, dry winds require watering and gardening every season. Green windbreaks for grains grown in autumn (such as wheat, rye, sorghum or oats) can protect winter onions and spring vegetables, and Switchgrass, tall sunflowers or corn shelter the crops in summer. Ideally, shelter crops will be well established along the perimeter of the garden before regular garden crops enter.

The snow fence is a wonderful windbreak forest, which is easy to install by connecting it to metal piles. Growers in hot and dry climates use this technique to shade the root area of ​​tomatoes and peppers while allowing the canopy of the plant to open to the sun. Windbreaks can also be very small-erect a shingle in the soil next to the transplanted seedlings to block the prevailing wind and harsh summer sun.

In a study of a new irrigation method called "partial root zone drying" completed by the University of Copenhagen in 2009, scientists planted tomatoes in separate pots so that only half of the roots can be watered at a time. When half of the roots dry out, the plant initiates defensive maneuvers. The leaf stomata are kept partially closed to reduce water loss, and the root system can forage nitrogen more effectively. At the same time, new growth and fruit development continue, because the watering surface of the plants gets sufficient water and nutrients. Today, farmers successfully use partial root zone dry irrigation methods on corn, grapes, peppers, potatoes and other crops.

Here's how to use it in your garden: Plant crops normally for the first six weeks, or until they are mature. After that, use a soaking hose, drip pipe, or irrigation ditch to supply water to one side of the plant at a time. When the plants need to be watered again, water on the other side. Partial root zone drying will slightly reduce the yield, but will not affect the fruit quality, and the small loss can be offset by the saved water. When combined with soaking hose or drip irrigation, partial root zone drying methods will significantly improve watering efficiency.

The roots of vegetable crops can reach amazing depths. This 10-week-old spinach plant and this nearly mature pepper plant have grown to 4 feet. No matter which watering system you use, when your crops begin to mature, water deeply and reduce the frequency of watering so that the roots become strong and extend downward, instead of watering often but shallowly.

When drought gets you into trouble, you really want to know when it will end. Here are some tools to help you determine when it will rain again.

US Drought Portal: One of the best drought monitoring tools available. Search by postal code, including early drought warnings.

Drought Monitoring in the United States: Hosted by the University of Nebraska in cooperation with several federal agencies. Written abstracts and reports from nine geographic regions are updated weekly.

Climate Prediction Center: Sponsored by the National Meteorological Administration, it provides daily updates of drought-related weather data and forecasts.

Some plants can absorb heat better than others. Choosing drought-tolerant crops and varieties is a smart strategy for water-saving gardeners. Browse our chart of best recommendations.

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant (Barbara Pleasant) Garden is located in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+.

The use of ollas clay pots for irrigation has advantages over milk cans and other underwater watering containers because it is the only medium (clay) that acts through soil moisture tension. When the soil dries out, the porosity of the clay allows water to be sucked in through the walls of the olla. This allows the system to never be on the water or underwater plants. This has also resulted in water consumption savings of up to 70%. All plastic containers work by gravity. The water kept flowing out of the hole until the container was empty. This may cause the plant to be over-watered and may cause it to rot. It does not save water. In addition, over time, plastic will decompose in the soil. Since clay is natural, if you know the source of the clay and know that using clay olla to keep the soil healthy, you will feel very comfortable.

The advantage of clay olla with another buried watering container (such as a plastic pot) is that olla is the only buried watering system that works by soil moisture tension. This means that as the soil dries out, water will be pulled through the walls of the olla and moisten the soil again as needed. This will never exceed or fall below the plant's water. All other containers on the ground work by gravity, so water will leak regardless of whether the plants need water or not. This may cause the plant to rot and/or water until gravity does its job. Clay ollas are porous and can save up to 70% of water consumption. Gravity feeding plastic containers are not available.

Very interesting article. We sell an automatic watering garden system that eliminates the need for manual watering, digging and weeding. Check us out on! We really think this is the easiest way to grow a garden!

Very interesting article. We sell an automatic watering garden system that eliminates the need for manual watering, digging and weeding. Check us out on! We really think this is the easiest way to grow a garden!

Do you know why the long row garden was invented? Imitate a field-the tractor must have a path to drive down. Every time I see a long line, I almost never read this article-it's too old! There are many more advantages in perpetual farming methods, square foot gardening, wide rows, etc.! Save water, prevent soil erosion, save manpower time and energy, and so on. I want to know how often MEN will introduce an article on watering, which considers these issues and the typical struggling homeowners trying to improve their condition by growing agricultural products instead of spending money to increase water bills, water pipes, Equipment-timer, water tank, etc. Come on, men-you can present your articles in an updated way! ! (Like dining, presentations are very important!!)

There is no doubt that drip irrigation is a very good way to save water. I am cheap, and buying so many hoses is too ridiculous. I used a 1 inch or 3/4 inch pvc waterline. A pressure of 1 inch is much better. For the cost of a 50-foot hose, I was able to obtain enough four rows of pvc hoses. Using pvc, you can also choose a variety of accessories to connect to water. I used a sprinkler for watering your buried lawn. Those work well, but there are other types of accessories and more conservative methods. Personally, I prefer the shower head of the shower head is a fine mist to clean the plants, they can be adjusted according to the amount you want to water. If you really don't want to, you don't even have to glue them together, you can get accessories that screw them together so that they can be easily removed in the fall. In my opinion, they are more durable than rubber hoses.

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