Irrigation is one of the necessary cultivation operations in agriculture, important for the proper development of crop plants, especially during the summer months when the heat causes rapid evaporation.
Therefore, to have a healthy garden, we must be able to water at the right time and with the right amount of water . Vegetables in arid conditions suffer, but even excesses can be detrimental, promoting spoilage and disease. So, let’s try to figure out when to get wet and how many liters of water should be distributed in the garden.
We must not forget that water is a precious commodity : We can put in place measures to save it, by reducing the water needs of crops, we will see some of them. In such case, normally, in the mayoría of los cases, the garden benefits from a suministro de agua, indispensable cuando el verano es caluroso, por lo que es necesario disponer de ella, por medio de un grifo, un pozo o recogiendo el rainwater.
How much water do garden plants need
How much to water potted plants
Water the garden at the right time
Pay attention to the water temperature
How to save water in the garden
How much water is needed for garden plants
many people ask me how often they need to water the garden and how much water per square meter . Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered: there are many factors that vary the need for water and there are no universal rules to give a specific answer. It would be easy to say” you need to water your garden three times a week and you need 5 liters per cultivated square meter “, But the reality is more complex.
To know how often to wet learn about the soil and climate with experience the winegrower will learn to make his eye and understand the right time to irrigate.
On average, it is estimated that a summer garden needs 3/5 liters per day per square meter but that’s a lot to take with a grain of salt.
Here are the real factors on which the water needs of our crops depend :
- Weather. The first observation is trivial: If it rains, it is not necessary to water the garden . The intervention of the farmer serves to provide water when nature does not provide it. Too sun and temperature These are important factors: when it is very hot and sunny, water evaporates from the soil and transpires from the tissues of the plants, so it is necessary to water often.
- the type of soil . Soil may be more or less able to hold water for a long time. For example, soil rich in organic matter will have a better ability to stay moist, while sandy soil allows water to run off and dry out immediately, requiring frequent wetting.
- cultivated plants . Each crop has a different need for water and also a different ability to obtain it. There are plants with a deeply developed root system, able to obtain water on their own, for example the chickpea plant, while others are more superficial and therefore less autonomous and able to withstand periods of drought.
- Stage of plant development. Young plants need frequent watering, as their roots are not yet well developed and become more independent as they grow. Therefore, immediately after planting and transplanting, they need to be watered very regularly. Sometimes the lack of watering can be positive, especially immediately after transplanting: the plant is forced to develop especially in the root zone. Some plants, such as legumes, need water from the moment of flowering, in order to accumulate it for the formation of the fruit and to be able to produce abundant and better quality plant production.
When plants lack water, they suffer and manifest it very clearly , we will all have seen plants wither or deteriorate due to aridity. A good grower, however, should not trust these signs, because when the plant wilts, it is already suffering from drought: instead, he must constantly water so that it never reaches this state and keep plants in good condition.
In many cases, it is advisable suspend irrigation a few days before harvest to improve the quality of vegetables. This only applies to fruit vegetables, such as tomatoes, melons, zucchini.
How much to water potted plants
Potted plants grown on the balcony have different needs to those grown in the open field, the surface area available for the vegetable kept inside a container is obviously limited and therefore a more frequent supply of water is necessary. .
However, it should be remembered that in balcony cultivation, excessive watering is particularly harmful: watering with too much water promotes root rot and other pathologies.
The criterion must therefore be soak frequently and regularly, but using a small amount of water each time .
If we grow in the greenhouse irrigation becomes a key factor . The fact that it’s an enclosed environment also means that you don’t get water from the rain, so you have to constantly get wet to replace the precipitation. In fgeneral it is advisable to install automated irrigation systems in the greenhouse ideally with a drip system, which saves a lot of work and protects the vegetables from being forgotten.
In a small greenhouse it is easy to find excess moisture, so also in this case, as in the balcony garden, it is necessary to remember wet little and often .
Time the garden
The choice of the moment of watering is very important: it must be done at the right time. Depending on the climate and the type of plant, there are times when it is best to water so that the plant can absorb water in the best possible way and avoid the formation of cryptogamic diseases (molds and fungi).
A general rule is that of never water the garden during hot, sunny hours , to prevent the sun’s rays from refracting the drops and burning the leaves. In addition, a good part of the water must be wasted by evaporation. It is therefore advisable to water early morning or afternoon to avoid in any case the hours when the sun is high.
Water temperature warning
You should beware of thermal shocks: the temperature of the irrigation water must be similar to that of the air . Watering the garden with cold water in hot weather can be very damaging to plants.
it is easily done if tap water is used which comes directly from underground water pipes. Wet the garden in cool weather (as already mentioned, first thing in the afternoon and first thing in the morning) also helps to prevent this problem.
To be safe, always use drums or tanks where the water can settle and reach room temperature. This way it also evaporates the chlorine that is often introduced into the water supply. Even with drip irrigation The thermal problem is solved, passing slowly through the pipes, the water acclimatizes and reaches room temperature before exiting the pipes.
There are different methods for watering a vegetable garden: from the simple watering can to the automated drip. The system in which it is wet is not secondary, because if you supply water in the correct way, the water supply is optimized, promoting plant health and water uptake.
In general, preference should be given with gradual watering , which gradually wets the water. Another important attention is to try do not wet the green parts of the plant, but direct the water into the soil at the foot of the stem. Drops on the leaves can facilitate fungal diseases, the purpose of irrigation is to get it absorbed by the roots. For these reasons, the drip system is the best method.
- Watering can or garden hose. For small-scale gardens or balcony crops, a watering can can be used, with the same function, but it is done more quickly with a hose, possibly with a spray diffuser that avoids the jet.
- Submersion and sliding. It is also possible to create channels where the water infiltrates or “floods” the garden: this is submerged or runoff irrigation. These systems are complex to realize in a functional and uniform way, because they allow a perfect control of the channels: no stagnation must be created.
- Spraying or irrigation . Sprinkler irrigation is very simple to implement, but it has the major disadvantage of touching the green parts of the plant by wetting the leaves.
- Drip irrigation. The drip irrigation system provides gradual and localized water delivery and is very easy to time and automate. This is the best way to water a garden.
If you do not have access to a water supply, it is very important that there is a system for wetting the garden. If you do not have access to a water supply, it is very important that you have a system so that you can still water your garden. Water collection is useful in all cases for ecological reasons, even when a well or tap is readily available.