Deep Watering garden plants
Deep watering of plants is one of the most effecient ways to water plants. All plants constantly transpire, they take water from the soil and lose it to the air. This is part of the process of nutrient take up from the soil and also helps cool the plants. In times of high heat water that is close to the surface evaporates so plants rely on deep watering to survive.
Deep watering of plants ensures that the roots that take up most of the required moisture have access to adequate amounts during dry periods. A number of methods of deep watering are available, and some are better than others.
- soaker hoses
- drip irrigation
- watering pipes sunk into the ground
- watering wands or spikes
- hand watering
Consider that most of the water absorbed by most plants comes from the top 30cm (12 inches) of the soil, this is the zone that needs to kept moist.
Soaker hoses work well, they slowly release water over a period and ensure that these surface roots have ready access to moisture
Drip irrigation is another method of ensuring that deep watering of the top 30cm is adequate.
With both of these methods the use of adequate mulch will help retain moisture. When watering trees place soaker hoses or drip irrigation away from the base of the tree, but inside the dripline of the tree for best effect.
What about Deep Watering plants with wands and pipes?
The problem with these is that water does not move much horizontally in the soil, it likes to move down not sideways.
Water pipes sunk into the ground can work, however if they are sunk to deep the surface roots will receive litt le to no water, use a pipe that will release water in the top 30cm for best effect.
Watering wands or probes can also be problematical if they are pushed to deeply into the soil, again water is releases below the surface roots. They also need to be moved around the plant to ensure a good even spread of water. So with watering wands use then in the top 5 -15cm of the soil, do not use high pressure and move them around every few minutes. Using to high a pressure watering with a watering wands or spike can loosen the soil beneath plants and cause problems.
A hose with a good nozzle that will release a gentle flow of water, but not a fine spay works well. A long handled ‘shower head’ type nozzel will provide a good flow of water, large droplets that will not be blown by the wind, and yet fine enough not to damage plants.
Is one watering wand better than another ?
The plastic ones are cheaper, but will not last as long. The metal ones last longer and are more expensive and are best drained after use to prevent corrosion if you water is high in minerals.
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