Tips on Irrigation for Your Garden
Irrigation aids in seed emergence. This means making sure that your seedlings stay firmly under the ground so that later on, they will be able to grow and the plant itself will soon emerge on the soil surface.
Another advantage is that it reduces soil crusting which is common when there is not enough water around. Doing this also improves germination and plant stand as well as reduces wilting and premature ripening.
If you happen to be planting fruits or vegetables at home or in the farm, proper irrigation will ensure uniform growth and makes sure that you get the best yield from your crops.
But how do you do that? If you have a garden, getting the old water hose or using a sprinkling can are the most common methods.
If you don’t have time to do this regularly, it will be a good idea to install a sprinkler system that you can turn on or off manually or go for automated systems which will be activated at the assigned time.
Another method is called trickle or drip irrigation. The basic one is a soaker hose which allows water to come out at a slow rate. The problem with this though is that it is often chewed on by critters so although cheap to get, you will have to replace it every so often.
A better version of this is the emitter-type system which consists of short tubes or emitters that also come off a water hose. Although expensive, the emitters put water right to the roots of the plants. The advantage of using this to irrigate your garden is that the weeds in your garden will never be watered and evaporation from the soil is minimized.
The problem with drip systems is that after time, the system always gets clogged due to mineral deposits or soil particles. To prevent this from happening, install drip tapes or emitters especially around the holes where the water comes out.
So far, most of irrigation methods use from water that you get from the water station. But what if there is a water problem in your area? What do you do then? An alternative to this will be to use water which has already been used inside the house.
Since most homes wash their dishes and their clothes using an appliance, you can use the water here and then recycle it so your plants are still able to get the right nutrients.
Is this legal? In most places yes but there are some states like the State of Virginia which prohibits the use of grey water.
You should be aware that there are certain restrictions with regards to the use of grey water.
First, you should not use water coming from the toilet because of the possibility of contamination from fecal organisms.
You should also not use water from the kitchen since there are also some things there that are harmful such as ammonia, bleach and other non-biodegradable detergents.
If you are using water from the bathtub or washing machine, make sure you are only using biodegradable soaps. Do not use any products that contain borax because too much of this ingredient is harmful to plants and humans. Before using the water, dilute the soap content.
Lastly, when you apply grey water, make sure this is only applied to the soil and not the plant’s leaves.
Years ago, farmers and gardeners didn’t have hoses or pots to provide water to their crops. They had to rely on ducts that were connected to the river. Years later, we still do that but at the same time have better means to deliver it.
So if you want your plants to grow, you have to invest a bit on certain equipment. You will surely get a return on your investment later on when you decide to sell some of the flowers or fruits you have grown or are praised for your efforts in making your garden look good.
For more information on garden irrigation, please read these articles: