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Dry Weather Watering


 
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Dry Weather Watering Reply with quote

Particularly with 'leafy' plants like lettuce and brassicas, I've often lost quite a few plants when my hose pipe watering has left them mud-spattered and stuck to the soil.

To assist with spraying my spuds with bluestone (don't do it any more), I'd bought myself one of the standard garden sprays with a 9-litre tank, 18 inch wand and adjustable nozzle on the end. While visiting a posh garden centre in the UK I spotted a young girl using exactly the same item to run up and down the plants rack, triggering in a small quantity of water to each pot.

This got me thinking and, back in Cork, I started using mine with the nozzle set on a fine jet to dispense an accurate water supply all round each seedling after planting. Not only did this not batter the foliage but neither did it provide water for all the potential weeds in between.

I then recalled an 'old timer' once telling me that most people think changing the colour of the soil by watering does the job, whereas it only actually sinks in a few mm and this can make the roots turn upwards seeking the moisture. Stop watering and they're left high and, literally, dry and they die.

As an experiment, I went along a row of 30 brassicas with a sort of dibber - little more than a pointed walking stick - and created a hole as deep as I could make it, a couple of inches from each seedling. Because my garden has a slight slope to it, I made sure the hole was above the plant and, again using my spray jet, I went along the row filling each hole until it overflowed. This I did as the evening cooled and I repeated the exercise early next morning to give my plants a good start to the day.

Using this method I've achieved pretty much perfect survival results and, had I felt so inclined, I could have included a favourite liquid nutrient into my spray so that, once again, I would only nourish my plant, not the surrounding area, and my offering would be underneath for the roots to seek..

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My Potatoes
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use an oscillating sprinkler. Cost about 15 but I've seen them for less since.
The droplets are small and don't damage lettuce or young plants.

It's the only sprinkler I know of that covers a roughly rectangular making efficient and consistent watering easy (ie no need for overlaps to ensure full coverage).
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're obviously on mains water but we're having to use water sparingly in borehole country.

Having dibbed the holes I mentioned beside each seedling, I'm able to fully water each one (of 30) with a 9-litre tank of water AND the intervening weeds are really struggling in the dry conditions.

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My Potatoes
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No; a well used by three houses. Pressure isn't great, can only do one side at a time. 'Tis grand tho'.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Humble apologies. That's what happens when you assume, but we've had water problems here. Our well, at 85ft, seems to be only half as deep as most of the neighbours so maybe I've got a job to do.
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