Sustainable gardening. Watering in a resource-saving way

Garden irrigationGarden irrigation

Water is a precious resource that is becoming scarcer in many regions and is therefore also expensive, and it is important to use it as sparingly as possible. Nevertheless, during long periods of drought in both vegetable and ornamental gardens, it is essential to apply water if the harvest and flowering are not to be foregone. In addition to the pure water requirements of the plants, it should also be noted that nutrients can only be broken down into a form that is available to the plants if the soil is sufficiently moist. In order to keep water consumption as low as possible - this is especially true when using tap water - various measures should be taken: those that reduce water requirements in the first place, as well as the use of the right irrigation strategies that ensure the greatest possible benefit for the plants.

With a full swing. Proper watering

During long periods of drought, even the hardiest flower cannot do without additional watering. And in your kitchen garden, some plants, such as tomatoes, even crave water. But even if you want to run a vegetable garden and harvest well, you can use some helpful strategies to get by with little(er) water.

  • "Hoeing once saves watering three times" - confidently adhere to the old gardener's wisdom. Regular hoeing of the upper soil layer helps to reduce evaporation. This is because it interrupts those soil capillaries in the top soil crumb that would "drain" water out of the soil. In this way, you achieve a soil structure that ensures the constant transport of water from deeper layers to the area of plant roots.
  • With frequent but little watering, the water does not penetrate to the root area of the plants and evaporates quickly - to the chagrin of your plant. Watering less frequently, but then thoroughly, has a more lasting effect because it promotes the formation of a deep root system that can use water stored in deeper soil layers.
  • Wherever possible, you should water the individual plant directly at the base with the watering can- if possible without a shower.
  • Do not water in strong sunlight or in high winds - again, most of the water would evaporate unused or drift away even before it can penetrate the soil. In addition, sprinkling in full sun can cause leaf burn because the water droplets act like a burning magnifying glass. For some vegetable plants, the temperature difference between cold water and heated leaves also leads to growth stagnation.
  • The best time of day for watering is therefore the evening, especially in summer, when the sun is already lower. This will prevent leaf burn, yet still allow the leaves to dry so they are not threatened by fungal attack overnight. If you are struggling with voracious slugs in your beds, you can also switch to early morning watering. And one more small, but helpful tip to end on a good note: If you are not sure when the irrigation was really penetrating - in dry soil 7 to 10 l/sq.m. is a good guideline. This corresponds to a rainfall of about 7 to 10 mm. Also, set up a rain gauge in your garden to get a feel for rainfall amounts and their effect on the soil (just test carefully with a spade after the rain how deeply the soil has been soaked).

Collecting water. Conserve resources

You conserve public (groundwater) and private (wallet) resources alike when you collect it to redistribute the rain - which pours down on the just (vegetable plants) and the unjust (the patio's paving stones) alike - as needed. Here we present some adequate equipment for this purpose.

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