Sunday, June 13, 2010

Experimenting with Watering Techniques

Despite the first week of Junes rainy weather, this summer is supposed to be a particularly long and dry one. According to the Stop Community Food Centre's gardening tip of the month this means you want to do sporadic deep waterings. This encourages the roots to grow deep to find moisture, allowing the plant to survive during periods of drought. It also means you don't have to wake up to do your early morning waterings many days of the week. While I think that this method of long deep watering will be sufficient to keep our plants healthy, I still want to experiment with some different watering techniques.

One of these is to dig a figure eight pattern around the base of your plants with an elevation at one end. This allows for the water that is poured at one end of the pattern to work its way throughout the garden arriving at the bottom of each plant. It also forces the roots to go deep because the plants are placed up on mounds, which prevents the roots from going outwards. Water is also confined to the root zones making sure that it is not wasted by soaking into areas without plants.

The watering technique that I am finding most interesting uses recycled tomato cans. I punched holes into the cans using a hammer and nail and then dug them into the ground beside the root systems of the desired plants. These cans are then filled with water which will slowly trickle out and into the root system of the plants. I figure that this is going to be a good technique for potted plants because they have limited depth for the root system to dive and the soil is more susceptible to drying out. I also like this watering technique because it gives me an excuse to go gleaning through peoples garbage bins for old tin cans.

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