Only about 2.6 percent of the world’s total water supply is fresh water. Fortunately, most of it is still bound in polar ice, sea ice, in glaciers and deep groundwater. The remaining water is available to plants, animals and us humans. We should handle this rare commodity responsibly and, for example, collect rainwater in barrels or cisterns and then use it for garden irrigation instead of taking elaborately cleaned drinking water from the pipe. Excessive watering doesn’t make sense anyway – after all, plants survive in the wild even without human water. And: weed seeds germinate worse on dry soil – another reason to water sparingly in the garden.
Do not spoil plants with water
Once a plant has gained a foothold in the ground, the roots grow to the water. This means that as the wet horizon sinks into the ground, the roots grow behind the water. However, the gardener must also allow this. So put an end to the constantly superficial damp garden soil, this pampers the plants and you can not keep up with watering in really hot and dry periods.
Weak leaves: when does it have to be watered?
Plants have developed effective mechanisms to protect themselves from excessive heat, strong sunlight and the beginning of a lack of water in the soil. They stop evaporation by closing stomata. At the same time, they let the leaves sag limply in order to reduce the surface that is illuminated by the sun. This saves water. If the gardener now comes with a well-meaning “refreshment” and sprinkles a little water over the plants, the leaves like to take this refreshment and report to the roots: “It has become cooler and raining, we can switch back to ‘normal operation’ . “
But the roots do not find any water to send to the leaves. The gardener stopped giving water long ago and the water in the warm soil quickly evaporated from the surface. So you can make life really difficult for the plants in a water-deficient time. If the gardener had not intervened, the plants would have raised their leaves again at night.
If the plant still leaves the leaves in the morning, it is obviously very thirsty and the roots can no longer find water in its area. Now the gardener with his hose is in demand. But how much water is now necessary? This in turn depends on the type of soil and the planting.
Flat roots have to be watered more often
If you know the depth of the roots, the amount of water is a little easier to estimate. Too little water causes the plant to move the roots back up, and you have to water more often. Excessive watering wash out important nutrients in the groundwater. This is not good for the environment, for the plant and for the wallet. Plants with a flat root system, such as rhododendron or turf, need to be watered more often, but not as penetratingly. Established lawn will survive summer without watering if it is not cut too deep before hot periods.
Irrigation with hose or sprinkler is optimal
Plants with deep roots, such as perennials, summer flowers and shrubs, should be watered a maximum of once a week. It is important that the water slowly seeps into the ground and can be held by the ground. Irrigation with a (pearl) hose and sprinkler is therefore preferable to the watering of the watering can. This applies in particular to loamy soils that absorb water poorly. A sandy soil cannot store water. It should be poured with less water – as with the flat rooters. These soils should also be improved with regular composting.
Roots of tub plants must not rot
Plants in pots cannot be “raised” like garden plants. After pouring, the soil in the pots should be completely dry before watering again. You cannot pour water in stock. If the plants are permanently too wet, the earth will start to smell and the roots will rot. Rotten roots can no longer absorb water and the plant hangs limply – rescue is now difficult.
First, the earth must be drained quickly. To do this, inject a stack of newspaper and place the bale (without a pot) on it. Then the plant is in demand because it has to develop new roots. Only now can watering be carried out very carefully. In this critical phase, fertilization is not allowed. The delicate roots would burn immediately.
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