Efficient water management is one of the most important prerequisites to cultivate a healthy vegetable garden. If it is an area where the water table is low and rains are not very frequent, it is all the more important to optimize water usage. This vegetable gardening guide will help you learn various ways of water management and choose what best suits your requirements.
To cultivate a healthy garden, one must study the soil well. Soils hold varying amounts of water depending upon the percentage of silt, sand and organic matter. Soils with greater amount of clay and silt have a finer texture and hence hold more water. Water is absorbed very slowly through clay soils, hence watering should also be done slowly. On the other hand, water seeps in very fast through sandy soils; therefore, organic content should be added to improve water holding capacity.
Avoiding excessive evaporation is another important aspect of water management. Watering should be usually done in the morning or evening, as evaporation rate is at its highest in the afternoon. Watering should be avoided under windy conditions as strong winds increase the rate of evaporation too. Digging furrows around the plants helps in reducing loss of water through evaporation.
There are many types of irrigation systems like micro-spray, sprinklers, drip systems, soaker hoses etc. It is very important to decide what irrigation system to use depending on water availability and evaporation rate.
Rain is an important factor that should be considered before laying water management procedures. Watering should not be usually done before or after the rain to avoid overwatering and root rot. Rain gardens are a good way of preserving rain water and also collect run-offs from alleys, roofs etc. These gardens have a depression in the center causing water to collect there.
Rain barrels can also be installed to save the rain water and reduce runoff. Water from a fish tank can also be disposed off on the flower beds. The excreta of the fish and green algae are rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. This helps conserve water too. Thus, you can use the information provided in this vegetable garden guide for optimization of water usage in your organic garden.