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Author Topic: Good watering practised  (Read 1221 times)

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Offline Zoom

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Good watering practised
« on: April 12, 2011, 18:20:10 PM »
Hi all,

Please excuse me if this is a topic that has been covered before...

In my new garden (new home) we were VERY lucky to discover (after we moved in) that the entire garden is completely irrigated by an automation system... and because I pay a complex LEVY, with water included as a fixed price in that levy, I can actually water as much as I want to without incurring the huge water bill.

The question comes in...

WHEN is the best time to water (1) beds, and (2) lawn. Taking into consideration that winter could incur frost, (we not too sure yet). I also understand that winter watering differs to summer. Next, how long, and how often?

A landscaper said to me winter is easy... 2 minutes per zone, EVERY DAY (to stop frost) at about 06h00. Summer is slightly different. 10 minutes per zone (grass) 4 times a week, and 15 minutes per zone (beds) 4 times a week, in the evening. Would this be good practice?

Offline abby

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Re: Good watering practised
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 02:20:37 AM »
 :mmm:
If the landscaper comes from your area it most probably sounds reasonable but you will need to check with an automated system how the plants are responding to the watering needs i.e. are they wilting or yellowing? Also you may try to check with the previous owners as to the watering regime they applied.

Every type of plant has different watering needs so it very much depends on the variety of plants that you have. So some plants need more water and some less therefore your garden beds should be planted out with similar water requirement if you are on auto system. With most seedlings, do not allow to dry out until established, so you may need to water them several times a day.

Your soil type will also be another factor to consider. Sandy soils dry out rapidly due to their porous nature and clay
soils drain very slowly and are more prone to being overwatered, which can lead to plants being drowned or rotting.
Hence either compost or sand may be advisable to add to your garden beds.

 "Next, how long, and how often? "
That also is dependent on your climate, obviously if you are going through a rainy period you need not water at all.
Most plants benefit from deep watering sessions that reach the depth of the plant's root network rather than shallow watering as the latter encourages the roots to grow close to the soil surface, making the plant more susceptible to drought. I find annuals, lawns and vegetable plants benefit from being watered so the soil is moist to a depth of 20 to 30cm and double that for shrubs and treble for trees.

Most plants benefit from mulch. Not only does mulch conserve water by helping to ward against evaporation, but mulch also blocks out weed invasions that might compete with the plants for soil moisture. It also helps protect the plants in frost areas. A layer of mulch of 10 cm deep is usually sufficient.

Happy gardening  :)


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Offline Michael

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Re: Good watering practised
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 14:04:22 PM »
Ashley, I have the exact opposite to you: no frost, but water restrictions.

I'm curious about watering for frost, it doesn't make sense, but I've read about it before. I hope you share your experiences with that. I envy your free unlimited water.

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Re: Good watering practised
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 14:04:22 PM »
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Offline Zoom

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Re: Good watering practised
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 15:36:22 PM »
Hi all,

Whilst I have "unlimited water" at a fixed price, please be aware that I am not taking advantage of this. Water is a serious problem in SA, and around the world... and thus water is used as sparingly as possible.

Rena, the logic with watering for frost is that as the frost sets in, (caused by the dew freezing) you water the garden... thus melting the frost. Some people in our area manage to keep their lawns green throughout winter... obviously with lots of fertilizer and correct watering. I'd obviously love to keep the garden as green as possible, for as long as possible, but I do understand that sometimes the lawn dying is a good thing too.

Can I ask you guys when you fertilize your lawn? And secondly what do you use?

I through some 2:3:2 down a few weeks ago... but someone has mentioned to me that I should be using something along the lines of 18:1:5 for lawn, and keep the 2:3:2 as a general garden fert?

Our garden soil is actually extremely clay... so water retention isn't a problem... it's actually sometimes the opposite in that it hold too much water. Picking plants is very interesting in that I have to choose plants that like water, but also ensure that they have enough then.

Throwing in lots of compost whenever the time and budget allows at the moment. Bought 10 bags of some compost at Builder's the other day... please excuse my language here... but it's a load of rubbish!!! I've literally got a groundcover of weeds now!

Offline abby

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Re: Good watering practised
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 07:02:39 AM »
Compost needs to be mature and processed before adding to the garden.
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