Watering a large garden is a challenge that many gardeners have faced during their gardening journey. Many of you sometimes might have wanted to have a large garden for getting more crops at a time. But many times you can’t get the desired results from your large because of not watering it in a proper way.
Now, you may think it might be really difficult to water a large garden. But believe me, it’s not that difficult to water a large garden if you follow the best way for doing it. So, here I am to share the best ways for watering a large garden. Let’s dive in digger.
6 Best ways you can use to water your large garden
There are several ways you can use to water your large garden and moist soil. You can use some basic watering techniques like creating simple furrow irrigation, or flood irrigation. Or else, you can use sprinkles, regular hoses, or soaker hoses. However, the most difficult way to water your garden may be the drip system. But don’t worry I will give some hints about that too so that it won’t be that much difficult for you, right?
So, let’s get to know the watering ways better.
1. Furrow Irrigation
This is kind of making shallow trenches between the garden beds that create water flow to the roots. It is an old farming technique that is good for clay soil. But in the case of sandy soil, it is good to use for narrowly gapped raised beds. The beds can be 1 to 3 feet away from each other. The wider the gap, the more water you can use in the clay soil.
You can easily irrigate with this method by using a hoe or shovel to make shallow ditches. To test the method, make a shallow ditch from end to end and run water down it. If the water doesn’t run 20 to 30 feet in a few minutes, then make divide the garden and dig more shallow ditches.
When you are about to water the garden, fill the furrows completely with water. Wait for a while after that and then poke around the soil with a finger to make sure that the water has penetrated the soil.
Foliage and fruit of erect plants like beans and peppers will stay dry during this watering method. Besides this, you can water new seedlings frequently to keep the seedbed moist. The upper part of the garden beds will not get packed as it gets during sprinkle watering.
However, furrows are not considered an effective way to water the garden for many gardeners as this method is not appropriate for vine crops that rest on the soil. It can rot the fruit because of wet soil. Besides, it takes a lot of time to spread the water in the soil.
The furthermost point of the garden can’t get water properly. That’s why you need to make a lot of furrows around your garden and fill them one by one which is not that much convenient. As well as too much water may get evaporated sitting in the furrow. That’s why many gardeners seem to avoid this way.
2. Flood irrigation
It is also one kind of oldest watering system. It is often used in extremely heated areas. It is a good option to water a large garden. Flood irrigation systems are more common for horticulture (fruit trees, grapevines, vegetables), and higher-value and more-waterlogging-sensitive staple food and fiber crops such as maize, soybeans, and cotton.
For this method, a shallow dam is raised around the entire perimeter of the garden area. Then water is allowed to flow over the soil until the closed area is completely covered. It is beneficial when the soil is leveled and the soil contains enough clay to spread out the water on the surface for slow and evenly penetration. You should also be careful that the water should not remain more than a few hours on the surface.
Besides this, you can use this method when the alkaline water causes a buildup of salts to toxic levels in the soil. Flooding will flush down these excess soluble salts out of the soil. Before spring fertilizing, tilling, and planting, you can apply this method in your garden.
However, flooding can cause too much waste of water as runoff is hard to avoid. It is quite normal to apply more water than the requirements of your plants in this method. Also, rapidly growing plants are harmed due to the low oxygen level present in the flooded soil as well as the vine crops also may get rotten due to wet soil.
It is an ideal choice to water container plants rather than a large garden. However, using a garden hose as a water source for water supply in the furrow or flood irrigation can be the right choice. Using a hose to fill in the furrows or covered area in the flood irrigation method can give you control over the amount of water used in these systems. Or else, you can leave the hose running at a trickle in a basin near each plant until the water has soaked down at least 6 inches deep.
A sprinkle is a perfect choice for shallow watering or overhead watering. It is good for sandy soil type that absorbs water quickly. The portable sprinkler and in-ground permanent sprinkler are effective ways for watering a large garden when you’re short on time. On the other hand, if you have clay soil type or your garden is on a slope, it is not a good idea to use a sprinkler to water the garden as the water may run off without getting into the soil.
The sprinkler is an inexpensive way to water your garden but improper timing and operating in wind or at night can result in heavy wastage of water as well as damage the plant. Some water gets wasted when you try to cover a rectangular or square area moving the sprinkler in a circular pattern. But at the same time, you can apply different amounts of water to different types of plants according to the requirements. Moving the sprinkler unit at regular intervals may work if the garden is larger than the sprinkle pattern.
However, if you use sprinkler irrigation in the early time of day, the soil surface may become dry too quickly. Besides, strong winds may carry the water out of your garden or may even cause uneven distribution of water in the garden. Moreover, when you use a sprinkler, the water also touches the foliage and that wet foliage can invite some disease.
5. Soaker-hose irrigation
A soaker hose irrigation system consists of a rubber hose perforated with small holes that leak water. You can lay the hose between rows of raised beds or put it in a circle around your plants. With a soaker hose, water directly goes into the soil without touching the soil that also reduces evaporation.
If you want to use a soaker hose for deep watering leaving the foliage dry, just let the water run for several hours. Give an hour interval to let the water penetrate the soil and then again run the water for a while. Using a soaker-hose is much easier than using the drip system as there are fewer difficulties to set it up.
6. Drip irrigation
One of the best ways for applying water to home landscapes, gardens, and orchards is drip irrigation. A drip irrigation system keeps the water pressure low and provides water slowly through holes, or drip emitters, inflexible pipes laid along each row of plants. There are many types of drip systems and they can also consist of a single pipe with flexible lines running off it, or a series of pipes.
It is not well suited for solid plantings of shallow-rooted plants such as grass and some ground covers. In drip irrigation, the soil moisture remains relatively constant and the air is always available. But in other methods, there is fluctuation in soil water, temperature, and aeration. This method also balances the oxygen levels that are appropriate for absorption.
Drip irrigation can reduce the water loss up to 60 percent compared to the typical watering methods as water is delivered drop by drop to the roots. With this method, droplets of water absorb immediately in the soil with the thin streams of water. There is no flood or no runoff of water. Water is not carried away by the wind as well as the evaporation rate is low too.
However, the drip irrigation system is a little bit costly and tricky to install in the garden. But don’t think about that cause all the difficulties will be paid off. You can save some money if you have a proper plan. If you can make the water flow of 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute from a house faucet to the system, then it can irrigate 1500 to 2000 square feet adequately. Besides this, proper care and preservation of it can ensure a long life for the system.
Few Last Words for You
To save your plants from dying due to lack of water, you need to water the plants when it’s time to water. It’s good to choose a watering system that will leave the foliage dry and supply water to the plant root. This can prevent plant disease.