Basic Irrigation Guidelines


Basic irrigation guidelines
• Germinating seeds and seedlings after transplanting need to be kept uniformly moist.
• Developing plants need to be watered deeply, but less often, to encourage deep root growth. Frequent, shallow watering promotes superficial root development. Such plants will be susceptible to drought. Water to a depth of about half a foot; then let the surface dry out to a depth of one or two inches (3 to 5 cm) before irrigating again.
• Shallow rooting crops such as green beans or onions draw water from the top soil. They should be soaked thoroughly, but irrigated again only when they show signs of needing additional water such as wilting during the hottest time of the day.
• Deep rooting plants (e.g. maize, tomatoes or asparagus) can draw water from 2 feet down. They need water less frequently, but more water each time to moisten the soil deeply.
• Observe your plants every day, and respond promptly if they show signs of needing water! Postponing irrigation can damage plants very quickly, especially in hot

• During dry, hot, and windy weather, plants need more water than during humid and cloudy conditions, as the soil dries out faster.
• Avoid also over-watering. Plants can drown in very wet soil when their roots are left without oxygen.
• Check the soil to see how deep the moisture goes. The surface may look dry while the rooting zone is still wet.
• Sandy soils need more water because water can drain twice as fast through sand than through clay.

• Mulches are very beneficial as they conserve soil moisture reducing the amount of water needed. They also suppress weed growth.