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Automatic watering - little and often or infrequent drenching?

AstraeusAstraeus SheffieldPosts: 298
edited 12 July in Tools and techniques
For those with automatic irrigation, which do you go with? A bit of water very frequently or a lot of water less frequently?

Automatic watering - little and often or infrequent drenching? 9 votes

Little and often (daily or twice daily)
33% 3 votes
Infrequent drenching (every few days/week)
44% 4 votes
Something else (please comment)
22% 2 votes

Posts

  • pinutpinut Posts: 74
    It depends.

    For most of the plants that I grow (mostly fruit and veg), I prefer to alternate between drought and deep watering for young seedlings in order to condition them to establish strong root systems and become more resilient plants.

    Once they reach a certain level of maturity, say, when they produce flowers which need to be pollinated in order to produce fruit, I change the watering regime to keep the compost/soil as constantly moist as possible - so little and often.

    For growing super hot chillies, I revert back to the deep watering/drought regime once a certain amount of fruit has set and past a certain size where there is no posibility of them being aborted by the plant.


  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,737
    I don’t have an automatic watering system so I don’t have a dog in this fight. However I have learned something about drenching.

    Last week I bought three beautiful, healthy, plum/purple dahlias from Tesco. They were unnamed (but I’m hoping they might be the variety Lazarus) and just £3 each. As the soil was bone dry I watered them in copiously. The next morning they had flopped and were forlorn. Three days later they were dead. 

    I have just had a £9 lesson in the perils of drenching.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,534
    edited 12 July
    Why would drenching kill dahlias? Shock?
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,627
    Depends what it is. Hanging baskets and small-ish containers need watering often particularly in hot dry windy weather because they dry out so quickly - mine are on drip irrigation twice a day. I start off at 10 minutes when I put the timer out in late May/early June and increase or decrease the time/frequency depending on the weather. My tomatoes are on the same system but there's an inline valve so I can stop the water to them if I don't think they need it.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,922
    Doubt it had anything to do with the watering.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,737
    I think it was the shock of ample cold water.
  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,820
    I've found 7 minutes is enough to get water dripping through the bottom of pots and baskets.  With the current weather it's set for twice a day.  If things cool back down I'll reduce to once.
  • DaveKearleyDaveKearley East Hertfordshire, UKPosts: 64
    KT53 said:
    I've found 7 minutes is enough to get water dripping through the bottom of pots and baskets.  With the current weather it's set for twice a day.  If things cool back down I'll reduce to once.
    At what flow rate please?
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 982
    As others have said, it really does depend on the plants you have.

    I see my Gardena as a way of bridging the gap when I’m away for a week or more, but otherwise I find that there isn’t a one setting fits all on the programming.

    It’s  better than returning to dead plants, but isn’t a long term solution week on week, as many plants need a less frequent, but good soak, whilst establishing or very tender ones may need daily watering.
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