Tips for watering your urban garden

Irrigation is one of the most important elements in urban garden care. The quality of vegetables and fruits, even their flavors, depend on what quality water you will use. Water is the basis for growing and gardening. But irrigating in a wrong way or with inappropriate water, can damage plants. To prevent this, you can follow some of the useful tips for watering your urban garden that we explain you in this article.

1. Control the soil before plant

Before start planting your urban garden, you must keep in mind the kind of soil where we will sow the seeds, because depending on its features, water frequency and amounts can differ.

If you have sandy soil, must irrigate more frequently because this kind of soil doesn’t hold moisture well. On the other hand, if we have clay soil you must take care not to water in excess because we can rot the plants roots due to the high humidity.

2. Control the Plants watering needs

It’s important to know the plants needs when we irrigate them, because not all plants in the urban garden need the same water care. Some will need more water, some less water, so it will be helpful to spread them in the plot according on their water needs:

-Leafy vegetables, like spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, Swiss chard…, they need a lot of water, so it’s important to irrigate them more frequently.

-Fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, capsicums…, they need moderate irrigation during the flowering stage. If they receive a lot of water while they are flowering, it could be harmful for their growth. Once they have borned fruit, you can go back to a regular irrigation.

-Onions, garlic and other similar vegetables need moderate watering.

-During summer and dry seasons, it is recommended to irrigate urban garden more frequently to prevent problems because of the lack of water, like dry leaves or damaged plants. It’s important to irrigate early in the morning or in the evening to protect plants from sun effects.

3. To use the appropriate irrigation system for our urban garden

There are different kind of irrigation systems for urban gardens. Depending on the plot area, the distribution of what we plant, and our irrigation needs, we have to decide which better fits into our plans to get our urban garden in the perfect conditions.

Watering with a Garden Hose:

If we have our garden on a terrace or small yard, this system is ideal and least costly. We should water like a soft rain, so that the water pressure doesn’t remove the nutrients from the soil and also keeping in mind that in many cases it is counterproductive to water the plants leaves.

If we have a bigger urban garden and we don’t have appropriate hose and not enough time to irrigate by hand, there are other automated systems that will distribute the water around all the plot easily:

Sprinkler irrigation:

this system use sprinklers that distribute the water around the garden like rain. If you want to use this system, you need a good water pressure so that water arrives everywhere on the plot. This irrigation system allows you to program the irrigation, and guarantee that the water will arrive to all the plants in the same measure.

Drip irrigation:

this automated system uses water more optimally and avoids loss of nutrients in the soil. That’s why is the most recommended for urban gardens. Water is infiltrated to the roots plants by a pipe system and drips around the garden.

4. Use quality water for irrigation

We can follow the irrigation advice previously written to achieve the best results, but if we do it with chlorinated water we won’t get them. Vegetables and fruits won’t be of such quality as we want, because chlorine will interfere on the results.

All municipal water supplies contain chlorine, a chemical disinfectant used to kill off deadly bacteria and virus in the water supply, especially in summer. We know our tap water contains chlorine because of the smell and the taste. If we are growing our own food because we are looking for healthier and organic quality fruits and vegetables, with genuine flavor, it makes no sense to irrigate them with chlorinated water. We need the best water quality posible to achieve organic results and authentic taste.

Besides of this, watering our urban garden with chlorinated water will not only damage the vegetables final quality, but also cause growing problems in plants, like burned roots, yellow leaves, problems with compost… To get quality water, free of chemicals and pesticides, you can use water filtration systems, which eliminate chlorine up to 99%, and also reduce the herbicides, pesticides and other contaminants.

If the water also has a high concentration of mineral salts (hard water) this can be a problem too, because high mineral water can harm your plants and vegetable final quality. In this case, you can install a garden reverse osmosis system, which will eliminate up to 95% of salts and heavy metals dissolved in the water.

These filtration and reverse osmosis systems come with easy indoor and outdoor connections to the tap and the garden hose and even to the water tanks, and are easy to adapt to other irrigation systems. They are also available with different flow capacity, for small, medium or even industrial size gardens.

At GrowMax Water we are specialists in water systems for hydroponics and gardening. Visit our website and inform yourself about how these systems could help you to maintain a healthier urban garden. They are great for organic growers who want organic vegetables and fruits, with the best final quality.

Tricks to irrigate plants during holiday

Summer is here and it’s time to take a deserved break. It’s time to pack your bags and go to the beach, to the mountains or, ultimately, anywhere without stress. But, what we do with our plants if no one can water them while we are off? There are a few tricks for watering plants while we are gone that keep them hydrated until we come back.

We must avoid our plants dying and try to keep our plants as healthy as we do during the rest of the year. One easy solution would be to ask a friend or neighbor to irrigate them twice a week, but during holidays it’s difficult. If we go on holiday for a short time (a week) we can prepare the plants and keep them ready until our return. If we are planning a longer trip, there are also some tricks to prevent lack of water in our plants.

Prepare our plants before we go

If we are going to be away of home only for a week, we can leave them without any irrigation system. However, it’s important to follow some advice before we leave so that upon our return home we see little damage in plants and they are easy to fix with our usual care.

First of all, we have to water them well before leaving to maintain the maximum humidity for as many days as possible, but without flooding the plants and also never put them into a bowl full of water directly in contact with roots, because they will rot.

We have to put the plants in a cool place where sun and heat don’t affect them constantly. This way, they will benefit more from the environmental humidity and they won’t get sun dried. If you have indoor plants, you must put them in a room with dim light and some ventilation.

If we cut back the biggest leaves, dry leaves and branches before going on holidays, it will also help our plants to keep better humidity and they will be stronger without constant water.

Automatic systems to irrigate

apsersorjpgIf we stay away of home for more days, we have to find alternatives to irrigate the plants. But also following the steps explained in the previous paragraphs before leaving. If we have outdoor plants in our garden or terrace, it will be useful to install automatic irrigation systems.

A sprinkler system or drip irrigation installation in the garden or terrace will allow us to program watering for all the plants during our absence. They are also useful during the year. But if we don’t have the budget, or they are indoor plants or in a balcony, we can use home remedies that will help to maintain plants hydrated.

Homemade systems to irrigate plants

botellaWe can easily create a watering system with a plastic bottle. It consists of a drip irrigation system that will provide constant water to plants but without flooding them. We have to open a hole in the cap (just as big as a water drop), fill up the bottle and put it upside down, staked in the soil of the pot, and the water will be provided gradually to the plants roots. The bigger the bottle, the more water that will be provided.

We have to put one bottle in each pot or near each plant, so we guarantee all the plants will have enough water and will be hydrated during our absence.

There is a similar homemade system, but using little clay cones. They are dispensers that we have to screw in the bottle, and then stake in the soil with the bottle upside down. As in the previous system, water will be provided to the plant drip to drip, but there is a difference: the clay. This material has microporous qualities that guarantee that water will be better dosed.

Plants always need quality water

With these tricks to irrigate plants during our holiday, we avoid problems caused by lack of water. In summer, plants suffer more problems due to high temperatures, so irrigating them when we are off  on holiday is important for taking care of them. However, water quality, water without chlorine, is also very important for their care. That’s why we shouldn’t forget to always use clean water, treated by filtration systems. These systems can also connect directly with the installations of automatic irrigation systems.

Now we can pack our bags and start a happy holiday, knowing that our plants will be well hydrated and healthy for the days or weeks that we will be gone.

Tips for watering roses and rose bushes

The Catalan tradition on the Sant Jordi’s Day is giving a rose. Taking this special date, we suggest some tips for watering your roses, and so keep them well maintained throughout the year.

The first months of rosebush

During the first year of planting, lack of water is, in many cases, the cause of a rosebush fail. So watering during this stage is the key. Because during the first months, the roots are still shallow, and need to absorb more water to develop.

To learn how to water our rosebush properly, we must consider the type of soil in which we will plant it. If for example there is a sandy soil, the rose bush will not retain water very well, and will need more frequency and amount of watering, especially at first. If instead it is a clay soil, it will hold moisture longer and will need less water.

Watering the rosebush depending on season

As with most plants during summer times, it is important to moisturize the rosebush. With the heat and drought, plants need more water and more frequently. In areas of excessively hot weather, it is recommended to water the rose bush once every day. In areas of more moderate heat is sufficient watering every two or three days.

Generally it is important to water them early in the morning or in the evening, but never during the hours of more heat and sunshine.

During the winter, the rose tree has no leaves and therefore do not need to water it frequently. Except that it still young or you’ve planted in pots. In the latter case, it is recommended to water it regularly so that the roots do not dry out.

¿Hose or watering can?

You can use both, it depends on your comfort and the garden space you have available. If you use the watering can, it is advisable to use with artichoke-shaped neck, as the water will not come in a single stream. In this way you won’t erode the soil from the roots. In the case of using the hose, it is important to avoid high pressure jet.

In both cases it is essential not to wet leaves or flowers, and apply irrigation on the foot of the plant. You should also try never swamping the rose bush because they can rot the roots. Yellow and falls leaves are a sign of rotten roots.

If in addition to these tips, you provide your rosebush with water of high quality and without chlorine, you guarantee healthier roots. In order to manage this, you can make use of water filtration systems, which remove 99% of chlorine, Herbicides, Pesticides and Volatile Organic contaminants. This way you will guarantee success and health for your rose bush and the other plants in your garden, and very convenient, because the filters include connectors for external taps.