One of the few posts I have ever seen about irrigation or water use issues, is the one below. Some ancient cultures of both hemispheres were wise to develop with primitive tools brilliant irrigation systems and the transport of water for agriculture and city folk. If you are interested, check that out in alcantarillaalquimica.blogspot.com *.
The tittle H20 pretends to cover most issues dealing with water use in gardens or agriculture, if I may. But keeping the scope wide one should remember any presence of water requires drainage. Its absence, irrigation, requiring drainage also. In consequence, the composition and texture of your soil will make things easy or difficult in the garden or even in pots, for them plants.
There are quite a few ways to irrigate. Subsurface irrigation, surface, border strip, furrow, sprinkler, hand-move, solid-set, traveling-gun, center-pivot, wheel-move irrigation and trickle or drip irrigation. If you are curious go ahead and do a little research on those you never imagined existed.
If you are into landscaping or just gardening the most relevant are drip or sprinkler irrigation.
Now if you read this blog or some others, you probably take gardening seriously, more than the average ignorant environmentalists quacks over here. Your type of soil, average temperatures will determine when and how often, for how long your plants require H20.
The soil in our garden is 95 % sand. With temperatures in the last two weeks over 90 degrees Farenheit (feeling like 100*), I check some plant indicators to determine when is the right time. In our garden, some plants with show heat stress before others may even feel a little discomfort.
The point is to keep everyjuan happy on one hand. On the other is plant selection. If I had planted rain forest plants in my almost desert garden, even in total shade, eventually the high temperatures will kill, anything even with tons of water.
I use a 40' drip irrigation hose, very effective if placed flat on the ground, a hose with multiple water flow control, and a Dram watering can.
There are formulas to determine how much water/time it takes one inch of H2O to cover 1,000 square feet of turf, go on find out. Mine is simple, I use a five gallon measure. Depending on water pressure, low, it takes 15 minutes to fill the recipient. I let the water drip for an hour in one spot or move every 15 minutes, depending on the area and what is planted.
For vegetation in pots, I keep a 55 gallon barrel in the east garden to collect rain water or fill to let the boron/clorox evaporate. I do not have issues with salt by capillarity since I rotate/change the soil frequently.
What the hell is that? When you keep plants in pots forever, the constant watering lets the salts in water and soil to accumulate, coming up, forming a layer on top of your soil or even in the surface of clay pots, turning them white.
The concept of capillarity is best understood with any paper towel, place one sheet on a wet surface see what happens. Thats good to know if you want to irrigate plants when you are not home. With a rope or rag in water and them pots below, they will remain watered for some time.
The opposite is also true. I you have a pot that gets flooded by soil compaction, placing the rag/rope on top will force the water down the fabric.
I am getting tired. I hope this may give you a hint of the wide, deep and covering all our life issue of water, even if you never planted anything.
*Fecal waters and its treatment is another issue, since it is also H20. It is pertinent to mention it since some of it is being used for irrigation in some parts of the world. Beato, our friend in alcantarilla, mentioned above, is an authority on the H20 subject, you name it you could find there.
Oops almost forgot the other *, what is that crap of weather people telling us is ninety but feels like 100? Why not is a hundred and leave it at that?
and that is that