Watering wisely for a happy garden
Most of us calculate the amount of water for our garden by time. This method causes much water to be wasted. Irrigation by the amount of water can lead to great savings on your water bill and you’ll also be doing something good for our drying country. How do we do it? The answer is here
A green flowering garden needs water, especially in the Israeli summer. But do we all manage this essential resource optimally? It seems that we don’t. Most of us usually allocate water to the garden according to irrigation time, but if we start irrigating according to the amount of water, we can save on our water bill and we’ll also be contributing our part to the national effort to save water. Because “Israel is drying up” is not just a slogan.
So how do we do it?
- First of all, it’s important to measure and know the area we are irrigating.
- Second, we should know the amount of water required for our garden – water is measured by volume, not by time, that is, in units of volume – liters, or cubic meters.
- It is recommended to install a water meter or timer on your garden’s sprinkler system. If you don’t have one, you can estimate the amount of water required:
Define 5 minutes of irrigation and make sure there is no additional water consumption in the house during that time. Check the reading on your house’s main water meter at the beginning and at the end. Multiply the difference by 12 (for 60 minutes) and then you’ll know the hourly flow rate, that is, how many cubic meters of water are used per hour.
Once you know the flow rate, you can use the following table to calculate how much irrigation your garden needs and how much time you need to allocate for it. Take a few minutes to calculate and you’ll benefit from informed irrigation all summer long.
Water consumption table for a small garden (liters per square meter per day)
The table indicates amounts per day. In order to obtain the amount of water required, you need to multiple the area by the daily consumption and then by the frequency of irrigation days.
Soil texture is a significant factor in calculating the amount of water. A lighter soil holds less water, and should therefore be irrigated with less water each time, but more frequently.
And how can we know the texture of our soil? We’ll take a clump of wet soil and press it into a ball with our hands. The more ‘doughy’ the soil is, i.e. resembling plasticine, the heavier it is. If the clump crumbles, the soil is light. Sand or red loam, for example, are light soils, while muddy, black soil is heavy soil.
Irrigation frequency according to soil texture (how often, by days, the garden should be irrigated. )
In addition to all this, it is important to check the irrigation system from time to time, to make sure there are no blockages or leakages, and that the sprinklers are set up to provide optimal coverage of the lawn.
And beyond all the calculations, listen to your garden – the Israeli summer weighs heavily not only on us. Do you think the shrubs are wilting and suffering? The grass is showing signs of thirst? Give some more water accordingly. And vice versa, know that excess water may damage the plants by washing nutrients deep into the soil, or by creating high moisture conditions in the soil, leading to a lack of aeration.