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Re: watering practices

Josh and Jim,
You both raise good points about watering.  Personally, I did not agree
with the article either, just brought it up to see what others thought. 
Even if their results could be transferred for us to our in-ground gardens,
who the heck wants to water their garden 3 times a day, every day?

Watering in the morning vs afternoon usually limits evaporation.  Watering
later in the day, can cause fungal problems as water on plants' leaves
doesn't have time to dry.  As Jim's photos have shown his watering at night
poses no problems whatsoever, but possibly because his system doesn't get
much water on the leaves.


> [Original Message]
> From: Josh Haskell <haskell@ncweb.com>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Date: 4/4/2003 8:30:00 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] watering practices
> Jim,
>           I agree, but I think one of the issues is how can this be
> accomplished with the most economic use of water; and certainly whether
> soil will be too wet, properly moist, or overly dry depends not only on
> much water is applied, but also upon what it consists of (soilless media,
> compacted clay, rich silt loam, etc) as well as whether it is located in a
> pot with drainage holes in the bottom, or in a clay soil that drains very
> slowly, etc.
>                                                                Josh
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Island Jim" <jsinger@igc.org>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 8:03 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] watering practices
> > i always thought the purpose of irrigation was to keep a properly
> > root zone moist [not wet] without regard to time of day or night.
> > that root zone is in a pot or the ground or, for that matter, crawling
> a
> > tree is not terribly important. what's important is whether it works
> > is, the plants thrive] according to the perception of the grower.
> >
> > At 06:52 PM 4/4/03 -0500, you wrote:
> > >Kitty,
> > >
> > >          I finally got around to reading the AG article you mentioned
> last
> > >week.  Two thoughts:
> > >
> > >         I think it again demonstrates the importance of empirical
> testing.  A
> > >priori philosophizing about gardening just doesn't get it done. 
> > >explanations of why watering in the morning was best certainly sounded
> > >reasonable, but are proven wrong.  The results of 60-70% better plant
> growth
> > >are certainly dramatic, and demonstrate the value of controlled tests.
> > >Gardening is rampant with examples of misguided advice that previously
> > >appeared to make sense.  The practice of covering pruning cuts with
> > >dressing is a perfect example.  A chemical covering that would keep
> insects
> > >and pathogens out while the wound healed sounded quite sensible.  But
> when it
> > >was discovered that the practice seriously slowed the healing process,
> the
> > >practice was discarded.
> > >
> > >         Which leads me to me second thought: How can Warren say "home
> > >gardeners should benefit from switching to afternoon watering, too"? 
> > >research was focused on containerized plants in the commercial nursery
> > >industry.  As you know, this now generally involves soilless media
> > >allows for extremely rapid drainage.  The media generally dries out
> > >quickly, and so it is easy to understand why watering in the
> on a
> > >hot day would be particularly beneficial.  The same practice should
> with
> > >containerized plants in the home garden, but that does not necessarily
> mean it
> > >will help with our plants that are in the ground.  Most of our soils
> drain
> > >much more slowly than containers, and the soil buffers the effect of
> heat,
> > >particularly when it is properly mulched.  Further, the soil several
> inches
> > >down can remain moist for days, which is not the case with containers.
> If the
> > >plant is well rooted it will not dry out nearly so quickly.
> > >
> > >         Thus I suspect one would not find the same dramatic
> > >Moreover, the value of early morning watering is that far less water is
> lost
> > >in the atmosphere.  If you are using sprinklers, on a hot afternoon as
> much as
> > >half the water can be lost to evaporation if you are watering in the
> of
> > >the day.  It seems, therefore, that morning watering may still be
> for
> > >plants that are not in containers.  Again, however, we won't really
> until
> > >someone does the proper studies.  But it seems Mr. Warren is jumping to
> > >conclusions that are not yet supported by the necessary empirical
> > >examination.
> > >
> > >         I suspect you should keep on getting up early on Saturdays.
> > >
> > >
> > >                                       Josh Haskell
> > >
> > >                                       Ohio -- Zone 5
> > >
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