Golden rules for watering
To prevent the plants from wilting in summer, they need plenty of water. How much and how often should water them? Below are some smart and helpful facts for watering the plants.
- Maintain proper soil moisture levels. Most plants depend on even moisture. However, slight drying out before watering promotes root growth of the plants.
- Water less often, but thoroughly. Better to reduce the frequency of watering and up the amount of water each time, than to do often with little water.
- Water late in the evening or early in the morning. When you water cooled soil in the evening or at night, less water evaporates than it would on hot soil during the day. The plants can sufficiently supply themselves with water before the next day's heat.
- Keep leaves dry to avoid diseases. Wet leaves become diseased leaves. Leaves that are made wet in the sun develop slight burn marks (burning glass effect of the water droplets). When leaves are wet overnight, leaf-mould diseases may result.
- Ensure the water reaches the roots. Suitable watering means that the water must sufficiently reach the roots. Too-low water quantities often only cover the upper soil. Water needs a moment to seep into the soil. Divide the water over the growbed, so that the precious water doesn't flow away unused.
- Start with the E-grow beds behind the Sluisdeurenloods. To reach these, you have to attach all the parts of the big yellow water hose ánd the flexible green hose. See picture for connection piece. On the street side, next to the urinals (Pure Gold) you can find a big yellow water hose.
- Go into the main building and walk to the staircase. Open the door and turn on the light located on the wall inside, immediately on your right. To turn the water on, turn the right red horizontal knob counter-clock-wise until it is vertical. To turn the water off, turn the red knob clock-wise.
- Work your way towards the main building through grow beds T and C.
- Don't forget about Tumulus: the green hill and the few C-grow beds in front of the Sluisdeurenloods.
- Continue to water all the T-grow beds and when you pass the Aroma Lab, also water the B-grow beds.
- Walk to the Aquaponics entrance and get the other yellow hose to water all the A-grow beds.
- Then lastly, turn on the irrigation system for the Talus grow beds, also known as the F-growbeds. Find how to do so below.
When watering growbeds B C D E and T. Give the plants enough water, every growbed should get around 2-3 minutes of water. This might feel like soaking them, but as they cannot get water from the 'ground', they really need it.
Watering the Talus grow beds
- To water grow beds on the talus (F), you attach the yellow hose next to the urinals to the connection in the grow bed between question number 24 and 23. Leave on for about 2 hours to properly water the grow beds.
Watering the A-grow beds
- Attach the yellow water hose to the single connection point in the wall. In case you do not find any yellow water hoses in front of the Aquaponics, move the longest one from the urinals to the Aquaponics.
- To turn on the water for this hose, go into the main building and walk to the staircase. Open the door and turn on the light located on the wall inside, immediately on your right. Turn the left red horizontal knob counter-clock-wise until it is vertical. To turn the water off, turn the red knob clock-wise.
- If you borrowed the yellow water hose from the street side, please return them.
Extra Watering info
Watering the plants requires some extra love and understanding. The very best time for watering is in the early morning, while it is still cool. This will allow the water to run down into the soil and reach the roots of the plant without too much excess water lost to evaporation.
Watering in the early morning will also make the water available to the plants throughout the day so that the plants will be able to deal better with the heat of the sun. There is a gardening myth that watering in the morning will make the plants susceptible to scorch. This is not true. First of all, almost all areas in the world do not get intense enough sun for water droplets to burn the plants. Second of all, even if you live in an area where the sun is that intense, the water droplets would be evaporated in the heat long before they could focus the sunlight.
Afternoon / Early evening
Watering the plants in the afternoon sometimes can be difficult due to work and life schedules. The second best time to water a vegetable garden is in the late afternoon or early evening. If you are watering vegetables in the late afternoon, the heat of the day should have mostly passed, but there should still be enough sun left to dry the plants a bit before night falls. Watering plants in the late afternoon or early evening also cuts down on evaporation and allows the plants several hours without the sun to take up water into their system. One thing to be careful of if you water in the late afternoon is to make sure that the leaves have a little time to dry before night comes. This is because damp leaves at night encourage fungus problems, such as powdery mildew or sooty mould, which can harm the plants.