Irrigation is a vital stage for sustaining plants, whether they are in the field, garden, vegetable patch, or balcony.
Although watering plants can be a tedious task, it is crucial!
We have all experienced giving too much (or too little!) water and seeing the plants die in a few days, without being able to do anything to fix it. Fortunately, there are highly accessible automated irrigation systems that take care of keeping your garden plants alive, providing exactly the right amount of water needed, on your behalf!
It is useful for everyone, from seasoned farmers to beginners, busy parents, and those frequently away from home.
What are the most common automatic irrigation systems?The most classic one is the sprinkler irrigation system!
It distributes water in the form of small droplets, recreating the effect of rain. It is highly recommended for vegetables that do not mind direct water on their leaves, so you should avoid crops like tomatoes, zucchini, and many leafy herbs. Keep in mind that the inconvenience of this type of irrigation is that on windy days, the nebulized water may disperse into the air without wetting the ground, so you'll need to create barriers to shield from the wind. In this case, it's the horizontal urban farmers who adopt this system, precisely because the sprinkler's range is short and can water a single cultivation level.
Another well-known and widely used system is drip irrigation! It involves placing tube-like emitters on the ground near the plants. The system includes not only tubes and emitters but also a control unit, a pump, and a sand filtering unit to prevent emitter clogs.
Drip irrigation is perfect for any type of vegetable because it allows for proper hydration, reaching the roots drop by drop. Moreover, thanks to the emitters delivering the necessary water to the plants, the rest of the soil remains dry, preventing the growth of unwanted plants. This system is an excellent solution for windy conditions, as it waters the soil, limits unnecessary waste, saves water, energy, and avoids damage to the plants.
For horizontal gardening, the tubes must run on the surface of the cultivation area.
The most intuitive and effective layout is the "comb" structure, consisting of a main line determined by an irrigation tube, which feeds multiple parallel distribution lines. Similarly, this system also works vertically, reaching plants on various cultivation levels.
In this case, there are a few more considerations in setting up the system compared to a horizontal one. You'll need to securely fix the tube vertically and direct the secondary micro-tubes to the cultivation pots, as shown in the photo above.
Why switch to automatic irrigation?
It's not easy to understand the needs of our plants, and often we risk damaging or drowning the crops.
Watering the plants at the right time and with the right amount of water is essential to avoid water stress, which can lead to issues requiring costly agricultural remedies.
An irrigation system solves the water problem because you just need to set the time and duration, and it will water the plants for you! It's a very useful solution all year round, and you won't have to worry about your plants when you go on vacation or ask neighbors to water them for you!
Thanks to the timer of the irrigation system, you just need to set the program that suits the seasonal needs of your plants. In general, in winter, setting the timer for 5 minutes every 2 days will be enough, while in summer, due to the heat, it will be better to establish 5 minutes of irrigation every day, early in the morning or in the evening.
However, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on the substrate to check that it's not too wet or there is no water stagnation: irrigation should be light and constant, so if you notice stagnation, you can slightly reduce it.
Irrigation, an essential matter not to be underestimated!
Investing in an irrigation system is also sustainable from both an economic and environmental point of view, as it lasts over time, requires little energy and water. It's not too difficult to set up, and with proper care, it's easy to maintain.
Those starting to grow from scratch often think that the irrigation system is not essential and focus only on pots, soil, watering can, seeds, and seedlings.
The shopping list of things needed to start growing is long, and buying everything separately can be tiring and tedious (not to mention expensive!).
Those new to gardening don't always know exactly what resources to choose and which products to avoid, and buying everything needed to start gardening can be more expensive than purchasing cultivation systems that include everything needed to grow and an integrated automatic irrigation system.
Discover Poty, the new hydroponic system
You should know that there are new hydroponic systems like Poty, designed even for beginners, as it includes everything needed to start growing and guides users step by step in cultivation through digital guidance.
Poty is connected to an automated irrigation system that takes care of your plants even when you're not there! With fertigation that waters the plants with nutrient drops, you'll have resilient and productive plants without worrying about fertilizing.
Discover how to start your city garden, becoming an urban farmer in no time!
It saves us a lot of effort, water, and time, allowing us to cultivate our passion for gardening without requiring special time commitments, while also enabling us to harvest and consume various healthy and nutritious vegetables and herbs to use in our cooking.
New hydroponic farming systems are increasingly developing for these reasons; there are modular vertical gardens integrated with an automatic irrigation system, like Poty.