Maximum Yield USA July 2017 | Page 124

grow cycle growers know



Hand-watering and drip systems both have their merits , but combining these techniques gives growers the best of both worlds . Kent Gruetzmacher explores the variables for the perfect set-up .

By diversifying approaches to watering and fertilizing outdoor crops , gardeners achieve far more versatility in troubleshooting and dealing with scheduling constraints . For some cultivators , this notion means combining techniques of both irrigation drip systems and hand-watering . More specifically , this idea is concerned with putting plants on a constant straight-water drip system in conjunction with the hand-watering of nutrients . Hand-watering nutrients forces drip irrigation farmers to be more hands-on with their crops when fertilizing . This intimate exchange with plants promotes an inclusive , critical examination of the entire garden which is often lacking in automated cultivation situations . Also , a straight-water drip system provides horticulturalists a security blanket with watering , as the drip can sometimes cover the recurring chore of hand-watering when a constraint arises in one ’ s schedule . Finally , the drip system and hoses can sometimes be used functionally in an interchangeable fashion . To elaborate , the hose can be used in hand-watering to periodically flush out salt deposits in the soil during a long summer growing season . Similarly , the drip system can be used to fertilize the garden in the event of a scheduling emergency — nutrients can be mixed and aerated in advance of the actual feeding time . By setting up one ’ s garden with both hand-watering and drip irrigation systems early in the season , a grower can help ensure a bountiful crop by diversifying watering techniques with anticipatory planning . by Kent Gruetzmacher

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