Thursday, 24 June 2010

Garden irrigation - root vegetable watering trial

Irrigation gives 46% weight increase

It's now 22nd June
and the root vegetable trial has been running since sowing seeds on April 12th. Although it has been a pretty dry spring there have been occasional showers, lower than average temperatures and soil moisture has generally been okay. The last few days have been much warmer and quite windy so the soil is now drying quickly. Watering was started when the seeds were sown. Each irrigated row has its own seep hose line. There are 5 watered rows. Each is connected to a WaterWand Heliomatic 130 pump in rotation, so they are watered one day in five.

All the vegetables in the trial have been grown under fleece and only uncovered for weeding and occasional photos. This keeps them a little warmer but more importantly keeps carrot root fly at bay. The plots have been hand weeded twice, but weed growth has been quite modest.

The top picture shows the irrigated plot today, the second the unwatered plot. Both plots continue to look good but there is clearly more growth where watered.
The third image compares plants from irrigated (left) and control plots.

The combined weight of the unwatered roots
is 65g, watered 95g. This represents a difference of 46% though the sample size is too small to draw any conclusions.

The WaterWand Heliomatic 130 is a small scale, fully automatic, solar powered garden irrigation pump designed to use stored rainwater from butts or tanks.

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