Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Garden irrigation

3rd August - There's been a bit more rain since the last harvest, the soil is heavy and water retentive so watered and control plots are both pretty wet. There is much more foliage on the irrigated plants than the control.

As in July, a metre of row was harvested from the carrot and beetroot rows. As can be seen in the photos, the irrigated beetroots and carrots are visibly larger than the controls.

All of the beetroot has grown considerably since the last evaluation a month ago. Both plots are producing roots suitable for eating and some of the irrigated ones are getting quite big. The variety grown, Cylindra, produces long roots. Most of the root is above ground. This makes them easy to harvest, but also easy targets for mice which have been very busy, especially in the irrigated plot where the leaf canopy is much denser. The yield from control plot was 800g, from the irrigated plot 1400g - 75% more. Quality was much the same from both.

The irrigated carrots easily out yielded the control - 1800g verses 1225 grams a difference of 47%. However, this is not the whole story as the irrigated carrots looked stumpier and had more splitting so that the yield of good quality carrots was 980g in both treatments. It did look as though, at least from a quality point of view, that the carrots benefited from having to search for their water. As previously noted, this was in heavy soil, the story could well be different in free draining soils.

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