Author Topic: Automatic watering experiences needed  (Read 333 times)

tedburn

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Automatic watering experiences needed
« on: May 18, 2021, 04:14:55 PM »
For my next holidays i will install automatic watering.
Technical its no problem, but currently i' m asking myself in which cycles to program the watering of my potted citrus.
If it' s very sunny it would be good or necessary to water every day. If it' s colder and rainy weather watering every second day would be enough.
So If I would water every day but the weather would be colder and rainy in summer, would it harm the roots if they are always wet for e.g. 14 days ? Who has good experiences about the cycle of automatic watering that works for the citrus ?  Thank you

Millet

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2021, 04:36:41 PM »
It is not the amount of water that damages or kills the roots, it is the lack of oxygen that kills/damage the roots..  After all, citrus trees can be grown hydroponically.  The length of time between watering, depends to a great part on  the type of medium the tree is planted in.  I once ran a test with citrus trees planted in the rapid draining 5-1-1 mixture (5 parts bark, 1 part peat, 1 part perlite) where I watered it every day, and sometimes twice per day for weeks on end, until I grew tired of continuing.   The trees did not have a single problem. 

tedburn

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2021, 05:18:41 PM »
thank you Millet very interesting info.

brian

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2021, 09:58:49 PM »
I agree with Millet.  If you are confident you have well drained soil then water every day.  A container tree exposed to full sun could easily need daily watering.  You might want to paint the south side of the containers white or otherwise protect them from overheating also, if they are a dark color (such as black nursery pots).

tedburn

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2021, 12:18:37 AM »
Hello Brian, yes you are fully right in hot summerdays watering every day is needed. i think most of my pots are good drained, so I will try dayly watering. Yes I repot all my plants from nurseries which come in black pots in the orange standard pots we have here in Germany. They are O.K. concerning heat.
Thank you all for your advice  :D.

pagnr

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2021, 05:39:54 PM »
I would install the irrigation system well before its actually needed, even now,  and start running it to fine tune it.
Then you will get a good feel of how it works in your soil mix and in different weather patterns.
Then you can better predict how the system will behave while you are away, and set it accordingly.
A few people I know have set up auto garden systems close to when they leave for holidays,
only to find that the pressure changes has blown off a connector clamp, and the system didn't function.

tedburn

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2021, 05:50:35 PM »
Yes Pagnr, you are totally right, that it' s important to install it some time before leaving, due to a lot of possible misfunctions. Today I started it with a geeat part of my plants and I saw, that the irrigatin nozzles at each plant has carefully to be adapted and finetuned, to get a good water distribution in the pots.
And further I have the issue, some plants are growing heavily with a great water consumption and others have lower water consumption, even getting more different by different soil mixes. So I decided to irrigate every 2. day and ask my son to be a supervisor and eventually irrigate some plants which need water more often by hand.

brian

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2021, 01:18:18 PM »
...the orange standard pots we have here in Germany. They are O.K. concerning heat.
...

Are you referring to terracotta pots like these?  I bought some recently and noticed they were all imported from Germany.  Is this a major export?  I had always assumed these tan terra-cotta plant pots were universal, but never thought much about it until you mentioned it now.







tedburn

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2021, 05:43:07 PM »
Hi Brian, interesting, even didn' t know that these pots are exported to the US, yes we have these pots also here, but actually I referred to orange pots in plastic. Im using them for bigger plants due to weight 😅🙋‍♂️.
Regards Frank

brian

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2021, 08:18:32 PM »
ah okay, must be a coincidence.  I also use the tan plastic pots.  These terracotta ones were for a project, not for plants.  Too fragile

Epicatt2

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2021, 10:16:40 PM »
TedB,

I've just set up a semi-permanent drip system, very basic and 'adjustable' or movable.  Many of my fruit trees are in pots,  3-, 5, and 7-gallon ones.

Some are smaller plants which are only in pots 'til they get large enough to put into the gound.

Others plants are those which will not get really so large that they cannot be maintained in a 5- or 7-gallon pot.

But all those fruit trees (which are in one particular area together) are set in shallow saucers.  Some saucers are comparatively smaller based on the size of the pot, and other saucers are comparatively larger based upon how much water certain of the plants use. 

Certain of the plants, like Bixa orellana (achiote) and Acrostichum aureum (Florida golden leather fern -which volunteered in one of the saucers and eventually got potted out on its own) and Rollinia deliciosa (Biribá) are in even larger saucers in relation to the size of their pots because they are real water guzzlers!  The achiote in a 7-gallon pot will drink a large saucer of water 2-inches deep only in about four or five hours when it is hot or windy (or both)!!

My new drip system is set up so that the water guzzlers get more water and so their saucers fill up faster than the other less thirsty 'drinkers' in smaller saucers.  This seems to be working well enough now in the beginning but since the system has only been set up for two days now it still must be tweaked a bit.

Still, it looks as if this new drip system is going to be very helpful during the hottest parts of our Florida summer and will save me from standing out in the heat watering three or four times per week.

I've been keeping these fruit trees in saucers for a couple years already and there has been no problem with any root damage except during the rainy season here.  But I have learned that when we get several days of rain in a row I need to empty those of the saucers under the fruit trees that don't like extended wet feet.

This new drip watering system is admittedly an ongoing experiment which looks to be going to be very useful.  During our hot Florida summers if it doesn't rain the water in all the dishes is used up in one, or sometimes in only two days.  After the saucers are empty the fruit trees tend to be okay maybe for one or two days before they begin to show any drought stress.

As I already mentioned, this system is brand new to me and must/will have to be tweaked to optimize it.  But that was expected.  All the parts were cobbled together from items gotten from Home Depot but it was not a drip system kit of any sort.  Just the tubing and joins needed to cobble the system together.

Just a final note:  This system is not automatic; at least not for now.  I need to go out and turn on the faucet manually.  Right now the system seems to need to run for about 1/2 hour for all the dishes to fill up.  It is actually a good thing that I go out to turn on the water; it makes me take a look at the plants and saucers to see which ones are or aren't using up all their water.

OK — Hope this helps . . . .  And maybe offers up some ideas that others can use.

Cheers!

Paul M.
==
« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 12:54:17 AM by Epicatt2 »

brian

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2021, 10:36:47 PM »
You water from the bottom?  I had never even considered that, mine watered the soil.  Doesn't the top get really dry??  I know some trees have their feeder roots at the top just under the soil

Epicatt2

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2021, 10:39:35 PM »
You water from the bottom?  I had never even considered that, mine watered the soil.  Doesn't the top get really dry??  I know some trees have their feeder roots at the top just under the soil

I do both, but am trying out the bottom watering option, as described. 

So far so good.  We shall see . . .

Paul M.
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Millet

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2021, 01:48:26 PM »
On my larger containers I submerge the container in a larger container and let soak over night.  I do this approximately every couple mounts or so.  Other wise I normally water from the surface of the container.

tedburn

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Re: Automatic watering experiences needed
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2021, 04:40:08 PM »
Paul and Millet,
thanks for your watering informations, very interesting how many ways are possible and every with some advantages and disadvantages, depending from plant size, climate and personal estimations. But thats the big advantage of a worldwide forum to get good ideas and helpful information.
Have a wonderful pentecost weekend. Regards Frank.