Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Handwatering Mean?

Handwatering is the act of watering plants and crops manually by hand. This is especially helpful for patches of lawns and particular plants that need extra attention to complement automated irrigation efforts. The main goal of handwatering is to make sure the root zone is adequately saturated to maintain the plant until the next irrigation schedule. It is often a difficult task to master in large-scale and greenhouse production.

There are numerous points to keep in mind when handwatering plants, such as the plant’s optimal size, which growth stage the crop is in, the weather conditions, what time of the day it is, and the current moisture level of the soil.

Handwatering can be done by using a hose, or filling a watering can with water.


Maximum Yield Explains Handwatering

While handwatering is not a complex process, there are some techniques you should follow for best results.

When handwatering plants, a simple beaker with a valve behind the breaker would suffice. The pressure should be adjusted to have a gentle flow of water in a uniform manner. Too high water pressure or even large droplets are not encouraged as they can wash out and compact the soil and even damage the plants. Even the distance of watering is important, the plants should be watered with the beaker down near the soil surface of the pot, moving from pot to pot, watering each plants individually and maintaining control over the amount of water for each pot by holding the beaker at each pot for a consistent 1-2-3 count. This also minimizes the amount of foliage that gets wet and makes sure fertilizer is directly delivered into the pot efficiently.

The weight of containers are commonly used to determine when to water the crops and also to determine the moisture level of the soil. When a container is lifted and it feels heavy, even though the surface looks dry, that means there is enough moisture and so no more additional water should be added. However, if the surface of the container is wet, but when the container is lifted and it feels light, then a thorough inspection of the plant should be conducted to make sure that water is actually wetting the soil. In order to weigh a pot, a scale would be a useful tool to measure the weight.

Sometimes growers use water gauges to measure how much water is used up. A water gauge is a sort of container that is placed among the pots, or when a drip system is used, a container with an emitter placed. Some growers use their fingers to feel the soil in shallow containers as the surface can be dry while wet also being wet deep in the pot, especially in large containers. Moisture sensors are another option that could help dictate how much water is needed to thoroughly saturate a container.


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