When it comes to managing your plants, there are many options you can choose from. The question you should ask is whether hand watering is something you should consider.
As someone who has a garden, you want an efficient watering system and does not break the bank. It is best to understand what hand watering is so you can make an informed decision.
What Is Hand Watering?
Hand watering refers to the process of pouring water on crops or plants manually using a container. It is a method that is ideal for patches of lawn and plants that need special attention.
You can use hand watering alongside automated irrigation systems. There are many factors to consider when hand watering your plants. These include the soil moisture level, the time of day, weather, the growth stage of plants, and the optimal size of the plants/crops. You can hand water your plants using a can, bucket, or hose.
Many people choose hand watering to reduce watering costs. It is cheaper than most other watering systems. All you need to do is get the right mixture of your nutrients, apply them, then water. If you know how to hand water properly, you can save some bucks. Hand watering will also allow you to take care of each plant individually. Apart from those two issues, hand watering does not have any other benefits.
How Does Hand Watering Work?
Hand watering is ideal if you have decorative pots or planting beds. You primarily find these in urban areas and places, such as office buildings, storefronts, and hotels. It is a labor-intensive watering system because you will have to walk from one crop to the next.
Hand watering may sound simple since you only need to scoop some water and pour it close to the plants. However, this method is trickier than you may think. Many people do not know how to effectively hand water plants. They think it is just a matter of sprinkling some water on the plant. First, you have to determine the right amount of water you will need. Then you add it slowly. You can add a little, let it sink, then add more. If you have to do so for many plants, you can imagine how long it will take you to water the entire garden.
Those who want control over their water use may not choose this watering system.
Let’s have a look at some disadvantages of hand watering.
1. Hand Watering Is Not Efficient
Imagine moving with your hose around the garden from one plant to the next. This can be overwhelming. Here is another scenario: You have to draw water using a bucket. Hand watering can get so tiring.
Moving with the hose or the bucket can damage some plants, especially the small ones. If you hire someone to do the job, he or she may end up not watering all the crops. So, if you want to hire someone for this job, make sure he or she is honest.
2. Leads to Wastage of Water
Whether you are using a hose or a bucket, some water will go to waste. There will be a lot of spillages as you move around with the bucket. The amount of water lost will somehow increase the cost of hand watering your plants.
3. Inconsistency in Watering
When hand watering, it is most likely that you will over-water and under-water some crops. If you are not sure of the water requirements of the plants, you may provide them with either too much or too little water.
There is also a tendency for people to become tired because of the tediousness of hand watering. If you are watering a large garden, the last crops you’ll water will most likely suffer. You’ll not provide them with enough water simply because you are too tired.
4. Cannot Use Hand Watering on a Large Scale
Hand watering can only work for small gardens. You recall, we said people easily tire as they work. So, if you have a large garden to water, it’s advisable to install an irrigation system.
5. Hand Watering Needs Professionals
Since hand watering is tedious, you may be tempted to hire someone to do it. But the question is, will the person water the plants properly? Will the person be patient enough to add enough water? This is something that the ordinary gardener won’t do. That’s why you’ll notice some of the potted plants you leave under the care of someone else will dry quickly. Professional landscapers are good at hand watering, but hiring them will add to your watering costs.
6. Inconsistency in Applying Nutrients
Just like the inconsistency in watering, hand watering will also lead to inconsistency in feeding the plants. It’s quite tiresome to measure the exact amount of nutrients and water every time you want to water a plant. Overfeeding or underfeeding your crops is one way you can kill them. You won’t realize you are underfeeding or overfeeding until you see some crops dying with hand watering. By this time, it will be too late.
This is not the case with an irrigation system. The system applies the water and nutrients consistently and in the right amounts.
Hand watering has its advantages and disadvantages. But, as you can see, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Hand watering will only be effective if you have a few plants to water. And it can work if you can water the plants on your own or delegate the work to a professional.
If you have to water plants on a large scale, then automated irrigation would be your best option. Though the initial cost of installing automated irrigation is higher, it will pay off in the long run.
An automated irrigation system will give you the freedom to do whatever you want rather than worrying about your crops. It allows you to program precise doses of nutrients and schedule exact feeding times.