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Overwatering your crops

Thinking that the more you water your plants, the healthier they will be is a common mistake. Actually, the method you choose to water your crops is a decisive factor in the success of your farm. If you need help in selecting the most suitable irrigation for your farm, have a look at our previous article about “Types of irrigation systems” to make the best decision.

1.    Water as a killer


Why is overwatering dangerous for the crops?

One of the main factors is that root plants are responsible not only to take water but also oxygen from the soil. In ideal situations, the soil particles will leave some space between them that will be filled by oxygen. Those air pockets are essential for the roots to take up oxygen, but when water is occupying all the available space, the roots are literally drowned.

Observable symptoms

– Wilting plants in wet soil. Paradoxically, one of the main symptoms that you will observe if you overwater your farm is the wilting of the crop. However, whilst the plants look wilted, the soil is still wet. In this case, you can try to rescue them by letting the soil dry and start watering from that point on, only when it is dry to the touch.

– Scars and indentations. The leaves and stems will give you a great overview of the situation. The cells that form those tissues will be responsible of maintaining the tension of the excess of water that they are receiving by expanding their dimensions and suffering great stress. But at some point, they want be able to hold it, bursting or enduring a rupture that will be visible due to the formation of white to dark scars and possibly indentations on the top of the leaves.

– Root rots. This characteristic can only be observed by uprooting a plant or part of the root structure. Apart from the asphyxiation due to the lack of oxygen, overwater plants have to deal with another struggle, which is the fungus proliferation. Wet and warm environments are ideal for fungus development, that will use not only sediments in the soil but mainly the root of the crops as organic material. They will decompose the root structures until they become totally incapable of fulfilling their transport function.


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2.    How to avoid this problem? 

In addition to the irrigation system selection, what else can you do to avoid overwatering situations?

– Adapt the watering to the season. Changes in the environment, for outdoors crops, will affect directly to the water availability. Plan a strategy to adjust the right amount of water you should get to your crops according to the season, making clear differences between the dry and wet periods of the year.

– The right moment of the day. The intensity of the sunshine can affect the water loos to evaporation and produce scorch damage. To prevent it, the best times will be the morning and late afternoon. Using the local forecast information could be helpful to make last-minute changes when required.

– New technology. Nowadays it is possible to find satellite soil moisture information. It will give you the more precise advice about your crops requirements. Make sure you keep an eye on the news that in the future we will be able to offer you from SMART Fertilizer, we never stop working in putting the best and more advanced tools for growing plants in your hands.


Still have questions regarding watering your crops? Head to the Smart Fertilizer Forum now



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