Last Updated on August 24, 2022 by Brian Beck
Water is a pretty hot topic that is talked about a lot, usually without enthusiasm. Water is expensive and not a lot of people realize what water is really for or have a proper watering technique. This is compounded by a misunderstanding about soil composition, compaction (or the cause of it), thatch levels, and transpiration rates (how a plant breathes and uses water) and the need for water outside of the growing season. Needles to say there is a lot of confusion, so let’s simplify that. Water is simply a means of carrying nutrients through the plant to facilitate growth and repair to all of the cell, just like in the human body, blood carries nourishment to the cells so that they can live. One of the biggest obstacles is not a lot of people water deep enough to get the water to the roots to begin with and there are a lot of barriers preventing it from getting there (thatch, compaction, soil type). What we see the most is that people are watering in a shallow manner which only gets an inch or two into the soil. This causes the roots to grow upward rather than down and most of this water is evaporated before it ever gets into the plant. Also, because of the inorganic nature of the soil, there is no reason for the roots to go down as there is no carbon and subsequently there are no microbes to protect and feed the roots. Also, because of the low organic material level in the soil, the soil has a very low capacity to hold water. The bottom line is that the average person is probably wasting anywhere between 20 and 50% of their water. We can do better. With modern irrigation technology, our biological system and automated mowing we are changing this paradigm. The more carbon however that you can get into the soil the better off you are going to be.