Watering With Sand

Written by Nikos Lynch on Friday, 02 March 2012. Posted in Terra Bella News

Watering With Sand
Soil has an interesting component in that water within it will travel in all directions especially up through what is called capillary rise. This allows water to be distributed to plant roots. This can be further enhanced by using a clean sand, mostly free of silt. This way there is more adhesion of water between the sand particles.
In a given zone of soil, lets say 12” thick, the water will be more concentrated at the bottom, and drier towards the top. This allows plants with different watering characteristics to be planted alongside each other. The reason for this is that we have found plants will send their roots to the type of water level they prefer if given the option.

There are 2 important factors in controlling this kind of environment: one is to have the planted area lined at the bottom so collected water does not run away. The other is to aerate the soil (usually mechanically) so the plants can stay healthy. Aerating the soil can be done by turning on a small 1/16 horsepower fountain pump to allow water to flow through the sand profile for a period of time each week, but we have found that with shallow rooted plants this does not seem to be necessary.

Benefits of this type of watering include catchment of the water for use directly to the plant material, the potential to use effluent or graywater, and a drastic water savings over conventional irrigation.

For more information: http://www.resisolutions.com/technology/epic.html

About the Author

Nikos Lynch

Nikos Lynch

Nikos Lynch is the owner of Terra Bella Landscaping and has been providing clients with expert Santa Cruz landscape and gardening service since 1997.

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