Irrigation in warm climates

lukelukelukeSeptember 7, 2012


I am looking for some advice about irrigation in warm climates.

I've been working on a project in Northern Portugal ( since January. We have already started growing quite a lot of fruit and veg and, considering what we started with, it hasn't been too bad. The main problem we are facing is how to most efficiently water the annual veg. The fruit trees and perennials seem to establish very quickly and are quite happy being left to it with a big pile of mulch around them. We have found however that the annuals are much more thirsty (probably because of smaller/less developed root system).

We mulched all the annual beds with newspaper and then shredded bracken/leaves or whatever else we could rake up. In the UK, I've found this method to be sufficient enough to stop watering all together with most crops, once they are settled in. But Portugal is obviously much hotter, and receives less rain in the summer. Furthermore, the soil here is very sandy so it doesn't hold on to moisture for long. We are having to water the annuals quite frequently, but the mulch prevents the moisture getting into the soil, so we are throwing much more water onto it than if we had no mulch. It is currently quite inefficient. The locals use flood irrigation. They make gullies between the rows of veg and flood the whole veg bed once or twice a week (water is not in short supply here as nearly everyone has a water mine/spring). This seems like a great idea were it not for the massive soil erosion and over time it increases salt in the soil. We have also considered leaky pipe, but I've used them before and I HATE them. They cost money, they restrict access to the soil, generally get in the way and end up in a mess.

So.... Has anyone got any tips on how we can keep are annual veg well watered?

Thanks very much


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zzackey(8b GA)

The locals do flood irrigation in our neighborhood. Our neighbor build a hugel this year. Please google hugel! She had never gardened before and grew some awesome veggies and flowers. Really pushed the season on alot of cool weather plants.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 7:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
grant for permaculture enterprises app due Jan 14, 2015
As you may know, for the last year, our company TGI...
Florida Permaculture Design Course 2015
March 16-27, 2015 At Kashi Ashram, 11155 Roseland Road,...
Compost Water Heated Greenhouse
Just spent a minute modifying my compost water heater...
Wild Grapes with Black Rot
So, on the margin of my back yard I have some wild,...
Urban permaculture home for sale - Portland, OR
Have worked to make the yard around our beautiful home...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™