soil warming

kata

Re: soil warming

Post by kata » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:00 am

I have the combi boiler Hoops,

With so much rain (just got my water bill) I believe the soil will still be cold for many a week yet.

I wanted since monday to weed the borders but they are mud.

:( :(

Hoops

Re: soil warming

Post by Hoops » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:29 am

Thanks Mouse i got something right then , for a change icon_sunny

Kata yes its very wet here.........did you see the Gazania i found for you, hope its the right one. icon_cheers icon_cheers

kata

Re: soil warming

Post by kata » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:20 pm

Going over 'there' this afternoon Hoops...many thanks.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

mumfie

Re: soil warming

Post by mumfie » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:32 pm

similarly electric showers work better when there's warmth underground. mine's crappe in the winter: like it's prostate's knackered!

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Dave Brown
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Re: soil warming

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:11 pm

I agree the electric showers, unless thermostatically controlled, are a good indicator of soil temp at about 2 feet depth. In December mine was up to the first red marker, now it is 2 into the blue. As the soil warms up you have to reduce the shower setting.

One thing I have found this winter is that if the ground becomes insulated, in my case by 13" of snow, the 4"(10cm) soil temp rises as it is warmed from below. In normal winter temps the 4" is between 2 and 4C, but it rose to near 5C when it was really cold but snow covered. The 12" (30cm) level is around 5 to 8C over winter, this remained pretty much the same in the cold snowy weather. From this insulating in late winter will raise the soil temps even without sun, but once we get beyond mid march the sun has more affect. :wink:
Best regards
Dave
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GREVILLE

Re: soil warming

Post by GREVILLE » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:52 pm

I got into hot water twenty years ago when I first embarked on a major plant-up in the garden to plant out some of the exotics I'd been collecting. These had always been watered with warm water while standing in the greenhouse or patio. It seemed the logical thing to continue the same treatment once planted in the ground to help them establish quickly. At the same time I began to give warm water and occasional liquid feed to the few exotics already planted in previous years.

I've continued to do this ever since, usually starting in April and tapering off its use on some plants after midsummer.
About fifteen years ago I began to experiment and record the results on individual plants, mostly palms, with a view to eventually producing an article or series of articles in the EPS journal - Chamaerops. As with other attempted submissions I never found time to finish them. I'm going to dig out my old handwritten notes and put some information on this thread.
So, watch this space :><:

kata

Re: soil warming

Post by kata » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:28 pm

My shower will demolish everything in sight if its head is facing wrong way.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

But then my water bill came and for £7.00 a week it better be good and stay good pressure.

:(

GREVILLE

Re: soil warming

Post by GREVILLE » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:51 am

The information Dave has given about soil temperature rang true in my case when checking the figures for my soil borders.

Adding warm water twice weekly from April kept the temperatures anything from 2-7c higher than neighbouring areas not watered at all. This effect was diminished when only watering this way just once a week.

It must be said that this method has such success because other temperature raising techniques are practiced. In my case this involves reliance on raised beds. I live on a hill with the garden sloping down to the south-west. Three sides of the house have soil borders against them. They all either slope down from the house or raised and supported. These beds therefore dry out and drain quickly, but also warm up naturally fast in spring.

Mr List

Re: soil warming

Post by Mr List » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:25 am

and you live in london.

GREVILLE

Re: soil warming

Post by GREVILLE » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:19 am

London certainly helps with warm soil although I'm well away from the urban heat island. Surrounded by green space and remnants of the ancient 'Great North Wood' I'm almost rural, but at 300 feet above sea level I have good cold air drainage. In a cluster of large victorian houses with some well-placed big trees, I have some excellent microclimates.

Records from an old weather station exactly one mile from here show this to be the sunniest place in London. High sunshine totals in spring, especially on days with little wind really cook my most sheltered borders.

With these advantages, adding warm water from April onwards becomes a must as I probably cool the soil down in my hottest spots even this early in the season. At this time of year I would never dream of using cold water for the plants still in the greenhouse so those exotics planted outside get the same treatment.

Initially I start with spot watering from a can twice weekly. If a sustained fall of cold spring rain occurs I try to repeat this soon after to counteract the drop in soil temperature this creates. By May, I now connect the hose to the hot tap and give all the exotics a generous drenching. It takes about ten minutes to do this twice a week. Extravagant? Hey, I spend more time in the shower :lol:

In summer heatwaves I'll run to a third watering per week and usually in the early morning. The temperature of the water has risen from around 35c in spring to about 40c in summer.

Included with this watering regime is a weekly liquid feed. I fill up a standard 80 litre dustbin with hot water and the appropriate amount of feed and all the exotics are spot watered. Half-empty, the feed mix is topped up with more hot water to feed anything that only needs half-strength food.


If this is a lot of work its my favourite gardening pastime. I am bonding with my beauties as they lap up this loving treatment. It's like sharing a warm bath with your loved one :lol: :lol: :lol:

I must compose myself now while I draft up the results I gathered from trialling this on my palms. I'll put the information on a series of posts for this thread.

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Re: soil warming

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:04 pm

Although many don't go to your lengths, in the SE this bonding with plants while spending the hours per week watering is quite common. :wink:
Best regards
Dave
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GREVILLE

Re: soil warming

Post by GREVILLE » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:56 am

I'll paraphrase some relevant information from my notes compiled more than ten years ago on giving warm water to my palms.

I'll begin with my north-west facing house border as this is the most shaded area I have, my house rising on three floors and tall Amelanchier, Paulownia and Schefflera Arboricola (from south island New Zealand) providing overhead canopy. The sun only reaches the back of this border mid to late afternoon with good summer evening sunshine. This soil bed is the last to warm up.

Livistona Australis: Purchased 1992 3litre pot, 3 adult leaves after juvenile.
Patio plant in same pot till 1995 and planted in this border making one to two new leaves per year.
1995: Watered with 33c April and May, 35c-40c June to August. No Liquid feed - Two leaves, one spear.
1996: Watered as above. Liquid feed half strength weekly June and July. - Two leaves, one spear.
1997: Protected with blanket during winter freeze- no damage. No warm water and feed this year. Cold water applied twice in dry spells in summer. - One leaf and one spear.
1998: Warm water and liquid feed as above. Five leaves, one spear.
1999; Warm water and liquid feed as above. Spear opens fully before March is out. Six leaves opening till the late Autumn
2000: No water or feed. Two leaves, one spear.
2001: Warm water and liquid feed as above. Five leaves and two spears

This treatment has continued to the present. Root competition from other plants has slowed down the number of leaves to three a year but they remain as large and healthy as ever. It currently stands eight feet tall and receives no protection in winter.

The above results show that this palm responds well to a warm bath. It was significant that in the years when no warm water was given the first full leaf did not open till July. With warm water this has usually happened before May is out.

I'll put the results from my two Chamaedorea palms grown in this border on my next post.

GREVILLE

Re: soil warming

Post by GREVILLE » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:15 am

Chamaedorea Radicalis.
Planted 1996 near front of north-west facing border. This was more clear from the overhead canopy and the building and received sunlight earlier than Livistona.
The roots had not filled the 3litre pot when planted out as compost fell away easily. The palm sulked for two years.

1996: Warm water only twice weekly. Two existing pinnate leaves and one spear failed to move all season.
1997: Warm water and weekly liquid feed at half-strength. One spear opened after midsummer. Just visible new spear in autumn. Palm survived 1997 10day freeze with blanket protection unscathed
1998: Watered and fed as above. Noticed a small sucker at the bottom. This must have germinated unseen around the time of purchase as I understood that these plants don't sucker. Three new leaves and one spear on older plant. No new growth on 'sucker'
1999: No warm water treatment. One leaf and one spear on older plant. One juvenile leaf on 'sucker'.
2000: Warm water and feed. Four leaves and one spear on older plant. Two new juvenile leaves replace existing leaves which die on 'sucker'
2001: No warm water treatment and feed. One new leaf and one spear on older plant. No visible new growth on 'sucker'.

The following years saw this plant swamped by a Photinia and the dreaded Sasa palmata and clearly struggled to survive. In Spring 2009 I purged the border of as much Sasa runners as I could and the older C.radicalis had disappeared :shock: I never even found any dead evidence of its existence. The small plant was still there with just a few juvenile leaves barely bigger than the ones produced ten years previously.
This was dug up and potted and produced its first pinnate leaf last summer. This has been my slowest palm.

Warmed soil for this palm took a while to take effect as it clearly checked when first planted. The treatment appears to have had a more limited effect to growth than the heat-loving Livistona nearby.

Next up; Chamaedorea Microspadix, given rather different treatment than its cousin.

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Re: soil warming

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:58 am

Fascinating stuff....

GREVILLE

Re: soil warming

Post by GREVILLE » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:27 am

Chamaedorea microspadix.
Purchased 1996 as double-stemmed young plant standing one metre high in its 7.5litre pot. After the problem with falling compost from C. Radicalis I decided against planting it out and stood it in a shallow drip tray at the back of my NW house border. This was its intended permanant site.

1996: Warm water weekly and weak liquid feed monthly. Having to empty the drip tray proved a problem as I frequently forgot and it was standing in water half the time!
One leaf and one spear on each plant.
1997: Overwintered in greenhouse. Roots have still not filled pot. Pot-planted to half its depth in same site. Only watered monthly till June then weeklly thereafter. Liquid feed monthly.
Two leaves each and one spear (One twice the length of the other) Lifted to greenhouse December as no roots had penetrated the soil.
1998: Pot planted to half its depth midsummer as roots have finally filled pot. Warm water and liquid feed at half strength weekly all season. Four leaves and one spear on each plant. New shoot at base discovered to start a third stem when returning plant to greenhouse for the winter. Leaf and spear movement started very early and finished late this year yet the roots had not penetrated the soil. Good growth due to being potbound?
1999:Pot planted as above. Warm water and liquid feed as above. Two main stems two leaves and one spear each. (irritatingly they are the same height. Vigorous growth on new stem-3 juvenile leaves and 1 pinnate.Some penetration of root. Cut this away when returning to greenhouse for the winter.
2000: Abandoned intended planting and repotted as container plant to stand on garden steps next to original site. Fatsia Japonica has now swamped the area where it was supposed to grow.

Warm water seemed to serve this well for at least one season. It remains as a tub specimen with three stems at eight,seven and four feet respectively.

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