Suggestions on Ways to control water given to the plants

I am looking at ways to control the water given to my 9 - 12 months Guava / Mango Plants.Our water has more salt content and current watering practice is leading to leaf scorching and in the process we are loosing some plants

I have looked at option of using water meters and this calls for an investment of  about Rs 60,000 to monitor the water given to 6 plots.(Kranti water meter around Rs 9,000) I feel this investment is on higher side and at the same time, i am not sure of how well these water meters work.

Someone suggested me to use Tensiometer to measure the soil moisture and control the water supplied. However, calibration of tensiometer and measuring the soil moisture looked too cumbersome for the people working in the farm.

I have seen some soil moisture Meters on ebay & Amazon. They seems to be more suitable for gardens and not for agriculture purpose. 

I am not looking for fully automated systems as they don’t fit into my budget.

Is anyone using Soil moisture meters / water meters to control the water? Can you share your experience and suggestions? 

I suggest you to follow what Bhaskar Save did to his farm.  His method is called “Platform & Trench Method” and this is mainly for Horticulture crops.

Bhaskar Save has used the system of trenching and the water is provided in this trench either by Drip or Flood Irrigation only in the trenches.  He placed crotons on both sides of the trenches.  Whenever the crotons are drooping, he knows that it needs to be watered.

Please note even in this trenches, you can put lot of dry leaves and this helps in providing minimum water to the plants indirectly as the moisture is intact under these dry leaves.

Hope this solution works for you.  Let me know if you have any doubts.

You can search for "Bhaskar Save"s video in YouTube to understand better.

Regards
Padmanabhan Ganesan
agricultureforeverybody.blogspot.com

Solution :
1)To reduce salt content and to eliminate leaf scorching, the best option is to energise the water by installing hydroenergiser and it also increases the yield and reduces water consumption.
Links:

2)A recent startup is installing irrigation system based on the moisture in a cost effective way. The company is flybird innovations

Link:

By adopting the above solution you can achieve better productivity in a cost effective way.

Thank you Mr. Padmanabhan & Mr. Mpk.
Since i am not following trench system , i may not be able to implement this.I did look at both flybird innovations product & Magnetic water treatment during the recent Agri expo at bangalore

while flybird innovation has good product to address my current issue, it require good amount of investment and is beyond my current budget.  As regard to CrystalBlue.IND, i am not convinced of softening hard water by Magnetic Water Treatment.

Is there a simple way to measure the soil moisture by using a meter / instruments that can help farm worker decide the water to be given or stopped?

Hi Srinivas,

Please check if this helps

This is an article published in The Hindu news paper

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COIMBATORE, JANUARY 20: 
Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, has launched a device that will aid farmers assess the soil moisture level in fields.

Aptly coined “Soil Moisture Indicator”, this electronic device – designed and developed with active participation of farmers and sugar factory personnel – has sensor rods that will need to be inserted into the soil to a required depth to assess soil moisture, explained Bakshi Ram, Director of the institute.

“The indicator, fitted with an LED, will highlight the moisture content in the soil. It can be used in farmers’ field as also in potted plants, the SBI Director said. The institute has registered four designs of SMI.

Tech Source Solutions, a Bengaluru-based firm has entered into a license agreement with the institute for marketing this patent-pending product.

Priced at ₹1,200, the indicator, said Ram, “will facilitate irrigation scheduling (particularly in sugarcane fields)”.

The effort is aimed at efficient use of water, which is becoming a scarce resource, he added.

thehindubusinessline.com/eco … 130717.ece

Please not that I have not checked or bought this device

Thanks

Venu Kulkarni

Thank you Mr. Venu. Let me try this

Mr.Sreeniwasji,

The suggestion of Mr. Padmanabhan is an excellent one. I have seen this working to optimum advantage at Bhaskar Save’s farm & at the large Vrundavan Farm of Ashok Sanghvi which was created by Saveji in Umbargaon. The trenches may be 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide between the two rows of trees where the canopy of the trees end. The roots which are close to the end of the canopy absorb water and other nutrients for the tree. The roots close to the trunk are for firmly holding the trees rooted to the earth. The ring method of watering and providing fertilisers is not a proper method. This way you will have only 1 trench between 2 rows. All the litter from the trees need to be put in the trench to mulch, decay & become manure for the trees. This will also absorb the overnight dew to maintain moisture in the soil & effectively reduce irrigation requirements. I suppose this will take you closer to a natural method mimicking a forest where nature alone does all the work which no human can entirely replicate.

K S Raj