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Jaap’s thoughts on irrigation 

Jaap’s thoughts on irrigation 

For professional growers.

Water is important to a plant in 3 ways: 1. To drink; 2. To transport of nutrients; 3. The tool for the grower to manipulate the development of roots.

  1. Is clear and simple, but remember that the amount of water you make available is not in the volume of each gift but in the frequency.
  2. Roots can only feed on what is soluble and therefor available in water.
  3. Roots grow where you send them by following the water. So decide for yourself where you want your roots and make an irrigation plan that directs them there.


Roots can only drink if they can breathe at the same time; like we cannot drink with our heads underwater. So giving too much water stops the plants from drinking, so giving less water can make more available. If they cannot drink, you might lose nutrients as a result of overirrigation. It is important to realise that the amount of water decides how deep you send the roots in to the soil and how often you give is how much they can drink and eat.

When you overirrigate your plants will become lazy, weak and sensitive to stress and diseases whereas a plant that has had too little water will develop a bigger root and become stronger and tougher. The first is very difficult to rectify whilst the later just needs a bit more water.
So when in doubt about irrigating don’t irrigate. Only irrigate when you are sure it is needed, read your crop and use the available tools like tensio meters to decide when to give water or not.

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