- Topic 1
Water is essentially significant for life and landscape. It is the basic building block of life and all organisms, from the most primitive to the very advanced animals. Water determines the quality of the landscape. Along with the temperature, the availability of water is an abiotic factor affecting organisms and vegetation. Important processes take place in water and it serves as a solution agent.
Water is also essential for the formation of the land relief, it affects atmosphere and forms habitats. In general, the landscape with fewer water areas heats up more quickly. Their absence thus may lead to the extreme climatic changes. The ability to retain water is also one of the very important landscape-forming factors.
Water is an essential prerequisite of life. The human body contains approximately 70% of water. Plants contain up to 90% of water. The water cycle begins with the rainfall with more than 50% evaporating again, 10 – 20% draining to rivers, seas and oceans and less than 10% soaking in groundwater.
The loss of water in the landscape is linked with the reduction of fertility of agricultural land. Agricultural lands cease to exist due to desertification, urbanization, mining, erosion or other activities.
Human activities do not always have to mean only the contamination of water sources, but also interventions in the water regime in the landscape may present a number of negative impacts. In past years, drainage of wetlands has started, and straightening of river flows, backfilling of blind stream branches or land reclamation meant the land’s loss of ability to retain and absorb water into the soil. There was a rapid run-off of the water from the landscape and reduced self-cleaning ability, there were storm rainfalls causing floods.
- Topic 2
Natural sources of waterNatural water habitats are places where water retains. These places can convert to dry habitats throughout the year and due to climatic conditions. Although some water sources can be of short term, they have irreplaceable importance for the landscape. They provide moisture and water reservoir for the surrounding, implicating the long-term behavior of the landscape and preservation of many fauna and flora species.
- Topic 3
Practical advice how to retain water in the landscape and in the garden:
1. Planting the proper plants
Plant only xerophil vegetation on dry places, and hygrophil plants on wet areas.
Retain current moisture in the soil. The most effective way is mulching. Mulch is a thick layer of any organic material at the soil surface that allows water to soak, but prevents evaporation, makes shade for roots and provides excellent climate for the soil microflora necessary for improvement of the physiological properties of your soil.
3. Collection of rain water
We can collect the rain water in barrels, tanks or other collection containers using pipes or gutter. We can also let the water to soak and remain in the soil. We can create terraces on slopes that enable longer soaking of water and prevent its drainage.
4. Use of humus
Quality soil, rich in humus, can hold more moisture even during the drought than the soil without any organic matter.
Reportedly, 3 liters of quality dry soil can soak one liter of water, which means that 30 cm layer of soil rich in organic matter spread in the garden holds for example as much water as the 7.5 cm deep lake of the same area.
It is therefore more economical to retain water in soil than built basins or buy it from the water supply utility line.
5. Dense planting
Plant your vegetation (perennials, shrubs, trees, vegetable) in the way they fully shade the surface of the soil when grown – or even earlier. (You can facilitate this by creating tiers.) The shade will prevent the sun to evaporate the moisture. Shaded soil is cold and evaporation reduces up by 60%.
We facilitate the retention of water with higher lawn or pasture grass, shade the soil and prevent excessive evaporation.
You can either bury needless wood or logs directly deep beneath the plants you want to keep in good condition thanks to greater moisture without watering, or you can leave the wood on surface and use it to create various supporting mounds filled with dirt, separate beds, embed it partially etc. Let your imagination run wild in utilizing the whole disassemble old barn, if you like.
Of course, wood for these purposes cannot be chemically treated, impregnated with waste oil or varnished.
Never use old railway ties preserved with very harmful chemicals.
Another option is to use branches for providing more moisture to plants. Rotting wood on which no sunlight comes has a great ability to absorb water. We can thus add pieces of wood when planting. Wood must not be chemically treated.