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Drainage  [ Agronomy - Horticulture ]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

Adjective: Draining
  The natural or artificial removal of water excesses over and through the soil.  
Drainage is an essential factor in plant cultivation. While all plants need adequate water, few will thrive if water congregates around their roots.

Drainage of land soils:
Drainage is the removal of surface water and/or ground water excess from a given area by the use of artificial or natural means, such that freely moving water can drain, under gravity, through the soil by runoff or flow downward to underground spaces. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies.
The rate of water that moves freely through a soil depends on soil composition and structure, a compacted soil has poor drainage whereas a sandy or gravely soil (can't be compacted) has rapid drainage. Soils with high clay content should be heavily amended to provide drainage.
The process of transporting surface water over a land area by means of ditches to a river, lake or ocean is called “surface drainage”, while the removal of water from a soil using drain (buried pipelines) that are regularly spaced and perforated is called “subsurface drainage”.

Drainage in pot culture:
The drainage in pot plant culture is very important, if the pot provides inadequate drainage, a plant can literally drown in water. Inadequate drainage also leaves plants susceptible to other dangerous conditions, such as Crown Rot and Root Rot.
The excess of moisture in the soil probably indicates that the pot is not draining properly. If left uncorrected, a pot with inadequate drainage will almost certainly be detrimental or fatal to the plant.
Insufficient drainage may be the result of a number of causes:
 •  It may be that the pot has no drainage holes at all, or they are simply too small.
 •  Alternatively, there may be something obstructing the holes so that water cannot get out.
 •  The cultivation pot or container is too large
 •  The potting-medium is too heavy or compact
 •  The potting-medium contain an excessive percentage of organic material that absorb and hold moisture.
How to provide and improve adequate drainage and aeration in potting soil:
 •  The pot must have one or more adequately large holes in the bottom.
 •  Make sure the pot is not too large.
 •  A standard practice in gardening is to line the bottom of the container with gravel and/or broken pottery (bits of broken flower pots). This permits to keep the soil in the pot, permitting to cover the hole so that the soil stays in, but water can drain out and air can get in.
 •  Use a good potting soil designed with ingredients that improve soil aeration and drainage, but also capable of sufficient water and nutrient retention. This potting soil contains in different percentage material as vermiculite, bark, perlite, expanded polystyrene and granular volcanic rock, that improve the porosity (for root aeration and water drainage) and resist compaction, but they tend to dry out quickly.
Drain [ Agronomy - Horticulture]
  A means, whether natural or otherwise, by which water is allowed to flow off a properly as a pipe through which liquid is carried away.  
  • In horticulture: a drain may be an underground buried slotted or perforated pipe or other conduit (subsurface drain) or a ditch (open drain) for carrying off surplus groundwater or surface water in a drainage system
  • In Surgery and  dendrosurgery: a drain is a  tube inserted into a body cavity (as during surgery) to remove unwanted liquid material
To drain [ Verb ]
Transitive To draw of a liquid by something allowing liquid to run out of it by a gradual process or completely.  
Intransitive To flow off gradually  
Drainage basin 
Synonyms: Catchment basin.
  The entire area drained by a river and all its tributaries; a small valley .  
The land area that contributes all of the water to a river or lake system or directly to the ocean, including tributary rivers, streams, sloughs, ponds and lakes that contribute to the water supply of the watershed; also referred to as a catchment basin.




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