"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. But against the hard and the strong, nothing outdoes it." - Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Almost everyone knows that if plants don't get enough water they die. Most people also know that too much water can also kill plants. Most people don't know though that how fast plants get water is also an important factor.
The slower you water, the deeper it goes. The deeper the water goes, the deeper the roots go. The deeper the roots go, the more access plants have to moisture and nutrients, the stronger and more healthy they are, and the more resistant to high winds, drought, and pests. Flood irrigation is probably the worst way to water, then would come sprinkler systems, then drip irrigation, then auto-sensing drip methods like Blumat watering systems, then expensive and complicated computer controlled programs.
In some ways, taking care of plants is like tuning a guitar. Like finding the harmony between too sharp and too flat, watering is finding the harmony between too wet and too dry. Everyone has had that moment of doubt, "did I water too much?" or "Is there enough water?" Most can recall a time or two when they damaged the health of one of their plants through an overzealous watering schedule or simply forgetfulness. Few however, recognize the current epidemic of ongoing, low-level overwatering. Mild over-watering is hard to detect. It doesn’t necessarily cause leaf droop and often presents no outward signs but dramatically decreases plant health and yields.
Here's a simple, inexpensive product anyone could use to create more Slow Water, a Gravity Irrigation Kit.