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Soil Water Content

The GROW Observatory is developing an online tool that can be used by growers of any scale to learn more about the availability of water in their soil.

The visualisation will show when plants will have too much or not enough water, and can help growers decide which crops to plant, and when to plant. Available water content is the water available for plants to draw from the soil. This is derived from moisture levels in combination with other data such as soil texture.

Information on available soil water content is combined with data from the GROW Edible Plant Database in crop and planting recommendations.

As a grower, you can use the tool simply by providing your location, even if you do not use the GROW sensors or other equipment.

A graph of water content provides one layer of information in the tool

The visualisation is developed first with historical data, and could be enhanced by sensor data in the future.

How can this information be used?

The visualisation is for farmers and growers to discover:

  • Their bioclimatic region and what this means for their soil and their plants
  • Rainfall and temperature across the year in their location (as an average and for specific years)
  • The water in their soil that is available for plants to use each month across the year
  • Knowledge about when their soil is storing water and when the stored water is being drawn from the soil, potentially leading to a shortage
  • Which crops are most likely to grow well in these conditions
  • Recommended planting and harvesting dates for particular crops

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Updated on 22nd March 2019