When it comes to gardening, there are three main ways to water the plants -- sprinklers, hand watering or drip irrigation. Hand watering can be time-consuming, so people often resort to either sprinkler systems or drip irrigation. Drip irrigation has a number of advantages over sprinkler systems.
Less Wasted Water
Plants tend to need watering the most when it's hot and sunny, but this is also the type of weather that leads to a lot of water evaporation. With drip irrigation, the system is often covered by mulch, so the water gets to the roots quickly and doesn't get evaporated by the sun. With sprinkler systems, on the other hand, as much as 80 percent of the water can be evaporated on hot days, limiting the amount that actually reaches the plants that need watering. Because of the minimal use of water and 90 percent efficiency, drip irrigation systems are sometimes considered exempt from water restrictions during times of drought.
A sprinkler tends to throw water all around the plants, meaning that some of the water ends up on walkways, hitting the house, on fences or other places where the water isn't needed. This can cause an increase in mold and mildew on some surfaces and encourage the growth of weeds in areas where there aren't other plants. Also, the sprinkler water hits the leaves as well as the base of the plant, and wet leaves can increase the risk for plant disease. A drip irrigation system is set up so that it drips water right near the base of the plants that need it, with drips occurring by each individual plant rather than over a wide area, helping to eliminate these problems. Because they don't throw water over a wide area, these systems can work better than sprinklers in oddly-shaped or narrow gardens.
Plants tend to grow better with drip irrigation because it gives a better water to air balance in the soil and involves a steady application of just the right amount of water if the system is properly set up. A sprinkler often makes it so the soil alternates between being too wet and too dry. The effects of drip irrigation are further improved when mulch is applied over the drip hoses. The mulch will also help keep the drip system from becoming damaged by UV light so the hoses last longer.
Because a drip irrigation system is a little more involved than just hooking up a sprinkler and turning on the water, it does require some maintenance. Plants won't grow well if there's a clog that limits the water that reaches them. Hiring a company to come perform drip irrigation service at regular intervals can help with this. The most important times are at the beginning and the end of the growing season, as the system needs to be flushed out, cleaned and checked for problems before use and then winterized at the end of the season to limit the risk of it becoming damaged by cold weather. Not properly installing the system can be a problem and lead to decreased plant growth, so it may be beneficial to have someone familiar with these systems help design yours.
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11 May 2017
When my husband and I bought our house years ago, we thought it would be our "starter" home and we would move in a few years. We soon had two children, and we then decided against moving since we live in a great school district and we love our neighbors. However, I was growing very tired of the appearance of our home. We painted it a different color, and it still seemed like the "same old house" that we were tired of. We finally deciding that maybe good landscaping would "do the trick" and make our home more enjoyable to use again. We were right, and I now love our home! I now love spending time in our yard and just enjoying the scenery. I have such a passion for landscaping now I decided to create a blog about it. I plan to share many landscaping tips, so come back!