It is springtime.
You are considering a new automatic sprinkler system for your home and when you ask about using drip irrigation the contractors you have selected to give estimates have conflicting recommendations.
- Contractor (A), will never use drip irrigation and advises not to install it. This guy comes across like a curmudgeon, he has “been there done that”, and knows everything about everything.
- Contractor (B), tells you that water is so cheap that drip irrigation has no real advantage. But they will installed it if you want it.
- Contractor (C), is totally in favor of drip irrigation, and recommends a few specific areas to install it.
Every contractor has their own opinions. Some are based on fact and some are based on lack of knowledge, so let’s discuss the advantages.
Landscape plants (trees, shrubs and flowers) actually prefer the targeted and controlled application of water, that brings water directly to the roots of the plants.
What is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation is the slow and steady release of water applied directly to the soil. Overhead spray irrigation, like pop-up rotors, spray heads, or old-fashioned impact sprinklers, cover plants with water, like the rain does. Landscape plants (trees, shrubs and flowers) actually prefer the targeted and controlled application of water, that brings water directly to the roots of the plants.
Here are 5 of the MANY advantages to using drip irrigation in landscape:
1. Drip irrigation saves water
Most estimates state that between 30-70% of irrigated water applied by overhead spray heads, rotors, and oscillating sprinklers is wasted to wind, evaporation and runoff. The correct placement of drip irrigation leads to the targeted application of water, thus conserving that precious water resource.
2. Drip irrigation saves money
Because the water is applied uniformly and targeted precisely to the correct spot, no water is lost in delivery, and less evaporation takes place. This means that every drop counts…and that saves money. Remember that even if your water is “free” because it comes from a well, lake, or pond, it takes energy/power to operate the pump. Less water = lower power bill.
3. Drip irrigation prevents disease and weeds
Plants that are irrigated by dripperline tend to grow to maturity faster and have better root systems. The healthy plants make less room in the garden for weeds to grow. Because oxygenation of the root zone improves, and because there is reduced moisture on the leaves, the occurrence of disease and fungus is greatly reduced. You’ll save money on fungicide and weed control too.
4. Drip irrigation saves time
Installing drip irrigation in a garden means less time spent watering with a hose/sprinkler, and because it is low to the ground, you can still be in the garden working while plants are getting a nice drink of water.
5. Drip irrigation is flexible and customizable to your needs
No matter the type of terrain or soil you have, the flexible pipe and the innovative tools that go with it can be designed and installed to bring exactly the amount of water and nutrients to the plants that need it. Drip tubing can go up slopes, be curved around flower beds, and even be hidden by mulch or plants. Drip irrigation is easy to install and maintain, and can be moved or changed as your garden grows, making it the perfect choice landscape bedding areas of the average homeowner.