Drip Irrigation: Use Water Wisely
Drip irrigation means efficient garden water use and results in savings in water, time, and expense. Avoid wasting water.
At a time when water is in increasing demand, it is important to water your garden with conservation in mind if you garden in a region with a deep aquifer
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732″
Conserve Fossil Water
Garden irrigation is a fact of life around the world. Few gardeners are fortunate enough to live where rain provides enough water to raise a crop. The rest of us must rely on irrigation to water our gardens.
When water from a deep well is used for irrigation, the source of the water is fossil water. That is water from a deep underground aquifer. Here in the Arizona desert, we depend on water from a 650′ deep well. It would take many lifetimes to recharge the overuse of this water source.
Fossil water is often isolated from rain and surface water by many strata of rock and can take thousands of years to replenish. For all practical purposes, this water is a non-renewable resource and every effort must be made to conserve it.
To prevent unnecessary depletion of the water in our aquifer, we try to use our irrigation water wisely. Through an efficient drip irrigation system design, we can get the most “bang for the buck” out of our irrigation water.
We use drip irrigation exclusively to minimize water loss through evaporation such as is the case with any overhead or sprinkler watering. Water is introduced directly into the soil and does not pass through the air first.
Level Beds for Even Watering
Over the past year or so, we have converted most of our garden to raised beds. One important factor was the equal distribution of water throughout the garden bed. Our land is on a slope and, naturally, so is our garden. We originally bermed our garden beds to retain water but found that water distribution was unequal. Even with drip irrigation, the upslope plants were thirsty while the downslope plants had wet feet.
With raised and leveled beds, we can provide evenly distributed water for all the plants in the bed. We use less water and avoid either over or under-watering.
Container Gardening and Backyard Gardens
For watering container gardens, you will probably be just fine with a sprinkler can or soft spraying hose nozzle. Keep in mind, watering regularly and applying sufficient water is important to your garden, big or small.
Backyard watering systems can be designed simply and efficiently. We suggest attaching a splitter on a backyard spigot to retain access to your garden hose. On one side of the splitter, install a pressure regulator and a connector from pipe thread to black plastic 1/2” hose. From the connector, run your irrigation hose to your garden and distribute to water through 1/4″ perforated drip hose.
Remember, there is no one “right way” to design a system. Just keep in mind that the purpose of irrigation is to water your garden. You can create an elaborate, often expensive, system or choose effective and economical irrigating.
The principle is simple. Get sufficient water to your plants in the most efficient way possible. Regular watering is important for good results. Make sure that your watering is deep enough to get to the bottom of the roots.
Note: Over-watering is to be avoided as much as not giving your plants enough water. Few plants thrive in saturated soil. They don’t like “wet feet” any more than you do.
Using water, surface, or fossil is an inescapable part of gardening. Watering is also participating in the consumption of an essential resource.
Traditionally garden plants are watered based on soil moisture when the soil feels dry we water thoroughly. This drench and dry method can subject plants to unseen stresses that have very visual results. Delay in flowering to poor vegetable performance can be attributed to watering practices.
A much better approach is to maintain soil moisture by slow and steady water delivery. An easy way to do this is by using micro-irrigation (also called drip or trickle irrigation). By keeping the root zone moist the plants are not stressed and the homeowner can use up to 70% less water compared to using overhead sprinklers.
Micro-irrigation systems supply water to the plants and not the surrounding area through the use of emitters. The emitters regulate the amount of water being applied, usually measured in gallons per hour (gph). These come in different rates from ½ gph to 10 gph and their use is based on the water needs of a particular plant. If you grow plants in containers micro-irrigation is a very effective method of watering.
Soaker hoses are another effective method of micro-irrigation. Sometimes called soaker hoses they come in two types, leaky pipe, and drip hose, or tape. Leaky pipe sweats along its entire length and delivers from ½ to ¾ gallons/minute for each 100-foot section. Drip hose actually has emitters built into the pipe (at pre-determined spacing) and delivers water at set rates. Both are effective at watering vegetable or flower gardens.
If you have an existing irrigation system using sprinklers, conversion kits are available to convert to micro-irrigation.
Micro-irrigation systems are easy to install and the best way to get started is to buy a starter kit. These kits (containing tubing, emitters, timers, and tools) are available at most home improvement stores and garden centers and are easy to add additional tubing and emitters
We can live without oil, but we can’t live without water. Use water wisely
Drip Irrigation for Efficient Gardening
Really it is an amazing kind of plan of technology to lessen the use of irrigation water to the lowest level and soak water droplets down to the roots of plants which helps to reduce fertilizer requirements. The method works in theory as the use of a minimum amount of water at the root of a number of plants. The plants are provided with water and are not allowed any type of lack or excess of water. The method is installed on farmland. If proper guidelines are offered to farmers in a successful way then they can easily reap the benefit of the system. It will ensure the economic competence of water irrigation. It will also save costs for labor and compost.
It is needed to take the landscape of the field into an account. The climatic changes occur on a regular basis. A micro-irrigation system is appropriate for the cultivation of different fruits and vegetables such as plantations of tea and flowers. Such an astonishing system of irrigation is considered in various parts of the world including North Asia, Europe, America, and Africa.
The process of drip irrigation is preferable as high yields are high after a year relative to cost. Valuable water is stored up to 3/4th of the amount formerly required to irrigate a similar part of the country. Here the crop matures at over time with no imperfections. Fertilizer is radically lessened by a quarter. This process is undeniably a priceless asset to the irrigation method in regions where water resources are limited and provides an immense chance to produce enhanced harvests every year.