Saving water, not worrying about water restrictions and having a healthier lawn; you could have all of this with just a simple drip irrigation system!
Drip irrigation has long been a fixture in the commercial agriculture community due to its extreme efficiency with water. Slowly delivering water directly to the ground, and therefore to the plants’ roots, drastically cuts the amount of water lost due to evaporation and gives the soil a better chance to absorb the water. Some studies even show drip irrigation can cut outdoor water needs by up to 70 percent!
But what exactly is drip irrigation? In a nutshell, it’s the application of water directly to the soil where your plants’ roots need it most. Drip irrigation really isn’t that complex, although it does require a decent amount of equipment to get the pressure correct and keep sediment out of the fine holes in the tubing. Let’s look over exactly what goes into a drip irrigation system.
First, you’ll want to buy a timer if you’re using your outdoor spigot. This will help ensure that your garden and trees are getting the correct amount of water even when you aren’t home. You’ll then want to attach some sort of diverter, such as a T or Y hose so that you can continue using your hose.
Next you’ll need to get a pressure regulator. Drip irrigation systems are centered around the fact that they don’t need to use high pressure water as they literally drip water onto the soil. Most households’ water pressure is far too high, therefore the need for a pressure regulator. To the pressure regulator you should then add a filter. Water is delivered to the soil through tiny holes in the tubing which could get clogged due to the sediment in the water. A filter with a mesh of 120 to 150 should be perfect.
As for the water emitter, you’ll have your choice from drip tape, drip circles or emitter tubing. Drip tape is great for raised garden beds or if your garden is planted in rows. Drip circles are ideal for trees. You’ll want to place your drip circles at your tree’s drip line. To figure out where your drip line is, imagine your tree’s foliage as a giant umbrella. A circle around your tree where the foliage/umbrella ends is your tree’s drip line. Your last option is the emitter tubing which is the best bet for landscaped beds as it can bend to the shape of the bed and even curl around plants.
If you would like help designing the perfect drip irrigation system or would like some help installing a drip irrigation system, give the Certified Irrigation Specialists at Complete Landsculpture a call.
By: Wylee Wooldridge