Everything You Need to Know about Drip Irrigation Systems
Drip and sprinkler irrigation systems are very different. Though they both perform the same basic function, providing water and nourishment to your lawn and garden, they deliver precious water in two very different ways. It is important to understand the differences as well as the benefits of each system.
Drip irrigation is a system that delivers water directly to the roots, or root zone, of each plant. Drip irrigation's low profile, direct application gives each plant special attention. Some benefits to using a drip irrigation system are as follows. First of all, you are less likely to lose water due to runoff, because the water is applied directly to the roots and soil. Another benefit is that you don't have to worry about water evaporation, because each drop of water from the drip is absorbed directly into the soil. Also a key perk to the drip system is that this irrigation system is the most water efficient. Not only do you save water by preventing runoff and evaporation, you also save water by directing each drop of water directly to the soil and roots.
The drip irrigation system may sound perfect but there are a few things you need to watch for, as you will with any irrigation system. With the drip system, it is easy to over-water your plants; since the system is so elusive, you may forget to turn off the irrigation from time to time. Also, make sure you regularly check your drip heads, as they can easily become clogged with dirt or debris.
A sprinkler is very different from the drip irrigation system and one that you are probably more familiar with. Sprinkler irrigation systems can mist, sprinkle, and shower water out over vegetation. This process is great, because you can visibly see which plants are being saturated and which ones are being missed.
Also, sprinkler irrigation is good because the continuous flow of water from the sprinkler head is less likely to become clogged with dirt or debris. Unlike the drip irrigation system, you do not need to worry about clogged heads – as long as your sprinkler is on, water will continue to flow. While drip irrigation can sometimes lead to over watering, visual sprinkler systems make it easier to remember to turn the irrigation off. One word of warning regarding sprinkler irrigation systems, be careful what time of day you water. Try to avoid watering your plants during the hotter times of day, especially during the summer. Watering in the heat can cause water to evaporate off the leaves of your plants, resulting in less water making it to the roots. Try to water early in the morning, or in the evening, when there is less direct sunlight.