Is Drip Irrigation Right for your Garden?

Before deciding if drip irrigation is right for your garden, it's important to have a working understanding of drip irrigation.

Drip irrigation is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of a plant. The water can be applied on the soil surface or it can go directly onto the root zone through a network of valves. This type of irrigation delivers water slowly and steadily onto plant roots.

So is drip irrigation right for your garden? If you worry about the right amount of water for your garden, drip irrigation might be the answer. Drip irrigation helps take away some of the guessing involved in water gardening. It prevents many of the problems that often occur as a result of overwatering. These are things like soil erosion, puddling, plant disease and fungus growth.

Drip irrigation also saves water. It often uses between 30 and 50% less water that conventional watering methods.

Drip irrigation can be set up with a timer, so you don't have to remember to water.

Other Benefits to Drip Irrigation:

Healthy Plants: Many studies show that drip irrigation promotes better plant growth and health than other methods of plant watering. Plants get water in measured doses, so there is never too much or too little water.

Less Water Runoff: Those measured doses of water cut down on water overuse and water runoff from your garden. This also helps with water conservation.

No Weeds: Weeds cannot absorb water because the system does not make water available to them.

Drawbacks to Drip Irrigation:

Clogging: The drip filters can get clogged. Water must be well-filtered and chemicals must be used to clean out the system.

Salting: The surface is not watered with drip irrigation. This can cause a certain degree of salting.

Cost: The initial cost of drip irrigation can be high.