Tips & Advice
How do you perform an irrigation system performance check?
To implement an irrigation-system performance check, audit all parts of the irrigation system. Pay special attention to aspects that can cause irrigation problems, such as sprinkler spacing, nozzle pressure, or tilted sprinkler heads. Set up catch devices at various points to measure the amount of water being distributed. It's best to conduct the audit during normal operating conditions.
What type of irrigation system is the most efficient?
The most efficient system for watering plants is drip irrigation. This system delivers water slowly and frugally, and it uses a fraction of the water consumed by alternatives such as overhead spray devices. Drip irrigation is a good choice for clay soils, since the system's slow delivery gives this soil type enough time to fully absorb the water.
What is a drip irrigation system?
With a drip-irrigation system, water is delivered directly to the roots of the plants using a network of pipes and tubing valves. Drip irrigation minimizes evaporation and water runoff, and it provides a slow but steady supply of water to plants. The tubing used in this type of irrigation system is quite versatile, and it can easily be adjusted to fit the shape of irregular patches of land.
What are the different types of irrigation systems?
There are many different types of irrigation systems, and they vary based on how the water is distributed to the land. With surface irrigation, there is no mechanical pump used; instead, water is distributed solely with the help of gravity. Other types include drip irrigation, localized irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, and manual irrigation.
How to choose the best irrigation system for a climate?
The local climate’s heat and humidity affects evaporation rates, and this helps determine the best irrigation options. For example, sprinkler irrigation in a high-heat / high-sun environments lose more water to evaporation than drip irrigation. When choosing an irrigation system, also consider soil type and topography.
What are the benefits of drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation uses 20 percent – 50 percent less water than traditional sprinkler systems, which conserves water and saves money. It reduces weeds, soil erosion, and fertilizer run-off. Drip systems work well with irregularly or hilly landscapes. Because it waters the plants evenly and efficiently and reduces water contact with leaves, it also reduces the risk of plant disease or fungus.
Drip irrigation uses tubing to “drip” water slowly and directly to the soil surface, roots or bases of plants. This low-pressure, low-volume system can use drips, sprays, or streams to keep roots moist but not soaked. The tubes can be located above ground, where they are visible, or “subsurface,” which reduces evaporation even further.
Do irrigation systems require maintenance?
Yes. All irrigation systems are made up of component parts that need maintenance and eventual replacement. Professional maintenance in the spring and fall will keep the system in its best working order.
How long does it take install an irrigation system?
Most professionally installed irrigation systems can be installed in one or two days, depending on the size and complexity of the job. Do-it-yourself installations could take longer.
Can irrigation systems be installed in every yard?
Yes, irrigation systems can be installed for all types of yards. Even yards that receive a lot of rainfall should have an irrigation system for dry periods or for times when the rainfall is irregular, because consistency keeps plants healthy.