For the past few weeks, my mother and I have been working on our plots at the community garden. I have been in charge of setting up the drip irrigation system. I love how you can deliver water straight to the plant instead of using a general spray.
Why Should You Try Drip Irrigation?
Since lawns continuously cover a large area, sprinklers that shoot over a wide area work well. However, it can sometimes be problematic if you try to water other plants in the same way.
- Diseases can set in if parts of the plant like the leaves and trunk stay wet for a long period of time.
- Since the sprinklers are set to cover a general area, specific plants may not receive enough water. They may also be overwatered.
- You use more water than is needed in this case. Drip irrigation is designed to deliver water to the roots of each specific plant.
Types of Drip Irrigation
There are several different types of drip irrigation that can be utilized in your garden. Some lay on top of the ground, while others can be buried. In the example of my vegetable garden, we have some hoses that have drip emitters embedded into the hose every 18″. You can just plant your seeds or starts near these holes so their roots can get watered.
Elsewhere, I have hoses where I have punched holes as needed to attach smaller hoses that are outfitted with a drip emitter at the end. These allow more flexibility in getting water to your plants, especially if you are trying to add this to an established garden.
Finally, I will be setting up some soaker hoses this week for our rows of corn since they are placed closer than 18″. These are made out of recycled tires and have small holes punched throughout the hose to slowly ooze out water along its length.
They also sell small sprayers and bubblers that you can place in the vicinity of your plants, as well as garden hoses with holes punched along the line.
How Do You Plan Out Your Drip Irrigation?
I would suggest creating a map that is to scale of the current layout of your garden that includes each of the current plants, as well as any future plants that you are considering. Head out to a sprinkler supply store or home improvement store. Associates there should be able to help you pick out the right parts for your situation. We can also definitely help you figure this out!
Do you use drip irrigation in your landscape? What has worked well for you?