Thursday, June 19, 2014

Types of Irrigation




There are several ways to water a garden besides dragging the garden hose from one end of your yard to the other. The biggest designator is your climate and water conservation needs. In my Ohio gardens, a hose of a sprinkler that spurted water into the air was a good choice, but in Nevada, I need to assure every drop of water gets to where it is needed.

Drip Irrigation – A drip irrigation system, although good for all climates, is best suited for an arid climate.  It delivers small amounts of water where it is needed most.  At the plants roots.  By sending a steady trickle of water at the base of plants, it doesn’t evaporate as quickly and drives the roots of the plant deeper into the soil bed. These are best used in flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Sprinkler Systems – By broadcasting droplets of water into the air, the plants receive a shower of rain-like water.  However, in dry climates much water is lost through evaporation.  Systems such as these should be run in the early morning hours, avoiding the heat of the day.  These are more suited for lawns.

Soaker Hoses - Soaker hoses (shown above) are a form of drip irrigation.  Hoses populated with tiny holes that weep water into the surrounding area can be laid on the ground or buried under a layer of mulch. I placed them along a line of vegetables or around a bush.  The uses of these hoses are endless.

You always have the choice of catching rain water in cisterns fed by the gutters on your home.  That is if you get enough rain to fill them.

Your turn:  What method of irrigation do you use?

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