Why Install Drip Irrigation In Your Yard?
We’ve all seen installed sprinkler systems, especially when one of the sprinkler heads pops off and water gushes everywhere, or when a sprinkler system is still on during a cold snap and the water turns into ice sculptures. But did you know there are many types of sprinkler systems, aside from what we normally think of?
Drip irrigation systems are becoming more and more popular, especially in areas of the lawn where you don’t necessarily need a large amount of water. They’re also helpful in areas where drought is a problem like we typically experience during Texas summers.
So what is a drip irrigation system? What are the advantages and disadvantages? And how can your yard benefit from installing drip irrigation?
What Is “Drip Irrigation?”
Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or local irrigation, is as its name implies — small amounts of water are dripped into a local area at a very low rate, just wetting the immediate area. Think of farm irrigation, with tubes running along the ground or even under the ground, but on a much smaller scale.
Drip irrigation is especially beneficial when installed in plant beds. Installed correctly, it will water just the root system of the plant or shrub, exactly where the water is needed. You won’t have any standing water, because the system is dripping the water out slowly, at the rate of, on average, three liters an hour. The system waters every 1 to 3 days, providing more moisture to those sensitive plants, keeping your investment in your landscaping safe.
These types of systems can be run from a variety of water sources, including your home water supply or even a rain collection system, so water resources are spared during those times when it’s possible to collect rainwater.
Installation is fairly simple. The system includes:
- Pump unit
- Main lines and sublines
- Emitters or drippers
If you’re going to collect rainwater to water your yard, you’ll also need a collection tank that can be used first, then switched over to your household water supply if and when that runs dry.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation?
Water resources are precious in Central Texas, especially during the summer. One of the biggest advantages of using a drip irrigation system is in water savings, both as a resource and from a cost standpoint. Because the water flows directly to where it’s needed, you’re using less water, resulting in overall cost savings. Using rain collection when available to feed your irrigation system also saves water resources, further reducing your cost.
Because the system is installed either close to the ground or underground, the biggest disadvantage is the possibility of clogging, if it’s not filtered correctly. Fortunately, different types of drippers, or emitters, are available to take care of that. The chances of a clog are about the same as having a sprinkler head pop off on a regular sprinkler system.
The initial installation cost of a drip irrigation system is higher than a standard sprinkler system, but the savings over time, both in resources and day-to-day cost, make up for it.
How Your Home Can Benefit From Drip Irrigation
It’s just a fact that growing anything outside in Central Texas can be a challenge for a good part of the year. Between drought conditions, searing heat, and lack of rain, keeping your landscape investment healthy can be difficult without the right irrigation system.
Installing a drip irrigation system means you’re taking advantage of the rain we do get, you’ll keep your plants and shrubs healthy and well-watered, and, in the end, you’ll save money and resources.