Low-Volume Drip Irrigation Landscaping

Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the ground rather than spraying water over plants like a sprinkler. As a result, it consumes less water than traditional irrigation systems. Many homeowners looking to use low levels of water pick drip irrigation for financial or environmental reasons. In addition, it makes mowing and landscaping simpler on slopes, and trickle systems can have aesthetic advantages.

System Basics and Benefits

Drip irrigation provides plants equally as much water as they require for each day, so that it reduces water waste. Easy drip irrigation systems contain perforated hoses in addition to the ground, while more complex system are installed underground. Since water is delivered directly to the ground, less of it is lost to evaporation. Drip irrigation requires very little physical effort because the gardener does not need to carry around a hose or watering can. Professional installers usually install elaborate systems, which contain pumps, hoses, filters, water meters, valves, drains and other parts. Many fungal diseases influence plants the most when plants have moist foliage, and drip irrigation reduces issues with respiratory diseases using water directly to the plant roots and dirt, without wetting the leaves.

Design Factors

Before installing low-volume drip irrigation, the gardener must carefully get to understand the landscape. Various areas of the landscape may require different levels of drip irrigation, based on factors like amount of sunlight, types of plants in each area, soil type and topography. The sunnier a place, the more water it will require. Water might often leak downward in pool in the lowest parts of the landscape, causing them to require less irrigation than higher parts of the lawn. It’s a good idea to take into account the layout of the plants and land, and then design the irrigation system to implement water where it is needed most.

Landscape Considerations

Low-volume drip irrigation is acceptable for sloped gardens because the slow rate of water application minimizes runoff across the landscape. Underground systems are especially good at reducing runoff, and in addition, they lose less water to evaporation. Drip irrigation also makes landscaping with different types of plants simpler because drip system valves can distribute different levels of water to crops with different water requirements. For example, 1 valve can distribute more water to your moisture-loving tree, while the other valve ensures that less water reaches an area of the garden containing succulents.

Choosing Plants

When designing a low-volume drip irrigation landscape, it is best to pick plants that don’t require a lot of water or constantly wet roots. Many plants and grasses native to bogs or wet areas won’t do well with low-volume irrigation. Cacti, succulents, California juniper or other desert trees and shrubs will do better using a little bit of water. In addition, it makes sense to think about plant root depth. Plants with shallow roots might be able to get sufficient water from low-volume perforated hoses in addition to the dirt, but plants with deep roots will probably require underground drip irrigation to get sufficient moisture.

Reducing Water Volume

Well-drained soils typically require more irrigation than compacted clay soils. 1 way to make sure that low-volume drip irrigation will provide enough moisture to plants is to add compost or other organic matter to the ground to help it hold moisture. Plants will also require less water once the irrigation system is located directly by their origins. The more directly water is applied to plant roots, the less probable it is that the water will disappear or be consumed by weeds. Therefore, it is helpful to research the depth of the origins of different sorts of plants and then place underground drip irrigation accordingly.

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