Drip Irrigation: The Most Efficient Form of Irrigation in the Landscape

 

No Loss of Water to the Atmosphere

Drip irrigation puts the water where it’s needed most, at the roots. Traditional sprinklers and rotors lose 30% or more of their output due to wind and evapotransporation. By using drip irrigation in your landscape you can eliminate virtually all of that loss.

Drip Irrigation can be Modified to fit any Shape of Bed

If you have irregular shaped beds, drip is particularly well suited for this application due to its flexibility. In considering traditional sprays verses drip, you don’t get near the same coverage using conventional sprinklers as you do with drip and there’s no over-spray into other beds or sidewalks to contend with. Much of our water waste comes from sprinklers hitting impenetrable surfaces known as impervious cover. Driveways, sidewalks, and patios are good examples of impervious cover.

No Need to Worry How Thick the Mulch is

If you use mulch in your beds to cut down on evaporation and protect the plant’s roots from excessive heat, traditional sprinklers only get the mulch wet unless you run them for a considerable amount of time. Sometimes that is double the amount of water depending on how thick the mulch is. With drip irrigation you don’t have to consider the thickness of the mulch, as the drip is installed beneath the mulch and the second the drip emitter starts releasing water it’s going directly to the soil and working its way down to the roots.

Using Drip Irrigation Cuts Down on Disease

Another advantage of using drip in the landscape is the decrease of many diseases that are directly linked to having wet leaves. Some of these diseases include leaf spot, powdery mildew, etc. The  decrease in these diseases translates to less use of chemicals in the landscape to fight back these pathogens.

You Can Have Plants That Require More Consistent Water in the Same Beds with Plants that only Require Rain to Survive

Using drip allows for a more diverse use of plantings in the same bed. An example of this kind of diversity would be a large clump of roses beside an agave in the same bed. Both require direct sun but have very different water requirements. Using this example, the roses would have drip irrigation installed all around their base and benefit from not having water on their leaves which promotes leaf spot and powdery mildew. Meanwhile, the agave can thrive in the same bed by having little to no drip installed at its base.

Drip Irrigation can also be Used in Lawns

Drip can be installed before the turf grass is laid. We measure the total amount of lawn to be laid in terms of square feet, calculate the slope, analyze the soil’s absorption rate and from that information we are able to determine how many stations or zones are required. Since fewer stations are required using drip due to the fact that less pressure is required this can offset the price of running drip line verses conventional sprays or rotors. Again, with irregular shaped lawns, drip line is particularly useful as it can bend along with the curves and angles of the lawn. While conventional sprays can accommodate these curves to a degree, the adjustable nozzles for the sprays use far more water than regular nozzles.

Existing Sprinklers can be Converted to Drip Irrigation

If you have an existing sprinkler system we can retrofit the sprinkler heads in the beds with a drip line adapter. We simply measure the beds and calculate the total length of drip line needed then calculate how many sprinkler heads are needed to create the correct amount of circulation. After that, it’s just a matter of capping the rest of the unused heads.
An example of drip being utilized in a top down application
An example of drip being utilized in a top down application
An example of micro irrigation. Another form of drip.
An example of micro irrigation. Another form of drip.

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