A DIS is the most efficient method of irrigating. While sprinkler systems are around 75-85% efficient, drip systems typically are 90% or higher efficient. What that means is much less wasted water! For this reason drip is the preferred method of irrigation in the desert regions of the United States. But a DIS has other benefits which make it useful almost anywhere. It is easy to install, easy to design, can be very inexpensive, and can reduce disease problems associated with high levels of moisture on some plants. If you want to grow a rain forest however, a DIS will work but might not be the best choice!
A plant cannot make full use of water if it is not delivered to its root systems. A DIS does not spray water through the air, but drips it slowly at the base of your plants. Here is how a DIS works.
A standard DIS uses your normal garden hose connection. Hose or tubing is attached and connected by fittings and connectors to your connections. You can bury your DIS, but you do not necessarily need to. You can even use the system for hanging baskets and potted plants.
Other components of the system are a control valve that prevents the water from flowing back into your home water, a pressure regulator, filter, emitters (that actually drip the water), and an optional timer. The timer is very helpful in preventing waste, as it turns the flow of water on and off automatically. It is something like a soaker hose, but is much more sophisticated and precise.
What Are the Top Benefits of a Drip Irrigation System?
A DIS is much more efficient than standard watering systems such as sprinklers. Sprinklers waste water through evaporation – a lot of the water lands on the stems and leaves, and on ground where the plants are not growing, and in some cases on streets and sidewalks. Depending on the location of your garden, a sprinkler may spray onto concrete or asphalt too, as we mentioned, thus wasting a lot. Sprinklers also can malfunction and spray erratically, adding more waste and not very good for conservation.
Water run-off is another concern with aerial sprinklers and traditional irrigation. In fact, run-off and its accompanying erosion are growing problems on large farms. Using a DIS avoids this run-off problem.
If you are going out of town, you will not have to get someone to water your garden. The automatic timer will turn the water on and off at prescribed times, thus reducing water usage.
Some plants do not like water on their leaves, and still others can get “burns” from drops of water being left on the leaves in the sunlight. The drops act like tiny lenses, focusing the sunlight and causing burn spots on the leaves. Also, if you have treated your plants’ foliage with anything, it will get washed off by water delivered from overhead.
Whether you have container plants or a garden bed, you can benefit from using drip irrigation systems for your gardens.