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Drip Irrigation System is efficient and cost-effective irrigation for gardens. With several benefits, drip irrigation is a favorite for gardeners for water and nutrient delivery to their plants, but with these benefits, several disadvantages come with it. This article will discuss drip irrigation systems’ pros and cons.
Using a drip irrigation system has benefits, like exact delivery of water and nutrients, reducing water consumption, can be utilized on different types of plants, reducing soil erosion, and less labor cost.
However, despite all of these benefits, drip irrigation has disadvantages, too, like root growth restriction, the need for constant inspection, affecting soil fertility, and the possibility of tubing leakage.
If you are considering using a drip irrigation system, you must read this article to know its pros and cons.
Pros of Drip Irrigations Systems in Your Garden
1. Deep and Slow Penetration of Water into the Soil
Drip irrigation in your garden ensures that the soil absorbs the water from the pipes slowly, penetrating deeply. Besides, this ensures that soil remains moisturized for a long time and gets the moisture to wherever you want it to go.
Drip irrigation ensures a uniform spray of water. Irrigation uniformity diminishes water shortage stress in the soil.
2. Preserves and Prevents Wastage of Water
Water consumption in a perfectly fitted drip irrigation system is relatively low. A well-installed drip irrigation system will utilize ½ or ¼ of the total quantity of water in other methods, such as the traditional sprinkler. Moreover, drip irrigation facilitates longer retention of water in the soil.
Notably, about 70% of drip water stays in the soil as the other percentage evaporates. A perfect drip system can transmit up to 90% of water into the ground, resulting in a slight water loss through wind and evaporation.
3. Reduces Soil Erosion Incidences
In most instances, drip systems are highly effective and reliable. When appropriately implemented in a garden, it reduces the chances of soil erosion. Drip irrigation prevents runoff water from accessing the garden, thus managing erosion effectively.
The runoff redirects water to streams and rivers. The flow of water to these existing sources prevents the erosion of the garden soil.
4. Decreases Contraction of Diseases in Your Garden
Differentiation in drip irrigation during installation allows for fitting in overhead sprinklers. The irrigation system maintains the foliage, which is crucial in diminishing the contraction of different strains of diseases and the possibility of powdery mildew. The disorders and mold emerge from damp conditions.
5. Drip Irrigation is Convenient and Increases Efficiency
Employing drip irrigation in your garden erases the need to drag sprinklers and hoses from one corner to another. Timers allow for automation, which eases the irrigation process in the garden. We can acquire adequate timer installation knowledge and information about the numerous irrigation methods.
6. Allows You to Design Your Very Own Drip Irrigation System
The good thing with drip irrigation is that you can always modify the system’s appearance to fit your preference. For instance, if the design of the drip irrigation system does not please you or you have reservations about its looks, you can hide the tubes using layers of organic mulch.
7. Easy To Assemble And Operate
High-quality systems of drip irrigation are straightforward and quick to assemble. Using these systems is also fast and requires little or no technical knowledge. You can directly attach drip systems of high quality to the hose spigot.
The installation can function properly and offer the best services you desire for your garden when doing this kind of connection.
8. Retains Water With Drip Irrigation
Utilizing drip irrigation systems ensures water retention, particularly in the surrounding areas around the plant. Drip irrigation is beneficial since it starves the weeds of water, thus preventing more weeds from growing.
Plowing costs dropped using a drip irrigation system.
9. Versatility Of Drip Irrigation System
A proper configuration of the drip irrigation system beats all soil barriers and can function correctly. When installing a drip irrigation system, ensure the structure is on point to allow easy working in all landscape types, including those labeled inappropriately.
With drip irrigation, your garden does not need to be flat. Does your garden have terrible terrains? Worry no more. Drip irrigation has you covered. This system does not choose where to function since it can irrigate even irregularly shaped lands.
10. Effective And Safe Utilization Of Recycled Water
With drip irrigation, you do not always need pure water to irrigate your garden. With safe recycled water, you can ensure your land is productive, especially during dry seasons when recycling is necessary.
11. Improves Seed Germination and Maximizes Crop Yields
With drip irrigation, the production yield is likely to go up since there is little or no wastage of fertilizers. The maximum utilization of fertilizers by the soil p increases the seed germination rate. The high efficiency in utilizing fertilizers is a recipe for high yields.
12. Conserves Water and Preserves the Environment
Having a well-fitted drip irrigation system in your garden ensures efficient water usage. According to the University of Florida, drip irrigation provides moisture-retaining soiling and diminishes water loss to evaporation and wind. This phenomenon is achievable since there is an even circulation, which ensures uniform salt and nutrient distribution.
Besides, this reduces chemical and nutrient leaching, stream runoff, and water wastage. These things are avoidable because drip irrigation enables infiltration, allowing the water to penetrate deep into the soil.
Cons of Drip Irrigation Systems
1. Use Of Drip Tubings
One of the most common problems of using drip irrigation in your garden is that drip tubing presents dangers to dogs and kids. Kids tend to play around with pipes and dripping water in most instances. In this case, they might drink the irrigation water containing harmful chemicals.
Use wire anchor pins to fasten the covered mulch; it should be for every three feet. In addition, you can cut the drip lines easily during other landscape maintenance activities.
2. Need For A Regular Inspection
Drip irrigation requires regular maintenance exercises to attain efficient and proper functioning. Primarily, regular maintenance of drip irrigation ensures the system functions effectively. Besides, this ensures clogs are removed from the system since pressure and filtration regulate connection with self-cleaning emitters.
3. Root Development Restriction
If there is an improper placement of emitters during installation, root development restrictions will occur. This situation is because emitters are placed far apart, and there will be wetting in the limited area.
Ground-level water seeping is challenging, making it difficult to establish whether the system works properly. An indicator device can be installed to be notified when water flows.
4. Discriminates Usage Of Other Contents
One of the significant challenges facing drip irrigation is that it classifies the use of other components, such as iron water content. Matters with high content levels in iron are not supposed to be used in drip irrigation to prevent clogging the emitters.
5. Leakages Can Happen
Rodents and insects can chew the tubes and break them to cause leakages. You should find a way of protecting the tubing from these insects to reduce regular maintenance. Alternatively, else, you should ensure you carry out regular maintenance to check on any damages in the early stages.
6. Destruction By Use Of Heavy Machines On The Surface
Mainly used surface machines range from trimmers to mowers. While using these machines to cut grass and other surface maintenance, you can probably slice the drip irrigation tubing to cause leakages. If this happens, then it means you will incur extra costs in maintenance.
Always be aware of where you use your heavy gardening machines when utilizing a drip irrigation system.
7. Installation Of Drip Irrigation Is Time-Consuming
The installation process of drip irrigation requires more time to complete. The legal requirements can be complex, meaning there will be a possible delay in beginning the installation process. In other instances, the installation process may face challenges that require court approval. These situations occur primarily in disputed lands or public properties.
8. Damaged Parts Due To Environmental Effects
In extremely hot settings, the heat from the sun can cause damage to the tubing material. Excessive heat production can lead to breakdowns and subsequent leakages, which causes much loss in terms of water and maintenance costs. In addition to these costs, you must purchase new tubing materials, which is an extra expense.
9. Effect on the Fertility of the Soil
In cases where a garden employs plastic drip irrigation systems, the tubes can cause the soil to become infertile. Plastic items tend to degrade over time due to the hot rays from the sun, which often alters the quality of the soil.
The application of fertilizers also affects soil fertility since fertilizers contain various chemical components that erode the tubing system of drip irrigation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost to install a drip irrigation system?
A drip irrigation system will cost about USD 2,200 per acre on average. The size of the yard will vary the cost. It may cost about USD 50 – USD 200 for a small garden to install.
What materials do I need to install a drip irrigation system?
For a simple, automated drip irrigation system, you will need the following materials;
1. 1/2-in. poly tubing
2. 1/4-in. vinyl tubing
4. Backflow preventer
5. Barbed fittings
7. Pressure regulator
8. Small stakes
9. Watering devices
What time of day is best to operate the drip irrigation system?
It is advisable to operate your drip irrigation system during nighttime. So the irrigation process will end before the sun rises to allow the water to properly soak into the ground so that the leaves will dry in a standard period.
What is the advantage of having a drip irrigation system?
Drip irrigation uses significantly less amount of water to irrigate your garden. It is an efficient way to deliver nutrients and fertilizer to your plants as it minimizes loss.
What is the disadvantage of having a drip irrigation system?
The expense of materials varies depending on the size of your garden. The larger it is, the higher the cost. You need to change the drip tubings once damaged, which will cause clogging if the water is not filtered correctly.
Are you planning or looking for an effective irrigation system for your garden? Look no far. A drip irrigation system is your perfect choice, considering the numerous benefits it presents to you. This system is commonly known as trickle irrigation.
This system comprises a control head, lateral lines, pump unit, drippers, pump unit, sub-mainlines, and mainline.
Installing drip irrigation in your garden will ensure favorable seed germination, reduce weed growth, and lower initial costs. The challenges you can expect include capital requirements for replacing equipment, soil salinity hazards, and a slightly higher initial investment.
Overall, this irrigation system is a good fit for you to try in your garden. The benefits are so appealing that you cannot want to miss out on using it in your garden.