Employing Methods of DIY Irrigation To Your Garden And Other PlantsDecember 2, 2020
Along with sunlight and soil, water is a key component of any successful garden. But while it may be relaxing standing outdoors with a watering can in your hand, it is actually an extremely inefficient way to hydrate your lawn and plants. Not only that, it can also be extremely wasteful, especially if you don’t collect rainwater. Effective watering is crucial for gardening, and there are a number of ways you can achieve this, depending on the type of plants and weather you have in your backyard. Irrigation has been a cornerstone of large and small scale agricultural practice since ancient times, and it isn’t complicated or difficult to integrate into a domestic garden. Here are some of the tried and tested methods to keep your garden effectively hydrated year round.
As with most undertakings in the garden, preparation is essential for setting up an effective irrigation system. Moisture retention and good run offs are needed, so make sure you mulch properly. Mulching can be as simple as using fallen leaves, and there are plenty of resources online to help you if you haven’t done it before. Take into account the weather in your area, and just how much water your garden needs – this is also dependent on the type of crops you’re growing. Learning exactly when to water is important too – in the middle of the day is least effective, as moisture is quickly evaporated – early morning works best. Irrigation should also be adaptable for the changing seasons.
An affordable and efficient means of garden irrigation, soaker hoses are usually made of recycled tyres, and have holes along their length which allow water to seep out gradually, directly into the beds. One criticism of soaker hoses is that they will water everywhere – even places without plants – and so they are wasteful. But flow can easily be regulated with butterfly valves, saving you money and doing your bit for the environment.
Above ground sprinklers
These are the kind you see on every lawn in the summertime (unless you live somewhere with a hosepipe ban). They are also the type that kids love to run through. As far as irrigation goes, they do have a number of variables, but they still have to be moved from area to area. Water is distributed in a number of ways, using oscillation, pulsation and sweeping, and it is possible to set up different radius patterns and distances. Some more advanced models use timers, including options such as climate / season change timers.
In ground sprinklers
The more effective and customisable form of sprinkling, these work by connecting watering heads to an underground water supply. This in turn is connected to your water mains, and can be intricately programmed to perfectly suit your garden. First of all, different crops can be set up with appropriate watering levels, different from the above ground sprinkler. Many setups allow for customisation, such as different sprinkler heads to distribute water in different ways, such as spraying or soaking. In ground sprinklers can be expensive to set up, but are one of the best modern garden irrigation methods out there.
Slightly more effective than soaker hoses, drip irrigation systems work along the same premise, but have greater accuracy and are more customisable. They consist of a hose from which smaller tubes with holes emerge, which feed the beds, meaning more precise watering and better hydrated plants. The fact that the water is at ground level is also efficient – it goes directly into the beds rather than spraying away or landing on leaves. Drip irrigation systems can be fairly expensive to install, but again, the results speak for themselves.
An irrigation method that has its roots in ancient times, Ollas are essentially porous ceramic urns which can be filled with water and buried underground. There, they gradually ooze out water into flower beds, hydrating plants from the roots up. Different sizes of Olla will cover different areas and are suitable for different plants. Ollas don’t emit water if they are surrounded by moisture, meaning that they only distribute it when the soil around them is dry.
There are great ways out there to hydrate your garden. Irrigation is essential, and plenty of options exist for any size of garden and any budgey.