Saturday, August 16, 2014

Conserving Water in the Backyard: Drip Irrigation

What is Drip Irrigation?

If you have never used drip irrigation or have never heard of it, you should probably do some research and start using this technique! Studies show that good drip irrigation systems use 30%-50% less water than traditional watering methods. Not only will you be saving precious, fresh, clean water, you will be saving money and time.  A drip irrigation system delivers the water right to the base of the plant where the soil soaks up the water drip by drip. This way, water gets to the roots quickly and not much is wasted to evaporation off the leaves. Other than conserving water, drip irrigation doesn't flood the soil with water washing nutrients away and also gives less water to weeds as the system is build right around the plants you are targeting. Combine drip irrigation with mulch and you have one great system!

How do I set up a Drip Irrigation System

There are many different options for drip irrigation; one of the simplest is probably soaker hoses. Soaker hoses hook right up to your other hoses and drip water throughout its length. Simply run the hose along the plants you want to water and turn on your water. If you just have a little vegetable garden, where plants are all in rows, soaker hoses are a perfect option for you. If you have a large garden or want to water all the plants in your backyard, a more sophisticated system might fit your needs a little better. These systems involve tubing, a filter, a pump, and many faucets that dispense water at chosen locations. You can find starter kits to get you going. There are many things you should look out for when designing a drip irrigation system. Doing a little research before setting one up is recommended. Here is a good article from This Old House.

Stay Tuned

Don't have the money or time to set up a drip irrigation system? Our next article will include simple watering tips to help your plants avoid water stress all while conserving that precious resource.

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