Garden irrigation systems sound expensive and complicated, but in reality they are a simple and hassle free way to make sure your garden gets the water it needs in the right place.
There are two main types of irrigation system – they are sprinklers and drip irrigators
- Sprinklers are often used on a lawn but they can water a border effectively too. Sprinklers send a fine, even jet of water through the air mimicking rainfall. They can be visible or installed underground. Sprinklers usually cover from two to five metres in range but they can be designed to suit your needs.
- Drip irrigation and seep hoses are constructed from a network of pipes that deliver water directly to plants’ roots. Drip irrigation and seep hoses are situated in borders for directional watering. They keep all the water at ground level and are ideal for deep, thirsty soils.
Here’s why your garden (and you) could benefit from an irrigation system:
1) They save time
We are busy people. It’s difficult to fit in watering the garden when the rush of modern life leaves little free time. Simply filling a watering can feels like forever when it’s time to get dinner and there’s nothing more irritating that fighting a twisted garden hose when all you want to do is sit down after a hard day’s work.
Irrigation systems do the hard work for you. Simply turn on a tap and walk away, or if you have a timer installed there’s even less work involved.
Directed drip hoses also cut down on weed growth as the root area is watered rather than the whole bed. This starves weeds of water and cuts down weeding, hoeing and digging time.
2) They are less effort
People who find it difficult to manage a watering can or twisted hose can still enjoy their garden with an irrigation system.
If you’ve got mobility problems or can’t get around like you used to watering the garden is difficult, painful and ultimately frustrating, but older gardeners don’t have to give up their garden simply because they cannot carry water. An irrigation system can bring a lot of pleasure to retired folk and those with mobility difficulties. Enjoying nature, fresh air and soaking up sunlight ensures we stay healthier for longer. Irrigation systems support an active life and help people retain a lifelong hobby in later years.
3) They are healthier for your plants
Plants like a regular supply of water. Going without and then dealing with a whole can full distress them, but regular watering ensures nutrients travel from the roots so the plant grows steadily without bolting or drooping.
Getting the balance right in a plant’s early years means that a strong root system is established and you’ll enjoy perennials for years to come. Ultimately an imbalance of water can ruin even the hardiest of plants, but irrigation systems deliver the right amount on a regular basis.
Keeping your soil or grass well watered also encourages worm activity. Lots of worms mean your soil is aerated leading to healthier plants. An irrigation system can stop cats ruining your flower bed or vegetable garden too as cats prefer to dig through dry soil.
An irrigation system will also help prevent disease. A strong well-watered plant is more resistant to viruses and pest attacks such as slug and snail damage, and because a seep hose directs water to the roots rather than the foliage you’ll waste less water and stave off fungal problems. In hot weather water left on foliage can cause scorch as it heats up to burn delicate leaves and blooms.
Watering by hand means you’ll inevitably miss sections, over-water areas, blast down petals, move soil, and rot out your fence base. Too little water means plants become dehydrated but too much water causes rot. Irrigation systems are tidier and more efficient than we are!
4) They Maintain The Soil Structure
Soil structure is important because it holds your plants in place allowing air and water to deliver nutrients effectively. Poor soil structure leads to slow growth and unhealthy plants.
Rushing the watering process leads to all kinds of problems with soil structure. Missed areas become dry and compacted whereas drowned out areas cause rot. A high velocity hose on your soil is bad news as it uncovers roots.
A gentle spray of water from a sprinkler or a steady down-to-earth drip method is far better for the integrity of your soil. Hoses wash away topsoil, mulch and other nutrients your plants need to grow but irrigation systems are gentle and persistent. This means your soil remains intact, healthy and your plants will respond to the excellent growing conditions.
5) They save money
Irrigation systems require initial outlay, but they can save you money in the long term. Here’s rundown of how you’ll save money:
- Irrigation systems put water in the right place so you don’t waste it. Some systems have rain sensors so they only come on when it’s dry. This cuts down on waste and corresponding water rate charges.
- Seep hoses deliver water slowly so the plant has time to absorb it. This stops run off and soil erosion. You will cut down on water costs and mulch costs.
- Your plants are more likely to remain healthy and stay alive. This saves money spent on replacements. If you go on holiday your garden will still be green and lush on your return.
- Your garden will be beautiful so you’ll want to spend time there instead of taking trips out to spend money.
It’s worth thinking about an irrigation system to take the time and stress out of caring for your garden.
Irrigation systems are used by people from all walks of life because they are effective, efficient and free up family time – that’s something we all need more of. You can spend more time relaxing or enjoying other aspects of gardening if the watering needs are taken care of. That’s one less thing to worry about.