When it comes to watering your garden beds, you have two main choices: sprinklers or drip irrigation. Sprinklers apply water from over top of the plants, while drip irrigation applies water directly to the soil. Which one is best for your garden? Read on to explore the pros and cons of both, and then make an informed decision.
Sprinkler systems are easy to find at most local garden stores. You can likely set one up yourself in just an afternoon. When something goes wrong with a sprinkler system, finding parts will be easy. You can also tell when something is wrong almost instantly, since you won't see the water spraying out of the sprinkler like it normally does.
Sprinkler systems don't always offer good control over where the water ends up. Some over-spray is going to end up outside the garden bed, which is a waste of water. Also, you have to be careful what time you turn your sprinkler system on, since watering plants from overhead during the heat of the day can cause damage to their leaves. This will either mean getting up early in the morning to turn the sprinklers on, or investing in a timer to ensure they only go on before the sun gets too hot.
Drip Irrigation Systems
Since drip irrigation applies water to the soil, not to the plants, you can irrigate at any time of day without scorching the leaves. This might allow you to save money by not purchasing a timer -- as long as you remember to turn the water on and off to water your garden. Drip irrigation also conserves water, since it closely controls where the water goes and does not release extra water that ends up evaporating off the leaves of plants.
Drip irrigation system are often harder to set up than sprinkler systems. Usually, the hoses run underground, so you'll have to do some digging. If a pipe bursts or gets blocked, it might be a while before you notice that no water is seeping into the soil, and it might be tough to find parts to make the repair on your own. Also, it's easy for the drip lines to accidentally get buried in soil or mulch if you're not careful when planting and digging in the garden.
Whether a drip irrigation system or sprinkler system is better for your garden largely depends on whether you prefer water conservation and a flexible watering schedule, or easy installation and repairs. Contact Michael Bellantoni for more information.