An Irrigation System will reduce your water consumption but improve your landscape and its overall beauty.
Irrigation System is so efficient compared to hand watering, hoses, flood irrigation, and sprinklers that they pay for themselves in water saving and work. As much as 60% of your water can be wasted if you gave a poor design or use manual irrigation techniques. Why waste your money on wasted water when you can have automated system provide just the right amount of water to each plant and without even one minute of your time day after day.
Irrigation and landscape planning and maintenance go hand in hand. In order to make the most of your irrigation system you must plan your landscape accordingly. The planting choices, grouping of the plants, flowering times, green bushes, trees all determine type of irrigation, duration of watering and frequency of watering. If planting beds are not properly laid out with plants requiring similar water needs then the number of zones and amount of piping required to properly water will increase as will the cost. If budget is not a concern and plant choice for preference, color or layout appearance is most important then a larger more costly Irrigation System can handle any planting plan. You can however have a beautiful landscape plan with plants that are varied in appearance but similar in water needs and keep your irrigation system considerably smaller and cost affective.
Once you have laid out your planting beds, tree and bush locations and sod areas you can choose the proper irrigation type best suited for watering. The normal irrigation choices are:
Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation is the slow application of water directly to the plants' root zone. A drip irrigation system provides moisture directly to the planting areas so water is not wasted in areas where plants are not located. In addition this avoids increasing the weed growth from watering areas weeds tend to grow. An ideal moisture level can be maintained by choosing the right emitter for the plant water requirements. The emitters come in different flows per hour which makes it easy to mix and match for an optimal system.. Drip irrigation can maintain an optimum moisture level in the soil at all times with less water lost to the sun and the wind. The result of using drip irrigation with longer watering interval is deeper roots and more abundant foliage.
The Advantages and Benefits of Drip Irrigation:
* Water Efficiency:
The drip system provides water to the right location in a controlled amount which reduces or eliminates run off. In addition the watering is not as exposed to evaporation from sun. These reduce water quantity which saves you money.
* Ease of Installation:
Drip irrigation can be installed without special tools or glue, and with limited knowledge, making the installation a very simple process.
* Reduced Pest Problems and Weed Growth:
Watering only the your plants roots zone with drip irrigation cuts down on water-borne pests and fungal diseases that spread by water movement, as well as the germination of weeds in the area between your plants.
* Drip irrigation takes the hassle out of watering plants.
Direct Root Irrigation System: This is similar to drip irrigation as far as isolating the area to be watered. The difference is that drip irrigation still has some run off and some evaporation whereas the direct root has a probe that goes down into the soil and emits water right at the root level. This eliminates run off and evaporation and delivers water directly to the root area. This type of irrigation works well with certain trees and bushes. The direct root connects to most emitters and is relatively simple to install.
•Reduces runoff and evaporation to zero
•Delivers water directly to root of intended plant which helps weed control
•Maximum water saver
Spray Heads: Many irrigation systems will require the use of spray heads for grass areas or planting areas where plants thrive with a spray over their foliage. If your landscape plan requires spray heads you need to lay out your plan to a scale and then layout the heads so that they overlap slightly and leave no area uncovered. In addition you need to review your water pressure so you can layout the heads to the spray you will develop. The volume and pressure determine how well the head performs. There is some adjustment in the heads but you need to calculate the spray area to be somewhat close and then tweak with adjustment. The type of head will also be determined on the drawing by patter need for area the head is drawn in. Some will need full circle, some half and some quarter. Taking time to layout the heads will save time and money during installation.
Other Irrigation System Considerations:
•Quality of the material you use. When choosing pipe, sprinkler heads, controllers, rain gauge switches, emitters, etc it is wise to pick by quality and durability not price. The money saved by buying cheap up front will be lost in head failures, pipe failures, poor control of the system and constant maintenance issues. My home projects I use rain bird materials and schedule 40 PVC main runs with high quality poly tubing for long term service and reliability.
•Controller: Make sure to choose a controller that allows for multiple water times, multiple programs, and adjustable watering lengths. The unit should have a battery back up so programs are not lost in outages.
•Pressure regulators are a nice option so that you can feed the system at a more even pressure which will make all of the components perform as planned.
Backflow Prevention device is for the safety of your drinking water and if not required by code I would highly recommend you install one anyway. These devices guard against accidental backflow of the water from the irrigation system into your regular drinking water. In some instances water accumulates around the heads or drip lines could be siphoned back in as well so for piece of mind a Backflow device is a wise choice.
•Rain Gauge Switch or Shut Off: This is a device that measures rain accumulation and switches off the controller for that day. It will pay for itself in areas where rain is an issue on a routine basis. Desert areas may not be so crucial.
If you follow the plan to layout the landscape, choose quality parts suit for the job and install accordingly you can enjoy a lush landscape at considerably less cost. An Irrigation System can save as much as 60% of your water over hoses or sprinklers. Why waste water in a world going green.
The same goes for your energy needs by performing a
Simple Home Energy Audit
You can cut out your wasted energy and save as much as 50% of your electric and gas bills.
You may want to look into a
Solar Water Heater
or maybe you would be interested in
Free Electricity Option to power your Irrigation System and your Home..
Whatever your plans are make sure to stop and smell the flowers after all it is your quality designed Irrigation System that is making them bloom. Enjoy