How to Choose the Best Garden Irrigation System
Water is an essential component for plants to thrive, but with all the other garden work – lawn mowing, trimming, etc. – watering can be a time-consuming process for garden owners to attend to daily.
This is why homeowners across Sydney are relying more and more on garden irrigation systems to keep their outdoors looking lush and vibrant.
What Is Irrigation?
Irrigation is a broad term for watering plants and crops at specific intervals. Irrigation is such an important feature in garden care, as every type of cultivated greenery needs water to thrive.
Natural water from rainfall and air moisture wouldn’t always be enough for garden foliage, which is why irrigation is applied to get around such concerns.
If you’re new to gardening, you might think, “Why do I have to use irrigation?”
Yes, watering seems easy enough. But if you want to boost efficiency in your gardening, installing an irrigation system will help you do just that.
Experienced gardeners know that home irrigation systems save time, effort and money.
For instance, irrigation eliminates your need to lug around hoses and sprinklers. It frees up your time otherwise spent on watering. And what if you have an enormous garden? That will eat up a good chunk of your day.
Also, an irrigation system enables you to use water efficiently. In fact, studies have found that one type of irrigation – the drip irrigation system – uses up to 30% to 40% less water than other methods of watering. There are also systems fitted with a timer, so that you only water the plants when it’s the ideal time to do so.
Types of Irrigation
There are different types of irrigation, which include:
- Drip Irrigation
This mechanism uses drip hoses or plastic pipes with tiny holes in them to deliver water in a controlled fashion. The water goes directly onto the soil surface or the root zone.
Because the water drips slowly through a network of pipes around your garden, you have greater control in the amount of water delivered, and you reduce evaporation and wastage.
- Micro Jets and Sprays
These deliver a fine spray of water over a specific area, which makes them perfect for smaller gardens. They can cover a radius of up to 2 metres and are usually easier to install than a drip irrigation system. However, micro jets and sprays will not be as efficient with water as the drip method.
- Mini Sprinklers
Mini sprinklers are quite similar to micro jets and sprays in that they deliver water in a circular motion. But instead of a fine spray, sprinklers throw water in large droplets, minimising the likelihood of evaporation.
- Soaker Hose
A soaker hose system uses a leaky pipe to release water slowly along its entire length. Its deep soaking capacity is ideal for irrigating vegetable patches, hedgerows, flower borders and other large areas of foliage.
How to Choose the Best Garden Irrigation System
Irrigation systems each come with various pros and cons, and it can sometimes be tricky deciding which one is most suitable for your garden. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an irrigation system:
- Soil quality
The kind of soil you have in your garden will affect how it absorbs water. For example, clay soil soaks up more water than sandy soil.
For homeowners with clay soil on their property, it might be better to get a spray-type irrigation system that sends water through the air, as opposed to a hose or drip system that could overwater the soil.
Keep in mind, though, that sprayers use more water than drip or hose irrigation. Whichever system you prefer, checking the soil quality is vital to your decision.
You can also improve soil quality by aerating and mulching, which are methods that slow down water evaporation and reduce surface runoff.
- Types of plants
Choosing the right irrigation system is also determined by what type of plants – and grass – you have in your outdoor space.
For example, a manicured lawn would need a different system compared to a vegetable garden. Garden design is also a factor – are there hanging baskets, containers or hedgerows?
Knowing what types of flowers and plants you have will let you know how much water these plants require and how often they require it. You also need to remember that some species are more susceptible to fungus and decay from too much moisture.
For homeowners who are still in the process of planting foliage in the garden, hydrozoning, or putting plants with similar watering needs together – can make it easier for you to plan your irrigation system.
Depending on where in Australia you live, it’s ideal to think about the weather and rainfall amounts when deciding which garden irrigation system to install.
For example, homeowners in Inner West and Eastern Suburbs know that days here are mostly sunny and dry. Sprinklers might not be the best option, as most of the water will be lost due to evaporation. In this case, underground irrigation would be more efficient.
Aside from soil quality, land topography can also affect your irrigation system. For example, if your garden is situated on a sloping terrain, this may cause a problem for drip systems, because the water will likely run off. Spray systems should also be placed in such a way that they release water to the intended foliage.
Consulting with professionals about this will ensure that your irrigation system will be set up to release water properly.
Garden-R Irrigation System Installers
Irrigation is a great addition to any home with a yard or lawn, but it entails research and planning for you to choose the best system for maintaining gardens.
We at Garden-R specialize in bringing quality irrigation systems to your home. Our horticulture specialists work with irrigation system installers in designing the most suitable garden irrigation for your land.
We know that an irrigation system is a considerable investment for your family. This is why we put together our best team to offer professional insight on how you can water your plants in the most efficient and convenient way.