Drip irrigation saves time and effort, and reduces water and energy use. A drip irrigation system slowly sprinkles water out of tiny holes into the soil at the root of the plants over long periods of time. This method of watering saves up to 30% more water than other watering techniques. For busy gardeners, drip irrigation is also ideal, as it does not require setting or moving sprinklers; it can simply be installed and set on a timer.
Drip irrigation is also better for your garden. The watering process is slower which gives your plants more time to absorb the water and collect beneficial nutrients. Plants watered using a drip irrigation system also develop faster and healthier. Because water is only hitting the necessary areas of your garden it keeps the soil in other sections dryer which provides an unfavorable habitat for weeds to grow.
Soaker hoses drip water over their full length, and are the most popular choice when installing a drip irrigation system.
To set up, simply place the hose throughout the areas you’d like to water.
Secure the hose into the soil using metal or plastic pins.
You can leave the hose in the soil bed as is, or you can choose to place a layer of mulch overtop to further secure moisture.
Water is meant to drip out of the hose, not squirt, so be sure to use a plastic pressure reducer, or simply keep water pressure on low when watering.
Time yourself using the system for the first time, and stop watering when the surface has been penetrated 8-12 inches deep. You now know the most favorable time for your plants to get a good amount of water, and can set a timer for future watering.
Using Plastic Bottles
For the bold DIYer, plastic bottles can also be used as an effective drip irrigation system. This type of irrigation system is best used for smaller sections of your garden and is even more environmentally friendly than other systems.
To set up, take a recycled 2L bottle and slice approximately 1-2 inches off the bottom of the bottle.
Next, take the cap and poke small holes into it using a nail and hammer. Keep in mind that the more holes you make, the faster and larger the water flow.
Dig a hole in your garden where you want to put the bottle. Place the bottle about one third into the ground with the sliced open part facing up.
You can now fill up the bottle with water from your hose and let it sit, or you can simply allow it to collect rainwater.
For more tips on having an environmentally friendly yard check out this article: