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Drip Irrigation Systems

If you are tried of watering your garden by dragging hoses and sprinklers or carrying heavy watering cans, you should consider installing a drip irrigation system. These systems will save you time, effort, and money by delivering water right to the root zones of the plants, where they will use only the water they really need. Less water will be lost to evaporation, and water will not get the plantsí foliage wet, which can result in disease and leaf spotting. Drip systems are easy and inexpensive to install and maintain. They use flexible tubing which delivers water to an emitter that drips it at the plantsí base.

If you are thinking of putting in a drip system, consider the following:

  • Drip tubing comes in 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch sizes. Systems that are longer in length or have more emitters (or where water pressure is low) will need the larger tubing. If you have a large garden, you may need to split it up into separate parts and water them at different times.
  • Look for tubing that is a dark color. This can be made almost invisible by burying it just beneath the ground or covering it with dirt or mulch.
  • Using a timer with a drip system will add to its convenience. The garden can be watered in the early morning (when water is not needed for household use) or when you are not home.
  • Most drip systems are hooked up to an existing faucet. If you will have to run the tubing across a sidewalk, patio or lawn that needs to be mowed, think about using a quick hose connection so the tubing can be disconnected when it is not in use.

Drip irrigation can be used for vegetable gardens, shrub and flower borders and beds, foundation plantings, containers and hanging baskets. They not work well for lawns and large areas of ground cover, which require a sprinkler type irrigation system.

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