No two gardens are exactly alike. Any homeowner will tell you that a garden is as unique as the person who tends it. When it comes to choosing a garden irrigation system, there are numerous factors to consider. Which type of garden watering system will help your plants thrive? Here's a guide to help you make the best choice.
Efficient watering is perhaps the biggest challenge faced by those who garden. Getting the right amount of water to your plants is important, but you also want to do that in a way that encourages an economical use of water. Some irrigation systems are better than others when it comes to efficiency.
We suggest that you begin by asking yourself a series of important questions before deciding which watering irrigation system is best for you:
- What are the watering needs of your plant varieties? Different plants have different requirements, and you need to know how each plant affects the entire watering scheme.
- What limitations are imposed by your climate? Obviously, if you live in a hot and arid environment, more frequent watering will be required.
- How much rainfall can you expect? This will help you determine how much watering you will need to do on a yearly basis.
- What about sun and shade exposure? Areas in direct sunlight demand a higher volume of water, while shady areas can easily be overwatered and subjected to plant health issues.
- Does your terrain slope? Gardens are rarely planted on a perfectly flat terrain, so you need to understand how slope affects runoff.
Knowing the answers to all of these questions will put you in a better position to choose the right garden irrigation system.
The Most Common Irrigation Systems for Your Garden
Once you have answered the questions above, it is time to think about the best garden irrigation system for your plants. There are several common choices. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.
In-ground sprinkler systems require precise installation and regular maintenance. These types of garden irrigation systems can be more expensive than others to install and maintain, but they may be a good option for homeowners who don't have a lot of time to actively manage their landscaping.
A more popular choice for the home gardener is a soaker hose system or a sprinkler hose system. These options are more cost-effective and allow you to take a proactive role in how your garden is watered.
Soaker hoses are made of a porous material that allows water to seep out at regular intervals along the length of the hose. With many hose sizes available, you can customize the layout of your soaker hoses without disturbing the arrangement of your plants. They also allow water to disperse evenly so that all plants get the moisture they need.
Sprinkler hose systems achieve the same goal in a different manner. Water is sprayed out of the hose upward. This can be beneficial, but you need to take care that excess moisture is not left on the leaves of your plants.
A great thing about both of these options is that they require no special installation. You simply attach them to your water spigot, place them and allow the hose to do the hard work.
Finally, drip irrigation systems work similar to soaker hoses in that they can be wrapped in any pattern, but they are better for those who have a large, symmetrical garden. These can be one of the best irrigation systems for a large vegetable garden that is neatly organized in long rows, because they provide precise watering. Unlike a soaker hose, where water weeps along the entire length of the hose, a drip hose only emits water where you place the drip connectors, making it highly water conscious.
What Is the Best Way to Water a Raised Bed Garden?
It is becoming more common for home gardeners to use raised beds and containers for their plants. When it comes to a raised bed, a soaker hose is probably going to be the best choice.
A soaker hose can be threaded through the base of the plants in the raised flower bed. It can easily be kept out of sight and will not detract from the beauty of the garden arrangement. Once placed, a soaker hose doesn't need to be moved around. You'll also get better coverage and less waste than you would with a sprinkler.
Be Informed About Efficient Watering
Most home gardeners would probably tell you that proper watering is equal parts art and science. You are probably going to need to experiment with different methods before you decide which one is best for your garden.
Also think about efficient watering by asking questions of your garden hose supplier. This can be a great source of information that will improve your home gardening experience. Yes, it is possible to achieve effective watering and reduce the time it takes to keep your plants looking great!
All content provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. All use of products referenced in this article should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
For more general watering information, read the following articles:
Garden Watering Made Easy with These Top Tips
Everything You Should Know About Deep Watering
How to Keep Outdoor Plants Watered When You're on Vacation
A Guide to Water-Efficient Gardening
Plants and Water—A Brief Look at How Water Affects Plant Growth
Waterlogging—What It Is and How to Prevent It
Does Watering Plants with Soft Water Help or Hurt?
A Guide to Watering Your Plants in Hot Weather