Plants are made up of 75 to 90 percent water. Like humans, they get weak and wilt when deprived of water and can drown in too much. Garden irrigation systems provide control over watering, which helps produce healthy and beautiful garden plants. There are several reasons that a home irrigation system might benefit you and your garden.
Overhead watering is wasteful because of over spray and evaporation. Water is increasingly scarce and expensive. It's important to conserve water resources when we can. Home irrigation distributes water only when and where it is needed--at the roots. Remember that consumers pay twice for water: first for the water supply, and then for sewage, even when water soaks directly into the ground.
Overhead watering soaks plant leaves, which can lead to mildew. Mildew causes black spots on roses and tomatoes. Irrigating at the base of the plant keeps the leaves dry and discourages mildew. In order to control mildew, keep the water low on the plant through controlled irrigation.
Fruit splitting, a common problem experienced by vegetable gardeners, is caused by inconsistent watering. A short period of dry neglect, followed by a guilt-inspired gush from the hose causes the sides of tender fruit, like tomato and berries, to split. Waterlogged soil can rot roots, causing plant decline and death. It also can attract nematodes, a great nemesis of the vegetable garden and many evergreens like boxwood.
Lawns are easy to underwater and over water. Over watering can lead to rot, disease and insect problems. Inconsistent watering starts a harmful cycle of drought and drenching, which encourages weeds. Irrigation, especially with a timer, helps with consistency in timing and amount of water used. Setting the timer overnight lets you water the lawn without getting up early and overseeing the project to the end.
Home irrigation installation is an easy, do-it-yourself project. Irrigating roses and other shrubs can be as easy as using soaker hoses. If you can gently snake a hose around your shrubs and connect two hose ends, you can effectively water your plants. Even the more complicated lawn systems with underground supply lines and pop-up sprinkler heads are moderate projects requiring only a weekend, and perhaps a friend for company, to complete.
There is an irrigation system for every budget. Soaker hoses cost about as much as good quality garden hoses of the same length. Expect to pay more for larger lawn systems and those requiring underground plastic pipe and pop-up sprinkler heads or timers. You get what you pay for, so buy the best you can afford.
Easy to Use
Once the system is installed, it's easy to use. Connect the hoses, if not already connected, and turn on the spigot. The added feature of a timer allows you to not be home at all. This is good if you are on vacation or don't wish to be awake at some ideal watering times. Be aware that the overuse of a timer can lead to overwatering.