Home Garden Watering Systems

Overview

Gardening can take a lot of work, with mulching, composting, pruning, fertilizing and analyzing the soil. Fortunately, you can automate watering to reduce the amount of work you have to do each day. These watering systems have benefits and drawbacks that depend on various factors.

Inadequate Water

Plants need adequate water to survive. If there isn't enough rainfall, you'll need to give your plants supplemental water. If you don't have enough time to water your gardens by hand every day, consider installing a system to help with this. An automatic system, set on a timer, can water your plants regularly without you having to be there. This ensures the plants get water when they need it.

Excessive Water

Garden watering systems must always supply enough water to the plant without over-watering it. Too much water can encourage fungal diseases, such as root rot. Aerobic respiration becomes difficult with plants that are overwhelmed with water, causing the plant to produce toxins that can damage the roots. Excessive watering can also cause denitrification.

Types

Furrow irrigation is a simple type of garden watering system that uses ditches and a natural source of water. The water flows through the furrows and seeps into the soil near the plant, giving it adequate water. Sprinkles spray water through the air on to the plants. Drip irrigation is a system of hoses with plastic emitters that slowly release water to the plants' roots. Soaker hoses are hoses with holes in them, allowing water to seep out all throughout the area where the hose is run, near the roots.

Considerations

When plants get water on their leaves, the leaves can develop diseases, such as fungal leaf spot. Many gardeners prefer watering systems that direct the water toward the roots instead of spraying water in the air. Sprinkler systems are the most likely to get the leaves of plants wet, as they often spray water. Drip irrigation, furrow irrigation and soaker hoses usually do not get water on the leaves of the plants.

Water Conservation

Water furrows use the most water, with the water flowing through the furrows and seeping into the soil all over. Water sprinklers tend to be more precise, directing water at the plants that need to be watered. But much of the water is lost through evaporation as the water flies through the air. Soaker hoses can be water efficient if the plants are closely grouped together, but otherwise the water will be lost in many areas where there are no plants. The most water efficient method is drip irrigation, which releases small amounts of water directly at the plants' roots so that the plant can absorb the majority of it.

Keywords: water conservation, drip irrigation, soaker hose, watering system, furrow irrigation

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.