Drip irrigation is a plant watering system that uses networks of plastic pipes to carry a low flow of water directly to the plants' root zone. This method makes it easier to maintain ideal moisture levels in the soil.
The low volume of water applied to the plants' roots allows a good balance of water and air in the soil. Plants typically thrive in this type of soil condition.
Gardeners can apply plant fertilizer through a drip irrigation system, which delivers the additive directly to the root systems.
Using the drip irrigation process can reduce the chance of plant diseases since the foliage on the plants remains dry.
Drip irrigation systems use far less water than sprinkler systems. This minimizes water loss due to irrigation runoff, evaporation and wind.
The drip irrigation system must be properly placed for the plants to receive enough water. Systems placed too far apart can restrict plants' root development.
Drip irrigation systems are available for commercial orchards, farms and home gardens. These watering systems are especially effective in desert climates with little to no natural water.
- Colorado State University Extension: Drip Irrigation for Home Gardens
- IrrigationTutorials.com: Drip Irrigation Emitters
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About this Author
Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like eHow.com and GardenGuides.com, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.