Making sure that your entire garden gets enough water can be frustrating. Without some kind of irrigation system in place, you'll always have to remember to check your soil's moisture and spray down your thirsty plants on dry days (especially the varieties that require a bigger supply of water to continue growing and producing). Forgetting to water when your garden needs it most can be very annoying for you and hard on your coming harvest. To guarantee that your soil will be moist when it needs to be, you'll want to install a proper irrigation system in your garden. Here are a few different ones to consider using.
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One of the simplest irrigation systems you can set up in your garden is a soaker hose. Soaker systems are typically thinner hoses with holes in them or made out of a more porous material that allows water to escape from them. The nice thing about these hoses is that they are usually very flexible. If you need to add irrigation to a hard-to-reach area, this might be the best choice for you. Plus, you can install a system of soaker hoses throughout your garden either when you first plant or after you’ve gotten everything in the ground. Use garden stakes to keep them in place so they can water the spots you want them to reach. Otherwise, they'll have the freedom to move around. When it’s time to give your garden a soaking, you'll just need to attach your regular garden hose to the system. Soakers hoses are relatively easy for anyone to set up, and you can often get them for a reasonable price, making it possible to use them all around your garden and even in the landscaping beds around your yard.
Sprinkler heads, which are typically attached to hoses or pipes, are another good irrigation option to consider installing in your garden. The nice thing about systems like these is that they can often be set with a timer to go off at certain times of the day. There are even some sprinkler systems that can be set up above ground, making it possible to put them in your garden after planting. Unfortunately, these often aren’t as good as the ones that are buried underground. Plus, you have to deal with moving above-ground sprinklers around when mowing or performing other garden activities.
Installing an underground sprinkler system can be more intensive, especially when it comes to things like winterizing. Still, these systems offer some great benefits because they stay in place year after year. In order to install an underground sprinkler system, you’ll need to dig up the areas you’ll be putting it in. If you try doing this in the middle of an established garden, you could lose some plants. It’s best to install underground irrigation either before or after the growing season to give the soil enough time to get ready for the next one.
Drip irrigation is a popular system that utilizes every drop of water, as it drips specifically over the places that need watering. A drip irrigation system is similar to soaker hoses in the way that it works. The system is made up of a bunch of tubing and drippers that are turned on and off by a battery-operated controller at a particular time of day. Drip irrigation doesn’t flood the ground like a soaker hose would as drippers tend to have smaller holes. Instead, it offers micro-irrigation, which allows the water to gradually soak into the ground all the way down to the root level. Plus, drip irrigation often uses less water than other methods.
The nice thing about drip irrigation is that you can either buy a system that’s already been made or find plans to make a DIY one. Most of these plans incorporate tubing that can be found in the plumbing section of your local hardware store and punctured afterward. If you’re looking for something that’s sturdier, try building your system out of PVC pipes. Drip irrigation is also convenient in that it can be used in both in and outdoor gardening set-ups.
A steady supply of water is essential for your garden plants, especially if you live an area that doesn't see a lot of rain. Lugging the hose around your yard to ensure that you get your whole garden wet can be a real pain. Plus, it's easy to forget to water when you're worrying about everything else that you need to get done in a day. Each of these irrigation systems can help you ensure that your garden will grow strong all year round, even during the hottest summer days when water is scarce.