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By: Marko Vuorinen
Installing an irrigation system in your yard can help make maintenance easier. After all, you will not have to hand set sprinklers all day and try to remember where you have already watered. A sprinkler system, however, is not a project for the average do-it-yourselfer. This is because there are multiple precise calculations that need to be made, and a great deal of special handling necessary to properly set up the sprinklers. A drip irrigation system, on the other hand, can be set up fairly easily by most do-it-yourselfers and conserves water to boot.

A drip irrigation system consists of a series of tubes. These tubes have holes place in them at specific intervals, corresponding with the placement of your plants. Most of the time, these systems are placed under the soil, providing deep and efficient watering for the plants. These systems promote water conservation, as there is very little evaporation, the space between plants is not needlessly watered, and there is no wind to carry the water away before it reaches the roots. Plus, watering deeply means that you do not need to water your plants as often. While drip irrigation may not be especially helpful for lawns, it can be utilized to water some portions of the lawn. Root health is promoted by drip irrigation systems, and this means hardier plants that are more resistant to pests, drought, and disease.

Because they require the opening of holes along their length, drip irrigation systems are most often installed around flowers and shrubs, and even trees. This targeted approach to watering is more effective and more efficient that more traditional sprinkler irrigation. Additionally, it helps ensure that each of the landscape's individual elements are properly watered and cared for. A drip irrigation system is unobtrusive and can be easily concealed so that the unsightly tubes do not mar the look of your property.

Installing drip irrigation is relatively simple. It is possible to create the system yourself, using hoses and making use of water available to your home, but it is much easier to use kits. There are kits available at most home improvement stores and warehouses that can help you better install a drip system. Most of the time, this installation only takes one day (or even less!). The kits come with easy to read instructions that clearly explain all of the necessary steps. There are some tools needed for the installation of your drip irrigation system, but they are generally tools that are commonly found in most households.

Not only can you install a drip irrigation system, but you can also make plant maintenance even easier by adding a timer to your system. We know that timers can be used with more traditional sprinkler systems, but many people are surprised that a timer can be used with a drip system. The timers are also available at home improvement stores and can be easily installed to go with your irrigation systems. Timers help you feel peace of mind knowing that you will not need to try to remember to water your plants. Additionally, they ensure that your plants will get the right amount of water at the right time. This can be valuable in helping you save time and money in costs associated with water usage.

It is good to note that drip irrigation systems can be used in conjunction with irrigation zones in your landscape. Plants that have similar water needs should be planted in the same area so that they can be more efficiently targeted by watering. You can help clearly demarcate irrigation zones by establishing separate beds for plants that need certain amounts of water. Your plants will also be healthier, since you will not be over watering or under watering some plants because of the water needs of its neighbors. Also be sure to note that areas that face south need more watering than areas located in areas with northern exposure. When installing a drip irrigation system, you need to keep these things in mind to ensure that your plants are best cared for by your targeted plan. Drip irrigation is one of the best ways to make efficient use of your water resources, and when combined with the concept of irrigation zones can be even more efficient.

Marko Vuorinen
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