Irrigation is one of the oldest sciences known to men. Drip irrigation is a modern adaptation of traditional irrigation. The process through which water is applied to the plants in a garden or a field by an artificial source is called irrigation. The process of irrigation wasn’t invented today, it was invented centuries ago as the invention of the idea of irrigation paved the idea for modern agriculture.
Over the years irrigation has modernized in a number of ways and more techniques are being invented every once in a while. But, at this point in time, irrigation isn’t limited to just providing water, a lot of things need to be kept in mind.
An irrigation plan should be cost-effective, easy to maintain and water economic i.e. should be sufficient to save water. In such scenarios, drip irrigation is a very unique replacement of conventional irrigation systems.
In this article, we are going to learn in details what is drip irrigation system & why should you use drip irrigation system.
What Is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation or trickle irrigation is a method of irrigation where water is provided directly to the root zone or the root of the plant. This process is built by making a large channel or pipes, tubes, valves, etc. where the water is supplied through the lines into the crop.
The pipes help to flow water around while the emitters help determine the flow of water. The valves work to control. However, one great aspect of it is that water can be supplied and controlled in this system by any part of the water system without selecting one in particular.
Generally, there are two types of drip irrigation system, they are:
- Surface drip irrigation: In this process, water is directly delivered to the surface root of the plant, allowing it to take the water completely. This is the most efficient form of drip irrigation used mostly in house gardens and expensive crops
- Sub-surface drip irrigation: In this system, water is provided directly into the root system of the plant in a way that it reaches the roots underwater. Although not as effective as a surface system, it’s good for crops in rows in a more commercial setting.
While other irrigation systems come with its fair share of problems, drip irrigation gives you a cascade of benefits. The key arguments behind choosing a drip irrigation system are described below.
Why Should You Choose A Drip Irrigation System?
- It is very necessary to keep in mind that too much water doesn’t result in a higher yield. Rather, too much water can clog around, the water pressure can damage roots or root system, and fertilizer might wash away due to too much water.
- Also, water stagnation can damage your crops terribly. Furthermore, as water levels are depleting every year, it’s necessary to keep in mind the importance of water. Thus, drip irrigation is important for water economy.
- In drip irrigation, water is provided directly to the roots of the plants, thus saving a hefty amount of water from being wasted. This is very necessary for the environment we live in.
Control of Water
- It is very important to note that, in a general system of Irrigation, you have no control of water. But rather, it keeps getting out of hands every now and then, all you can do is make a few channels here and there, and hope, it will cater to what you need.
- But in the drip irrigation system, most of the technical stuff remains underground and the controls, emitters, valves, etc. remain very easy to access. Also, the flow can be controlled in any way you want. You have the world in your hands. You can determine the flow for different parts of your yard as well as decide on how much you need and how much you don’t.
- Thus you can cultivate multiple types of crops and provide exactly the amount of water you need for them. Also, multiple high-end kits come with a device which allows you to set timers and the water will be provided automatically. Thus, you have all the control you’d need for your system.
- When it comes to agriculture, effectiveness is key. Too much of anything is bad. In drip irrigation system, both water and fertilizer is provided in adequate amounts, thus a lot more yield can be gained from low effort.
- For example, in Italy farmers have increased yield by 35-40% by shifting to drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation can both increase yield and provide maximum yield at a cheaper cost.
- Drip irrigation gives you very good control over your fertilizer management ensuring that everything stays in order. Generally, fertilizer is applied near the plants before Irrigation is opened and then the water might eventually end up washing the fertilizer away causing loss of fertilizer while damaging the overall production. Also, applying fertilizers is hard here and there considering the water flow is hard to manage as well.
- In drip irrigation system, water is provided directly to the root so it’s unlikely that the water would wash away the fertilizer. Again, if you’re using liquid fertilizer, you can just get it mixed with water and it will be spread around without any hassle in a uniform amount.
- Although this might not be agreed by everyone, the cost of a drip irrigation system is cheaper than a conventional system. To clarify, a drip irrigation system has a fairly high cost for setting up, as it involves digging, preparing, a lot of labor costs and a number of instruments and materials.
- But the investment is mostly one time as it doesn’t have an annual cost. However minor fixes might be necessary here and there and that’s about it. Thus, with an initial investment, it’s possible to curtail the cost by a great magnitude over the years.
No matter how far ahead we go in the future, irrigation will always be the pre-requisite for modern agriculture. But with time, we have to be both smart and pragmatic. While irrigation is necessary, saving the environment is just as crucial.
Drip irrigation is something that doesn’t only make life easier, but helps in dealing with the water wastage caused by irrigation as well. It’s green and effective, and that’s why one should opt for it. If you haven’t bought a drip irrigation system yet, check out our drip irrigation system buyers guide. Rainbird also has a fantastic guide on the basics of setting up your drip irrigation system.