If you’re looking for ways to conserve water this summer, consider installing an irrigation system.
There are three methods of watering your lawn and garden if you’re not depending solely on Mother Nature; hose and sprinkler, hose-bib drip system and an automated irrigation system.
While using a hose and sprinkler to water your lawn may seem the most economical – it costs the least up front – you may pay the difference in the long run. Not only does watering with a hose and sprinkler tend lose the most water to runoff, but it also requires substantially more water to reach a plant’s root system. As a result, your plants may not be receiving the water they need to thrive.
If cost is a concern, a hose-bib drip system is the simplest and least expensive irrigation system. It is also the easiest to install and maintain.
It attaches to your outdoor spigot and can be fitted with a battery-operated timer. The drip line is buried several inches underground and drip emitters bring water directly to the root zone of your trees and shrubs. Because the drip system is underground, there is no runoff. The water is released slowly, which stimulates deep root growth and increases a plant’s ability to survive in drought conditions.
A hose-bib system is better for watering trees and shrubs and small areas, rather than flower gardens and large lawn areas.
While more expensive than hose-bib drip systems, automated irrigation systems offer the most options, making them ideal for homeowners with expansive yards, flower gardens, and areas with varying water needs.
An automated irrigation system allows for multiple watering zones. This means you can water separate areas at different times or with varying amounts of water. It also gives you the option to use drip irrigation in one area – on your trees and shrubs, for example – and a sprinkler or spray system for another.
Of course, the added features of an automated irrigation system also mean increased cost and maintenance. You’ll need to hire a professional to activate your system in the spring and blow it out before it freezes in the autumn. These systems also require more water volume and pressure, which can be an issue for older houses around Summit County.
Depending on the system you install, you can save money over the years through the water you conserve. Regardless, an irrigation system – drip, in particular – can help you conserve water while also providing your plants with the water they need to flourish.