Garden irrigation systems are fast becoming the must have addition for gardens throughout the UK. Irrigation systems are automatic by design and take the leg work out of watering the garden, freeing up the time gardeners would have usually spent watering their plants. The other excellent benefit of using a garden irrigation system is the efficiency. A reduction of up to 90% can be achieved by using a drip irrigation system instead of using the traditional garden hose.
Garden watering systems work by carrying water around the garden in a series of irrigation supply pipes connected to a water source (usually a standard outside tap). When you have the irrigation supply pipe running past all of the plants you wish to water, you then connect water outlets to the pipe matrix which will regulate the release of water. A water outlet could be a dripper (slow release for individual plants and small areas), a micro jet or spray (for covering small – medium size areas of plants), mini sprinklers (for large areas of plants), or soaker hose (a porous pipe that releases water slowly along its entire length). Use a water timer for automatic control of when the garden watering system turns on and off.
1. Drip Irrigation Systems
Drip irrigation systems are the most efficient of the garden watering systems, designed to precisely release water to the roots of plants. It works by using a network of pipes to carry water around the garden, and then connecting drip emitters and positioning them close to the base of plants. Because the drip emitters release water slowly, you have greater control of the amount of water being delivered, eliminating water waste.
2. Micro Jet and Spray Systems
Micro jets and sprays deliver a fine spray of water over an area of up to 2 metres radius, making them ideal for covering small areas of plants. Because they cover small areas (rather than individual plants), micro jet and spray systems are quicker to install and can be more cost effective compared to drip irrigation systems, but are not as efficient with water. You can buy pre-made micro jets on stakes with micro tube, further reducing installation time, or you can buy all the components individually to customise your system as much as you’d like.
3. Mini Sprinkler Systems
With a coverage of up to 5 metres radius, mini sprinklers are great for covering large areas of plantation quickly and easily. These are similar to the micro jets and sprays, but instead of giving a fine spray, they throw water in large droplets which minimises evaporation during distribution. Installation is quick and easy, with pre-made mini sprinklers on stakes available, as well individual components for fully customised mini sprinkler systems.
4. Soaker Hose Systems
Soaker hose is a porous pipe also known as leaky pipe, and when used, it releases water slowly along its entire length and provides a deep soaking action. It’s great to use in flower borders, vegetable patches, hedgerows or any other large areas. Available in a 13mm diameter for long lengths (50m maximum lengths is recommended) and a micro 4mm diameter which is ideal for containers.