Generations ago, there was a small town just starting. A group of farmers wanted to homestead the land. However, water was a big concern. There was a mountain not too far away. The good news was that meant runoff from the melting snow coming off the hills. The bad news was that, unfortunately, the small town was twelve miles from the water flowing out of the mountain. Much too far for their crops to benefit from the runoff.

Farmers understood the benefits of building an irrigation system for their town.

Now, as you water your lawn, not much thought goes into where the water comes from as you set your timer on your sprinkling system.

Sprinklers look cool and refreshing, on a hot summer day. As you water your lawn, did you know that sprinklers can be a detriment to garden plants? Watering from top to bottom can leave too much water on the leaves or even the blossoming vegetables. Yet, the root system remains dry.

Nutrients are essential to a plant thriving — many of these required minerals absorb through the soil. Any amount of absorption involves moisture. If that moisture is sitting mostly on the plant, leaves, and fruit, minimal absorption is taking place. Overwatering can cause mold and disease on the leaves and plants, creating a decreased yield. Watering by hand is not useful for water conservation, nor does it provide enough moisture to the soil to preserve the nutrients.

If you install an irrigation system, you will very quickly see the benefits of your system in your garden. You will enjoy increased plant growth and decreased weeds. You will be saving time and water while preserving the nutrients in the soil. When using irrigation, you should be providing the best water supply for your plants. Now the question is, what irrigation system is best for your needs, and how is it installed?

For our farming friends back in the day, we did this with canals. Imagine how the generations before us as had to dig ditches. The farmers in the small town needed to dig twelve miles of waterway. They needed water to irrigate. Legend has it that one young farmer traded his wife’s wedding ring to get a shovel. That is quite a commitment to installing a proper irrigation system.

This generation hardly gives a thought to the efforts of digging a canal with the equipment available. Knowing what kinds of irrigation systems are available is important. Luckily most lives where the channels are drilled, the waterways are in place and lawns are benefitting from the city irrigation system.

However, what irrigation system are you using for your gardens?

There are a few irrigation systems to choose from.

Subsurface irrigation is the type of system that requires proper irrigation products such as embedded emitters that are installed below the soil surface.

Surface irrigation is a gravity flow type of flooding that requires few irrigation products. The water is just allowed to flood the soil in a controlled manner.

The Drip system requires lines that dip water to the soil around the root, continually feeding the root systems.

Irrigation can also be done with a downpour of water provided through sprinklers. This is the opposite of drip irrigating. Instead of providing the supply of water to the roots, it is a downpour from overhead. There can be some negatives to sprinklers. However, the pros are that you can cover a much larger area and sprinklers can be used just about anywhere.

All things considered, no matter, if you chose surfaces irrigation, subsurface irrigation, or drip irrigation the benefit of having an irrigation system in your garden, will be measured in your tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and melons when they are ready for picking.