Released On 16th Feb 2023
Does My Garden Need Irrigation?
If you’ve never heard the term before, the whole idea of garden irrigation can be a bit daunting. And yes, on the surface it can look complicated, but really all it does is make the process of looking after your plants easier for you. This article provides you with a beginner’s introduction to garden irrigation, what it is and why you might want to invest in your own irrigation system this year.
What Is Garden Irrigation?
In the most basic terms, irrigating a garden is simply a way to water your garden. This usually involves creating a network of pipes that will take water around your garden, and deliver it to plants using a drip system, sprinklers or micro jets. This allows you to control how much water is going to your plants and when, as well as being able to control where it actually goes.
There are a lot of different types of irrigation, from simple pop-up lawn sprinklers to advanced drip systems for individual plants, so you can choose something that works for your environment and plants. Having a garden irrigation system in place allows you to expertly water your garden, creating the ideal growing environment for your plants.
The Benefits Of Garden Irrigation
By now you might be asking, why should I invest all of this time and money into an irrigation system, when I can just fill a watering can and do it myself? It’s a valid question so here are a few of the big benefits of investing in garden irrigation:
Most plants are incredibly sensitive to overwatering, so will benefit from a measured and controlled approach. If you overwater your plants, the water can seep further into the soil and take the nutrients your plants need with it, transporting it further from the roots. And if you’re too heavy-handed with your watering, the soil can become compacted and actually suffocate your plants. That’s why you should never water your garden with a pressure washer! Irrigation systems preserve the nutrients and the soil texture, so that your plants can thrive.
Save Time, Water & Money
The biggest benefit of an automated irrigation system is that it takes you out of the equation. You don’t have to spend time going around the garden and watering, it is all taken care of for you. It’s also a more effective use of water, since your plants are getting only the water they need and none is wasted, which can help reduce your water bills. It’s a 3-way benefit!
You’ll notice your plants growing stronger, faster, and greener by watering them over a longer period of time with smaller amounts. Limiting watering to plants’ roots limits the amount of water sprayed on the leaves, which also helps to prevent diseases such as blights and other leaf diseases.
Weeds are pests that can leech vital nutrients from your plants, causing them to wilt and sometimes even die. But weeds are plants too, which means they need water to grow. Irrigation systems limit the areas of your garden receiving water which means soil that isn’t home to plants will not be as habitable to weeds. This concentrated watering can significantly reduce the number of weeds you see in your garden.
Top Watering Tips
Whichever method of garden irrigation you choose to use, the desired outcome is always the same; you want your plants to look their best and grow healthily. So here are some top tips to make the most of your watering.
Focus on the root zone: Remember, it’s the roots of the plant that absorb the water and nutrients from the soil – not the leaves. So when you’re watering your garden, whatever method you choose, you should be focussed on watering the soil at the roots, not the leaves.
Only water when needed: There are no hard and fast rules about how much water each plant needs. It depends on the season, the soil, the type of plant and even the weather. So keep an eye on the conditions and adjust when needed. Don’t water as much when it’s raining, or water more during dry spells.
Water deeply and thoroughly: Root depth varies hugely between plants, and you don’t want anything to get missed. Lawns and annual plants concentrate their roots in the top 6 inches of soil, while perennials, shrubs and trees take up residence in the top 12 inches.
Water in the morning: Watering your garden in the morning means there is time for any moisture that’s left on the leaves to dry off and prevent plant diseases from spreading in your garden. The earlier you can do it, the better!
Mulch everything: Using mulch on your flowerbeds is more than just a way to make them look good. It also slows down water evaporation from the soil surface, making your watering efforts more effective.
Use the right tools: Using the right tool for the job will always make things easier, especially when it comes to irrigation. For example, using drip irrigation is a great way to make sure you’re watering the root zone of plants properly.
At CMA Garden Design we understand the importance of garden irrigation. That’s why we include irrigation designs and systems in our garden builds, as well as create customised watering schedules for each of our clients to keep their gardens looking good. If you’d like to find out more about our garden maintenance packages, just get in touch with the team today.