Advantages of Drip Irrigation


Advantages
1. Reduced Water Usage – By directly targeting the root zone, water isn’t wasted on areas that won’t benefit the plant.

2. Healthier Foliage – Overhead watering means the leaves of the plant stay wet long after irrigating. Wet leaves causes discoloring and spotting. With drip irrigation, the plants leaves remain dry.

3. Prevents Fungus – Wet leaves can cause fungus such as powdery mildew to spread. Drip irrigation keeps foliage dry and prevents fungus.

4. Prevents Soil Erosion – Drip irrigation is a gentle, steady drip and reduces the amount of runoff, therefor reducing soil erosion.

5. Reduces Weeds – Since areas in between the plants won’t be receiving water, weeds are less likely to grow.

6. Nutrient Runoff Minimized – When there’s a large volume of water running off the soils surface it depletes nutrients in that soil. Since drip irrigation reduces runoff it reduces the loss of nutrients.

7. Doesn’t Require Lot Leveling and Drainage – Typical irrigation setups leave a lot of water on the soils surface. This means drainage and proper site leveling is required to prevent standing water. With drip irrigation this isn’t as necessary since less water is being used and the water is being directed directly to the root system.

8. Works With Low Pressure – Low pressure is actually good for drip irrigation. Most overhead irrigation systems require pressure tanks if there are a lot of sprinkler heads.

Disadvantages
1. Clogging – Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of drip irrigation is that the small holes along the drip lines can get clogged. Clogging is extra likely if your water contains iron. If not properly maintained, your drip line holes can clog and prevent the flow of water.

2. Requires Installation – A drip irrigation system requires some planning, purchasing of materials, and installation. This takes more effort then simply laying out a hose with a sprinkler attached to it.

3. Requires Maintenance and Oversight – You have to routinely check your drip lines to make sure they are functioning properly. Since a lot of the action is being done at the surface of the soil, it can be difficult to see problems at first glance. Drip irrigation also requires seasonal blowouts and winterizing.

 

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