The advantages of irrigation

November 13, 2019

Automatic sprinklers watering grass

Water is vital for the growth of plants, but nature doesn’t always provide the amount of water they need. That’s why irrigation is useful and necessary to ensure your landscaping efforts are optimized. It is a simple process that can be done in many different ways, with different technologies, and through different systems.

Irrigation essentially means the watering of the land. An irrigation system is the supplying of water via artificial canals and channels to plants and crops in a field. Effective irrigation supports the entire growth process from germination, root growth, nutrient distribution to plant final development.

Irrigation is necessary for:

  • Plant absorption of minerals and nutrients from the soil via their roots. These minerals are dissolved in the water present in the soil. The water transports nutrients to all parts of the plant, enabling proper growth.
  • Water makes the soil manageability more fertile and easier to plough.
  • Water provides moisture absorption that is crucial during the germination phase of the plant’s cycle.

There are some methods of irrigation that were used in earlier years, such as moat (pulling up water from a well), chain pump (two large wheels connected by a chain), and rahat (animal labor). However, more efficient systems of irrigation were invented in recent decades. The two most important methods are:

  • Drip system of irrigation – consists of rows of plastic pipes with holes laid near the crops or plants. Water seeps from these holes drop by drop. It is an extremely efficient method, as it reduces water wastage.
  • Sprinkler system – This system mimics the rain. Sprinklers placed in strategic places distribute the water across the fields. This method provides the best coverage regardless of the size of the space.

Irrigation scheduling should be another consideration. For optimum coater efficiency, sound knowledge of different growth states and climatic conditions are crucial for groundskeeping.

To avoid over or under watering, it is important to know how much water is available to the plant, and how efficiently the plant can use it. The methods available to measure this include:

  • Plant observation (visible changes such as leaf color and curling of the leaves).
  • Feel and appearance of the soil (a soil sample can be obtained by using a soil probe, auger or spade).
  • Weather-based data (evaporation from an open water surface or relative humidity, temperature, wind speed and sunshine hours).

Contact Vanguard Resources for more about groundskeeping or irrigation systems at the workplace.