In the winter it’s common to worry about your plants being over-watered. After all, heavy rain and storms can cause excessive water and flooding. The number of storms in recent years has been increasing which can cause as much damage to your plants as the dryness of the summer.
Making sure your plants have enough water is a year-round job. But, while the winter rain simply requires you to ensure there is enough drainage, the summer sun needs you to look into the best irrigation systems available.
Here are the 4 most effective systems:
1. The Traveling Solution
If you’re a commercial business or even grow crops on a smaller scale, you’ll appreciate the difficulty in installing systems that will keep all your plants happy. It’s expensive to purchase multiple systems and leave them in all your fields. After all, they won’t be needed all the time and you probably rotate the fields for crop growing. That leaves you with irrigation that needs to be moved every time you plant a new crop.
The simple solution for any commercial agricultural concern is traveling irrigators. This is effectively a larger hosepipe on wheels. It can be towed by your tractor into position and connected to a water supply, allowing you to water an entire field. You simply move the traveling irrigator to the next field when required.
2. Drip Irrigation
This is effective when you have crops in a straight line and you know you’ll be reusing the location every year. In fact, it’s a great approach for anyone with large industrial greenhouses. Of course, it can also be used at home.
Effectively you connect a hosepipe to a water supply and run it along the base of the plants The pipe has tiny holes in it that allow the water to drip out, hence the name drip irrigation. Add a timer and you can control when your plants get water. Of course, it’s particularly beneficial that the water goes straight to their roots.
3. Sprinkler Systems
The standard sprinkler sits on your lawn, connects to a hosepipe, and spins slowly around. The same principle can be used for fields of crops. Simply connect the hosepipe up and weave it up and down the crops with a sprinkler attached at regular intervals. You’ll need to know how far each sprinkler sprays to define how far apart they need to be in the pipe and how far the lines of pipe should be from each other.
Again, you can add a timer to control the water flow for you.
4. Furrow Irrigation
This is a great option if you have lots of rain as it can help to prevent your plants from being flooded. In effect, you create deep channels across your field. The raised bits are where you plant your crops, the furrows collect water, ensuring your plants always have the water they need.
It’s simple but surprisingly effective. If necessary you can even add water to the furrows to maintain the water feed to your plants.