What is an Irrigation System?

In locations with hot or dry weather, many trees, plants and grasses struggle to survive without the appropriate levels of water. When rainfall is low and the local agriculture or landscaping is struggling to survive, irrigation systems can be used to deliver water to the soil and plants effectively.

Conditions of Florida

Although Florida does see significant rainfall at times, it is often unpredictable. There can be long periods of time in which no rain, or not enough rain, occurs, especially in the late spring and fall months. In addition, the heat, humidity and sun strength can be very detrimental to the growth and life of Florida vegetation. Areas affected can include the Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Citrus counties. For these locations, it may be necessary to bring water to the soil and plant life rather than waiting for it to fall from the sky.

Defining Irrigation Systems

An irrigation system is a method of delivering water to these types of dry areas. Such a system can be of many different sizes and complexities, often incorporating a combination of channels, canals and hoses to move the water throughout the land and to the vegetation that requires assistance.

Successfully irrigated plants occur when the water is kept as close to the needed areas as possible to prevent extra evaporation as it is being applied. For example, when water is sprayed over a large distance in a hot or sunny climate, much of that water will evaporate before it ever reaches the soil or the plants that need it. This is inefficient, and some sprinkler repair is needed to stop the wasted water use.

When sprinkler repair will reduce the usefulness of the watering, another option is to only utilize the irrigation system during hours when the sun is low, such as the early morning or just before dark. These times will cut down on water evaporation since the sun is not out in full force.

Different Types of Systems

Applying water to the soil can be done in more than one manner.

1. hand watering – The most basic system is hand watering. This can be done simply with a garden hose or a portable sprinkler. The nozzle and the angle of the watering adjust the flow of the water, and the person doing it controls how much water is applied to the soil or plants. Depending on the size of the area that needs irrigated, this can be a very tedious system.
2. sprinkler system – This option is the best for covering a large area, and the valves and automatic system controls the amount of water applied. However, it is also the most prone to water loss through evaporation, and some sprinkler repair may be necessary.
3. drip irrigation – In this option, the water is applied nearly directly to the roots or soil around targeted plants. It is particularly effective for keeping the water on certain plants or on small, irrigated areas.

Benefits of Irrigation Systems

In addition to providing necessary water to growing plants and grasses, an irrigation system offers many other benefits:
• Conserves water by only providing a set amount
• Saves time by running on an automatic system
• Prevents water runoff and plant damage
• Provides flexibility in watering schedule
• Offers possible weed reduction with specialized systems

An irrigation system can be a great investment for many Florida residents interested in bringing more water to their soil and vegetation.