How Drip Irrigation can Help You Save Water in New Mexico
New Mexico has some of the driest conditions in the country, making water one of the most valuable resources. When it comes to landscaping, using water wisely is essential. If you're wondering how drip irrigation will help you save money, just watch as water savings translate into financial savings. Explore the basics and benefits of drip irrigation to find out how it can be better for your wallet, the community, and the planet
New Mexico has some of the driest conditions in the country, making water one of the most valuable resources. When it comes to landscaping, using water wisely is essential. If you're wondering how drip irrigation will help you save money, just watch as water savings translate into financial savings. Explore the basics and benefits of drip irrigation to find out how it can be better for your wallet, the community, and the planet.
What is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation is a low-pressure watering system that delivers water straight to the root of the plants. This direct method effectively minimizes runoff and evaporation losses, resulting in more efficient water use than the typical sprinklers method. This method keeps roots moist instead of soaked by delivering water straight to the source.
Drip irrigation has been used for quite some time in decades in parched regions around the world. It especially makes sense to use it in the high desert climate of Santa Fe, as water in the Southwest is particularly scarce and sometimes expensive.
Aside from being relatively easy to install, drip irrigation is a subtle addition to your garden. You can conceal most of its parts beneath a mulch layer--but take special care to keep the elements that emit water above ground to prevent clogging. If you lay the system aboveground, your plants will eventually conceal it as your garden flourishes.
How Does Drip Irrigation Work?
Soaker hoses are probably what first comes to mind when you think of drip irrigation. These are flexible garden hoses with tiny holes that allow water to drip out, delivering water right to the roots.
Kits give you more flexibility. You can mix and match components to mirror the landscape of your garden (e.g., vegetable gardens versus container plants versus flower beds, etc.). Conversion kits will allow you to make an underground sprinkler system that supports drip irrigation.
Pressure regulators or reducers help align your home water pressure with the irrigation system. Without these devices, the typical home water supply's pressure is incompatible with a drip irrigation system.
Backflow preventers or anti-siphon devices protect your drinking water by keeping the irrigation water from re-entering your water supply and contaminating it.
Tip: Aim to buy all your components from the same manufacturer to help ensure compatibility.
What are the Benefits of a Drip Irrigation System?
Since drip irrigation systems are designed to deliver water straight to the roots, they minimize water waste by all but eliminating runoff (and subsequent soil erosion). This design also helps to prevent evaporation and overspray. Using drip irrigation systems instead of conventional watering systems can potentially use 30-to-50% less water.
Less Invasive Setup
Drip irrigation helps you preserve that landscape into which you've put so much effort. You can connect the hoses directly to the host spigot without having to cut your way to the home water line. Additionally, you can situate the hoses on the ground or nestle them under a mulch layer, meaning you won't have to dig trenches as you would for other underground systems.
As opposed to sprinklers, the pliable nature of the hoses allows for greater customization--whether you're watering vegetable rows, containers, or shrubberies. Their workable nature enables you to add to and rearrange them when your plants grow and spread. Moreover, you can customize the hoses to administer the correct amounts of water depending on different soil types.
Did you know that drip irrigation gives you a way to fight disease in your garden? By delivering water to the roots of the plants, drip irrigation minimizes water contact with your plants' stems, fruit, and leaves. Due to its direct nature and minimized runoff, it also keeps weeds from leaching water and soil nutrients from the plants you work so hard to nurture.
Prevents House Degradation
Drip irrigation not only nurtures your plants at the most basic level--it can help keep your house beautiful as well. House siding can be negatively affected by constant sprinkler overspray--even leading to mold spots and deterioration of wood fences. On the other hand, drip irrigation keeps the water contained to the roots of your garden, leaving your house untouched.
Types of Drip Irrigation Systems
Familiarize yourself with the different types of drip irrigation systems to find the one that's right for you and your landscape.
Porous Soaker Hose
This drip irrigation method is prime for getting water to rows of shrubs or plant beds. It results in the smallest amount of evaporation because it distributes water from the soil directly to the plant roots. This eco-friendly method uses water efficiently.
Raindrip Drip System
This classic "set it and forget it" system helps you thoroughly enjoy the wonders of automation. Once you've connected the supply line to the fauces, laid it around your garden, and set the timer, you'll be on your way to efficiently watered plants. This is especially helpful during times of drought or water restriction when you want to be extra sure about how much water you're using.
Look here for more information on the sophisticated drip irrigation systems Firebird has to offer.
Drip Irrigation System Tips
Keep your investment running smoothly with these tips:
Flush Your Lines Regularly
A bent line or clogged emitter can render your irrigation system useless. Be sure to flush your lines after installation and before you start using them again each spring. Clearing debris regularly is key--especially if your water supply contains buildup-prone minerals.
Diversify Based on Plants
While drip irrigation systems are flexible, one method may not suit all of your plants optimally. Arrange your garden in different zones so that each plant gets the most relevant type of watering (e.g., flowers vs. lawns).
Track Seasonal Changes
Stay aware of weather shifts and treat your irrigation system accordingly. The manufacturer's instructions will guide you in the right way of draining and winterizing your system so that you can protect your investment.
Implementing drip irrigation in your garden gives you flexibility and efficiency. The Firebird can help with all your irrigation, rainwater, and landscaping needs. Visit our site to explore our wide range of innovative and affordable landscaping products, especially our drip irrigation equipment. Are you determined to repurpose rainwater? Learn more here. Do you want to freshen up your landscaping? Learn more here. Visit Firebird to find your own high-quality and efficient solution today!