Plants need adequate amounts of air, sunlight and of course, water – all of which are key components to your garden’s survival and health.
In South Africa, more often than not, the level of rainfall doesn’t supply sufficient water to maintain lawns or gardens that are not purely indigenous, and as such, many homeowners spend outrageous amounts of time manually ensuring that their gardens receive adequate watering. With modern irrigation technology however, this need not be the case – today, automated irrigation is inexpensive, efficient and in the grasp of most homeowners.
A properly watered garden is one step closer to being a healthy garden. However, there are many ways to water a garden and some will not only save you time and labor, but will also help conserve water. Using an irrigation system might seem wasteful of water; however, the opposite is actually true. Irrigation systems can save thousands of litres of water every year, when compared to manual systems. With hand watering, lots of water is wasted on garden paths and paving, and lost due to the sprinkler being left on too long so that the soil eventually gets saturated and the water just runs off. Also, the fact that with manual watering systems, it is virtually impossible to adjust the amount of water to suit the individual water requirements of various plants in your garden – instead, every area receives the same amount of water regardless.
Garden and lawn irrigation systems for the average homeowner range from portable lawn sprinklers to automatic sprinkler systems, pop-up sprinklers, micro sprinklers, drip irrigation and rain barrels. Each system is designed to deliver water to your garden in a different way, and often the best solution is one that uses a combination of methods:
• For lawns, groundcovers and large shrub borders an underground sprinkler system is the best choice, as it will evenly soak the necessary areas.
• For perennial borders, shade gardens and hedging, a drip irrigation system will deliver water right to the roots of the pants instead of to weeds or garden paths or paving.
• For vegetable and herb gardens, which typically require watering on a daily basis, a drip irrigation is also recommended. If you take it one step further and connect a rain barrel that collects all the rain water form you gutters and downpipes, you will have created an awesome green irrigation system. Harvested rainwater does not contain chemicals commonly found in tap water, such as chloride, fluoride and many others – making ideal for growing vegetables and herbs.
By simply flipping a switch your garden can be watered by any of the irrigation products and automatic controllers!