Drip Irrigation for Your Home Garden: An Essential Guide

Drip irrigation tube watering plants

Most homeowners dream of having a luscious green yard in front of their homes. As you might expect, maintaining a green lawn requires managing water smartly, typically with a professionally designed irrigation installation.

Drip irrigation systems are water distribution mechanisms that can help keep your yard in good condition for longer.

The team at Simmons Landscape & Irrigation is here to talk about everything you need to know about drip irrigation systems. We will cover the basic design of such systems and talk about their advantages and disadvantages. We also have an article on how to install one!

Contact us if you have any questions about our landscaping and irrigation services!

What Is a Drip Irrigation System?

Drip irrigation is a type of water distribution system that utilizes gravity and the natural sieving properties of soil to minimize water consumption and water loss. Drip irrigation systems inject the water directly into your yard’s root zone from either above or below the soil.

Drip irrigation systems consist of a series of valves and pipes that channel pressurized water through your yard’s root line. Unlike traditional irrigation methods, drip irrigation systems do not put water into the air, so they lose less water due to evaporation. You can read more about drip vs. sprinkler systems here.

Drip irrigation systems are somewhat of a niche for home gardens. Their low water consumption and direct root injection process make them great for growing vegetables, herbs, and other produce. Since they typically lie below the ground, they also resist damage from the elements.

Types of Drip Irrigation Systems

Type of emitter for drip irrigation system

Below is a list of the main types of drip irrigation systems. These three systems all share the same design but have different hole placement options. You can create a DIY drip irrigation system from spare parts, or you can buy drip irrigation kits that come with prefabricated elements.

Porous Garden Hose

A porous garden hose is the simplest type of drip system and consists of a series of holes with perforations along their length. The system pumps water through the garden hoses, and water comes out through the holes. Homeowners like porous garden hoses because they are cheap and easy to customize.

The main disadvantage of these systems is that they are harder to make for large yards. You’ll need a lot of hosing to cover an entire yard, so hose setups work best with gardens.

Pre-fit Emitter Lines

Pre-fit emitter lines are mostly the same as porous hose setups. The main difference is that pre-fit lines have pre-drilled emitter holes at regular intervals rather than holes all around the hose component. Most pre-fit emitter lines have holes every 12 to 26 inches apart.

Like porous hose lines, you can place pre-fit emitter lines above or under the soil line. Pre-fit emitter hoses also have higher water pressure, so the holes do not clog as easily with dirt and mulch.

Punch-In Emitter Lines

The third type of drip irrigation system uses punch-in emitter lines. These systems let you pick where to put emitter spots by using a special barbed inlet. The inlet pierces the hose, and the barbed component keeps the hole open and free from clogs.

You can buy different punch-in attachments to modify water pressure and water flow. For example, larger inlets produce more water flow but less pressure, while small inlet barbs produce more water pressure but less water flow.

The right choice of irrigation system depends on your yard’s size and configuration. An irrigation expert can help you decide which kind of system will work best for your Ohio home.

Benefits of Drip Irrigation Systems

Drip irrigation for home irrigation system

Below is a list of some of the top benefits of drip irrigation systems in Ohio.

Delivers Water Efficiently

The main reason to switch to a drip irrigation system is water efficiency. Drip irrigation systems distribute water underneath the soil surface, unlike traditional sprinklers. This design means that the water goes precisely where it’s needed.

Drip irrigation won’t leave extra water deposits on top of your soil. Experts found that drip irrigation systems can reduce water consumption between 30 to 70%, depending on the arrangement and layout of your yard.

Minimizes Water Loss

In addition to minimizing water consumption, drip irrigation minimizes the amount of water lost through evaporation. Since drip irrigation feeds water into the soil, it doesn’t spray out and evaporate in the air. The same mechanism also reduces surface evaporation.

Prevents Weeds

Weeds are particularly nasty as they can form over the root layer and steal precious nutrients from your plants. Drip irrigation systems provide water directly to plant roots, meaning that weeds have a harder time entrenching themselves and stealing water. The result is that drip irrigation systems can prevent weed growth from overtaking your yard.

Prevents Plant Disease

One of the biggest downsides of excessive water usage is the growth of mold and plant fungi. These two agents can wreak havoc on your yard and kill plants by destroying their roots. In addition, plant blight and other fungi can quickly decimate your yard and are difficult to treat.

Since drip irrigation minimizes standing water and water usage, there is less risk of developing fungi or mold. Drip irrigation also keeps leaves and other exposed plant parts dry, reducing the chance of external plant disease.

Easy to Adapt

The core design of drip irrigation is simple, so it’s easy to adapt the design for your lawn’s needs. You can modify flow rate, water pressure, and water volumes through your choice of piping and pumps. Additionally, you can make a small or large drip irrigation system, depending on the size of your yard.

Contact an Irrigation Specialist Today!

Drip irrigation systems are an excellent way to minimize water consumption and keep your yard looking healthy and green. Simmons Landscape & Irrigation has over a century of experience serving the Bowling Green area. As a family-owned operation, we offer a level of service and care you can only expect from a local small business.

Interested in learning more about our drip irrigation services? Contact Simmons Landscape & Irrigation online today!