Selecting an irrigation system that works for you
Choosing the appropriate irrigation systemfor a project will play a key role in assisting the growth and maintenance any landscape. Irrigation is the artificial application of water to land or soil resulting in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes and can also be used for re-vegetation projects of disturbed soils in dry areas.
Irrigation systems are also implemented in crop production to protect plants against frost, suppressing weed growing grain fields and can be used as a tool in preventing soil consolidation. These systems can also be applied in the mining sector and are commonly used in the disposal of sewerage as well as for dust suppression. There are five main kinds of irrigation systems used for these purposes. Surface irrigation systems make use of gravity flow to move water over the land in order to wet and infiltrate into soil. With a localized irrigation systemwater is distributed under low pressure using a piped network. It is applied as a small discharge to individual plants. Drip irrigation, spray or micro-sprinkler irrigation and bubbler irrigation belong to this category of irrigation methods.
A sprinkler or overhead irrigation system also makes use of pipes. Water flows through the pipe system to central locations within an area and are distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns. A solid-set irrigation system consists of mounted guns, sprinklers or sprays that are permanently positioned and will not rotate. One can also invest in rotors. Rotors are high-pressure sprinklers that are driven by a ball drive, gear drive or impact mechanism that allows it to rotate in a full or semi-circle.
The more traditional irrigation system is referred to as a sub irrigation and have been used in field crops for generations. It can only be efficiently implemented in areas with high water tables. This method involves artificial ways in which water tables are raised to allow soil on the top to be wetted from below.
If you are interested in sticking with old-school ways you can always use buckets or spraying cans. It is a labor intensive exercise and is not really viable in big scale agricultural projects.
Before you select an irrigation system, be sure to do your research to guarantee that you choose the right system for your project.
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