In a hot, desert climate, water is something that most Phoenicians have learned not to take for granted. During the summer, not only does your power usage increase, but so does your water consumption. A substantial benefit of drip irrigation systems is that they conserves a natural resource, that while renewable, is not unlimited: water.
For those of you that enjoy planting in the Arizona’s year-round planting season, you know how much that water bill can increase. So how can you keep your plants alive and still conserve water during the summer? You should consider installing or having a drip irrigation system installed.
Drip Irrigation Benefits
The point of drip irrigation is to slowly and directly place water into the soil by literally dripping it in from many small water emitters. These emitters are typically placed one or more at each plant through your garden bed. This type of system helps save water because there is little loss due to runoff and evaporation. That allows it to use 30-50% less water.
If executed correctly, drip systems can promote healthy plant growth, decrease weed growth, and reduce pest problems. When a small amount of water is applied over an extended period, it creates better growing conditions.
Drip irrigation prevents soil erosion and nutrient runoff, and it allows water to penetrate deeply into the soil to reach the root zone. Since water is only delivered where it needs to be, weeds receive none to use for growth. By reducing the amount of standing water in your plant beds, you are less likely to see a lot of, or increased insect activity.
Sprinkler System Conversion
Can I convert my existing sprinkler system to a drip system? You might be surprised to know that you can find products to do so. However, you need to remember that a sprinkler system and a drip system apply water at different rates and under different pressure.
Because these systems apply water at different rates and use different water pressure, they will require separate valves to continue to function correctly. If you plan on using both a sprinkler system and a drip system, your drip system will need a pressure reducer and a filter. These will prevent it from releasing water at too high a pressure and will help prevent clogging.
When converting your sprinkler system to a drip system, you will want to remember to follow any manufacturer installation recommendations. Make sure to set and change your watering schedule according to plant needs, the local weather, and season. Also, remember to keep filters clean and flush your system periodically and inspect your emitters and lines monthly.
Essential Elements of a Drip System
What are some of the elements you will need in your drip system? For starters, you’ll need a controller or a timer so that you do not overwater or underwater your plants. The next thing you’ll need is a backflow preventer which is required for all irrigation systems and the installation is regulated.
Valves, filters, and pressure regulators turn the water on and off, maintain a clean water supply, and produce suitable levels of water for your drip irrigation. You will also need micro-tubing which delivers water to the emitters that you will need.
Lastly is a flush cap or valve which is attached to the end of the lateral line. This cap allows you to flush particles and debris from your irrigation lines periodically by removing it. By cleaning your line, you are keeping your system running longer in a better condition, and you are reducing how often you must replace parts.
Hire Drip Irrigation Professionals
Elite Landscaping and Sprinkler Repair has been servicing residential and commercial clients throughout the greater Phoenix metro area since 1982. Our mission is simple: to provide a high level of professional landscaping service to ensure complete customer satisfaction. As a full-service landscaping company, we provide landscape and sprinkler system design, installation, and repair. To inquire about these or other services offered, please contact us at (602) 390-4645 today.