Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Drip and Micro Irrigation

Greetings! Another fickle weather week here in the Midwest. We had storms yesterday all around Sioux City, but we missed the bulk of it only receiving a quarter inch of rain. Better than no rain, I suppose, but the landscape around here is fairly parched. You can tell in a glimpse who has been watering and who hasn't.

This week we are going to look at drip and micro irrigation.

Drip irrigation is the slow application of water directly to the plants' root zone. With drip irrigation water is not wasted on non-growth areas and the plant root zone is maintained at its ideal moisture level. Drip irrigation is at the surface rather than below ground. It is utilized to water plant beds, vegetable gardens and trees. It is typically placed below the rocks or mulch in the plant bed and, as the name implies, simply drips the water to the base of the plants at a slow rate.Watering at the surface results in less loss from sun or wind thus making drip irrigation very efficient. Test plots show that 90% of the water presented to plants via drip irrigation is available to the plants.

Many plant varieties prefer to receive their water at the root rather than over the leaves. Rose bushes, for example,  are most happy when watered at the root. If you have the opportunity to see the lovely Rose Garden at Grandview Park you'll notice all those beautiful plants receive their water through drip irrigation.

Micro-spray irrigation is also used in plant beds and trees, but have applications in shrubbery, planters, hanging baskets and pots. The applications for these small sprayers are almost endless. Micro-sprays are likened to mini sprinkler heads. Here is one design from Hunter Industries -

Micro irrigation provides water with pin-point accuracy. The variety of micro-sprays and their various adjustments of patterns and flow rates can be custom designed to match the needs of the plants they are watering. Micro sprays are little but mighty.

One of the most overlooked facets of these types of irrigation is just how versatile they are. If you are one who is always changing things up in the plant beds, you can easily change out to another type of sprayer or shift around the emitters or drip you already have to water your new configuration.

Drip and micro-spray irrigation take the hassle out of watering plants.  Drip irrigation is a simple answer to efficiently and effectively applying water where and when you want it!

Have a super week! Keep it green!


  1. I agree that drip irrigation is the best of watering the plants efficiently and effectively over a wide area. I haven't heard of micro irrigation earlier could you please tell me more about this. Irrigation Systems

  2. Simply put, Micro Irrigation is very small, very specific sprinkler heads installed on flexible tubing. They come in a variety of patterns and precipitation rates and can be used on a multitude of applications. Hunter Industries has some good information about Micro Irrigation on their website -