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3. Low Volume Systems
Low-volume systems are typically constructed of plastic tubing and low-volume sprayers. They can be connected to an outside spigot or a sprinkler system, and can be run on a timer.
It is possible to design these low-volume systems to provide water to small areas, as needed. For example, they can be set up to water new plants during the establishment period without over-watering nearby low-water-use plants. Furthermore, they are easy to check since the spray heads are clearly visible.
A disadvantage to the low-volume system is that the small, plastic parts are somewhat fragile. Squirrels and other animals can gnaw through the tubing or otherwise disturb the system. Also, the controller must be checked and adjusted to meet the needs of your plants as they grow and change.
4. Drip Systems
Drip systems are helpful for potted plants, but like the low-volume system, they are fragile - tubing may break and drip heads may clog. Since they are small and often hidden, you may not notice their failure until your plants are suffering from lack of water. Furthermore, drip systems provide water to a limited area and may not distribute it evenly to the plant’s root system.
Whatever is the choice of sprinkler and irrigation systems for your home, an important consideration is that as your plants grow, the system will need to be adjusted to accommodate larger plants. Reviewing your irrigation system twice a year is a good practice to ensure your landscape looks it best always.
It’s also important to check that irrigation systems feed specific plants and don’t waste water on dead space or sidewalks. According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, overhead sprinklers water effectively about 50% of the time, whereas drip irrigation, zeroed in on its target plants, is effective nearly 100% of the time. In fact, current California laws restrict outside irrigation for new construction unless it’s delivered by drip irrigation.
As part of our landscape design services, HFplus will design your irrigation system to meet your landscape needs, considering your particular plant preferences and maintenance requirements. With over 30 years of experience, and our knowledge of the Inland Empire climate, you can be sure your garden will flourish and turn the neighbors green with envy.
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HOME SPRINKLER AND IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
An irrigation system that allows you to water plants easily and properly is key to a successful garden. And because your garden will mature – and climate will change – your irrigation system must also be flexible.
It can be anything from a simple spigot and hose to a complex automated irrigation system (or some combination of both). There’s no one system that’s right for all gardens. If your landscape plan includes more than one Water Zone – or if your site is anything other than a small flat piece of ground – you may need to use several types of irrigation methods to water everything properly.
Whatever the configuration, you’ll want an irrigation system that’s flexible and as water-wise as possible. You have four basic options: 1) hand watering with a hose, using either a nozzle or a sprinkler, 2) overhead sprinklers on automatic controllers, 3) low-volume systems and 4) drip systems.
Each has advantages and disadvantages:
1. Hand Watering
People who hand-water their gardens can adjust the amount of water on a plant-by-plant basis. The time spent watering the garden allows you to examine your plants often and closely. Overhead watering is not usually a problem for most plants.
The biggest problem with this method is that you may lose plants if you are unable to keep up with the watering. Also, if time is limited or you are too impatient to water deeply, your plants may suffer from stunted root systems. Therefore, this is not usually a system e recommend.
2. Overhead Sprinkler Systems
Overhead sprinkler systems are systems that water plants from above. Overhead sprinkler systems on automatic controllers free you from having to remember to water your garden. Automatic controllers, though, must be monitored and adjusted to weather conditions and plant needs, and of course, they must be maintained.
A power outage causes some controllers to reset to a default schedule of 10 minutes of watering, everyday of the week – a watering regime that is generally wasteful and unhealthy for most plants. Although it is best to water in the early morning, it is essential to check your system often, so set it for a time that you will regularly see it running.
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