On occasions our summer weather can throw up some surprises. Last summer we had a long period of dry weather and it wasn’t long until we were out with the watering cans, trying to keep on top of things. Without an irrigation system water stress can kick in very quickly on certain garden plants. If a plant goes more than 2 days without water growth will stop, plants being to wilt as the water pressure within their leaves drops and photosynthesis ceases
Very quickly the issue of lack of rain water can become apparent as filling watering cans ‘by the bucket load’ and watering plants can become very time consuming. This is even more so the case when you are dealing with recently established and newly planted plants, trees and hedging. Irrigation systems can really come into their own in this period of shortage and save you time and your plants from an unnecessary drought
Within the a 2 week period entire lawns can turn yellow, young plants can die and all production crops from vegetables to fruits and herbs will experience stunted growth, bolting and reduced and irregular harvest. Crop productions can really benefit from having an irrigation system. Lettuce, chard, rocket, parsley, coriander and spinach will all bolt if not watered regularly. Carrots, tomatoes, courgettes and strawberries will see crops spilt if they experience drought. Water is also necessary to wash feed and nutrients down into the soil for root uptake
Irrigation systems in the UK & Ireland would be needed on crop production. For example; 1 hectare of cucumbers or tomatoes would require 20 000 litres of water per day in March. This rises to about 40 000 litres of water per hectare per day in July. That’s the equivalent to 4 litres of water per M2 in July. If we have a week of dry weather, which is common in the summer, a single tomato plant could be short 28 litres of water!
Irrigation systems have many benefits to both the user and the plants.
- Regular watering – with a water timer you can regulate when to water your plants. The ideal time to water plants is in the morning. With an irrigation system you can calibrate it so that the optimum watering levels are achieved
- Water saving – Watering by watering can is quite inefficient. Generally, as you water the water from the can spills away from the target plant and into the soil. With a slow drip flow irrigation system water slow feeds from the feed line, into the soil and into the plant’s roots
- Tailor made – If you want to install an irrigation system you can buy the individual fittings, drip feeders, sprinklers, lines and connectors to suit your own size and shape of garden. Add a water timer, water butt and water pump and, for an initial set up fee you can feed your plants with free ‘grey’ water without any effort or hassle
- Automated system – With the watering taken care of, all you need to do is pack your bags and take a long needed holiday. Safe in the knowledge that your plants will be performing to they’re optimum while you are away