Water Smart

Date posted:

For whatever reason, there's something deeply satisfying about watching the sprinklers run, shooting the long streams of that sacred, life-giving liquid. Your yard is vibrant green, and all you had to do was set the timers, or maybe it was even done for you. Easy, right? Simply install a complete irrigation system, water for 20 minutes a day everyday, then sit back and watch your perfect patch of land start resembling the botanic gardens! Unfortunately, wrong. There are smart ways to irrigate, and then there is what most people do. I could write an entire book on the proper ways to install, irrigate, and then maintain an irrigation system. However, I don't think anyone would actually read it, so we'll stick to some main points over the next few weeks and hopefully improve your yard, trees, and water bill.

I have noticed that there seems to be some sort of obsession with spray heads in the Oklahoma City area. Don't get me wrong, spray heads work great in large open turf areas, but we have got to stop using them in planting beds. Spray irrigation in landscape beds is inefficient. Unless every plant in the bed gets the same watering requirements, is the same height, and there is virtually no slope, you should not be using spray heads. Taller plants will block water from the shorter plants causing drought conditions in localized areas of the planter, while others are receiving too much water. So some plants will die from lack of water, while a few feet away plants are dying from too much water. Drip irrigation allows all plants to be watered, no matter the height difference. Drip irrigation can allow each plant to be watered differently, so plants requiring more water can be satisfied while more drought tolerant plants are not drowned. Fungal issues are lessened due to the leaves not being constantly wet. Drip irrigation is generally cheaper to install as well due to less trenching and labor. There are really no downsides to drip irrigation, so please, lets all jump on the drip irrigation train and watch your flower beds really thrive.

I love list, so lets do a quick list of pros and cons to recap:

Factors involving Spray Irrigation:

1.) Evaporation

2.) Plant blockage

3.) Overspray

4.) Water Runoff

5.) Promotion of plant diseases

Factors for Drip Irrigation:

1.) Prevention of Evaporation, Overspray, and water runoff

2.) Prevention of many plant diseases

3.) Reduced Weed Growth

4.) Aesthetic appeal

5.) Saving lots of $$$$