Experts’ Tips: Drip irrigation

Irrigation experts share some do’s and don’ts for determining whether or not to install a drip irrigation system

The challenge: What are some do’s and don’ts for determining whether or not to install a drip irrigation system?

Hunter Industries

Robb Kowalewski

Robb Kowalewski
Drip irrigation product manager

DON’T be hesitant to use microirrigation! DO ask the following when deciding between drip irrigation and an overhead spray system:

  • Is water savings a primary factor in the design?
  • Are there nearby walkways that could cause a safety hazard when wet?
  • Does the area have significant wind?
  • Are there water restrictions or regulations?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, the area may benefit from the use of microirrigation.

Richard Restuccia, Vice president, water management solutions, Jain Irrigation

Jain Irrigation

Richard Restuccia
Vice president, water management solutions

Resource conservation, plant health and aesthetics are all reasons to consider low-volume irrigation. DO keep in mind that there is more than one way to adequately install and design a drip system. DO pay attention to the type of plant material, cleanliness of the water, plant spacing and the run lengths of tubing. DON’T forget, quality of products and regular maintenance impact the performance of your system.

Art Elmers

Netafim USA

Art Elmers
Area specification manager, landscape and turf division

DO install a drip irrigation system if you are on a slope, have limited water supply, want to reduce most turf diseases, don’t want overspray staining sidewalks or windows or if you want to grow roses. Drip irrigation is also ideal for oddly shaped planting beds. DO install drip irrigation if you want to be exempt from most water restrictions or if you want to conserve water. DON’T install a drip irrigation system if you have very rocky soil, extensive shallow root zones, plant material requiring occasional precipitation or a high iron content in the water supply.

Rain Bird

Ivonne Meza
Business development manager, landscape drip irrigation

DO consider the type of plant material and the site’s aesthetic and functional requirements. Subsurface drip irrigation can be an excellent choice for high-traffic areas, irregularly shaped or sparsely planted landscapes, as well as areas where visibility or overspray is undesired. DO research if there are municipal restrictions or state regulations regarding water conservation. DO review the site condition limitations, including available pressure, watering windows, soil type, elevation and overall design layout. DON’T underestimate the consequences of overspray.

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