Irrigation is a broad term referring to any means of delivering water to growing plants. It can take many different forms, from irrigation ditches to drip irrigation and more. It also applies to maintaining landscaping features, such as turf/grass, trees, and flowers. In many instances, rainfall is not sufficient and some areas are subject to prolonged periods of draught. Irrigation works to get around these problems. Modern irrigation methods are an efficient way to supply entire fields uniformly with water, so that each plant has the amount of water it needs.Read More
There are quite a few forms of irrigation
Hand watering, which is simply pouring water over a plant and the soil surrounding it using a bucket or watering can.
Furrow or flood irrigation is the term used to describe irrigating crops using a series of furrows or ditches filled with water in the growing area to deliver water.
Drip irrigation relies on the use of drip emitters, or plastic pipes with tiny holes in them (drip hoses) designed specifically to “sweat” water out of them. This delivers a much more controlled amount of water to the plant, and reduces evaporation and transpiration.
Spray irrigation is yet another option, although this requires the use of machinery and is more expensive to implement. Spray irrigation relies on a series of hoses and sprayers or sprinklers – you’re probably familiar with this from automatic lawn-watering systems.
Gentle spray irrigation, is used in areas where wind, a lack of humidity, or high heat levels may increase water waste during irrigation. Gently spray irrigation relies on gentle force and the use of hanging pipes above the growing area to deliver vital water.
Manual and automated irrigation systems
An automated irrigation system refers to the operation of the system with no or minimal manual intervention. Almost every system (drip, sprinkler, surface) can be automated with help of timers, sensors, computers or mechanical appliances.
Automation eliminates the manual operation of opening or closing valves
Possibility to change frequency of irrigation and fertigation processes and to optimise these processes.
System can be operated at night, water loss from evaporation is thus minimised
Irrigation process starts and stops exactly when required, thus optimising energy requirements. Manual irrigation systems are very simple, but effective methods for making water available to plants. Manual irrigation systems are easy to handle and there is no need for technical equipment.
Improved water-use efficiency (reduced loss through evaporation)
well directed, selective and targeted irrigation ensures constant water supply in the crucial phase of germination higher yields, better quality, higher germination rate, lower incidence of pest attack and low investment costs.