Drip irrigation, also known as micro irrigation, trickling irrigation, or targeted irrigation, is the slow application of water to soil using a network of small-diameter plastic pipes outfitted with outputs known as emitters or drippers.
In contrast to surface & sprinkler irrigation, that wet the entire soil profile, micro irrigation just wets the soil where the plant’s roots are growing.
Drip irrigation water is done more frequently (typically daily 1–3 days) compared to other systems, giving the soil a more ideal high moisture content. Soil remains unsaturated & no free water stands or flows off the surface as long as the usage falls short of soil’s infiltration capacity.
Reservoir tanks, fertigation, and filters equipment are some examples of optional extras that might be incorporated into the system.
Let’s learn about the major benefits and drawbacks of drip irrigation
Advantages of Drip Irrigation
1. Less water use
Drip irrigation’s primary benefit is its ability to reduce water consumption. Drip irrigation allows for precise watering of plants’ root zones. In contrast to traditional irrigation methods, this one does not result in any water loss due to evaporation, overspray, or runoff.
Spray, rotor, and flood irrigation systems are typically between 35% and 50% efficient, while drip irrigation systems can achieve efficiencies of 90% or more.
The efficacy of irrigation refers to the proportion of irrigated water that’s utilized by the plant or crop. Drip irrigation is a very efficient watering technique since it uses nearly all of the water it receives from its source.
For instance, a spray system’s efficiency could be as low as 45%, indicating that most of the water either evaporates before it reaches the ground or falls in places where the plants’ roots can’t get it.
2. Improved health of plants
Drip irrigation provides the option to utilize water only when it is absolutely necessary. Drip irrigation may be simply adjusted to supply plants with the exact amount of water they require, even if that amount varies from plant to plant. Most of your plants will die from overwatering because conventional irrigation systems water them all at the same rate. Plant diseases are exacerbated by overwatering.
Drip irrigation systems can be adjusted to accommodate irregularly shaped fields & landscapes as well as those with varying terrain and soil textures. Growers and landscapers like the adaptability of drip irrigation systems because of their inherent versatility. In many cases, this improves the effectiveness of the system.
4. Reduced weeds
Weeds are far less likely to develop in the spaces between plants because they won’t be getting water.
5. Efficient fertilizer use
Drip irrigation typically reduces the amount of nitrogen needed. Drip irrigation systems are inefficient at delivering nutrients to plant foliage because they deliver water directly to plant roots. Drip irrigation systems can be infused with fertilizers to supply plants with steady doses of nutrients. This microdose with each watering is superior to the shock treatment of fertilizing plants every other week.
6. Less nutrient run-off
Nutrients in soil are depleted when there is excessive runoff from the surface. Drip irrigation helps keep nutrients from washing away since it limits the amount of water used.
Drip irrigation systems often have lower installation and upkeep costs than other types of irrigation systems. In most cases, the total cost of materials and labor can be reduced by using a drip design.
The consequence will be enhanced productivity and decreased costs for contractors and cultivators. Landscapers who advertise themselves as water-conservation-minded are more likely to see an uptick in business.
Disadvantages of drop irrigation
One potential drawback of this drip irrigation is the possibility that the tiny holes along the pipes may become obstructed. If the water contains iron, you may experience more frequent clogging. Drip line holes might become clogged if they aren’t regularly cleaned.
2. Need oversight and maintenance
Drip lines require regular inspection to guarantee optimal performance. As much of the process is occurring at the soil’s surface, it may be hard to spot issues at first. Seasonal blowouts & winterizing are also necessary for drip irrigation systems.
3. Need installation
It takes considerable forethought, material acquisition, and labor to set up a drip irrigation system. Putting out a pipe with one sprinkler attached requires less work than this.
4. Difficulty in moisture distribution
Drip irrigation systems allow you to water your plants without soaking the soil around their roots. But, in other cases, such as when your system is particularly old or has been attacked by insects or animals, this may not be possible.
5. Vulnerable to dysfunction
Pipes used for drip irrigation must be buried close to your plants’ root zones, where they are subject to gradual degradation from solar radiation.
6. Requires skilled supervisors
In order to function efficiently, drip irrigation calls for highly skilled experts and supervisors. If the system becomes clogged or malfunctioning, you will need to get it fixed as soon as possible by a professional so that your plants don’t suffer from insufficient or excess water at the root zone.
7. Soil salinity hazard
Because of the low water volume used per plant by drip irrigation systems, salt from the soil can accumulate and eventually kill the plants.
The upfront cost of drip irrigation is higher than that of sprinkler systems.
9. Extensive study
Drip irrigation systems and their components are only effective if the land’s topography, water, soil, crops, & agro climatic conditions have all been thoroughly researched.
- As a result of the sun’s heat, tubes can sometimes burst.
- Fertility levels drop when plastic tubes are used. Sometimes the sun dissolves plastic, which has consequences for soil and fertilizers.
- At times, a tube may become obstructed. Roots dry out because water cannot reach them.
- It is a waste of resources to use Drip Irrigation if it is not installed correctly.
Consider the benefits of drip irrigation if you’re seeking for a more efficient way to water your plants and vegetables but also take note of its major drawbacks that might affect your crops or plants in longer term.
Santosh Kumar is a Professional SEO and Blogger, With the help of this blog he is trying to share top 10 lists, facts, entertainment news from India and all around the world.