Keeping fruit plants adequately watered is an important part of agriculture. Why is drip irrigation so highly recommended for irrigation within this industry? Here are some great details to consider when you’re thinking about adding an irrigation system to your agricultural production system.
Drip irrigation basically provides a small amount of water on a continuous basis to a very small, concentrated area of soil. It often uses very small tubes, micro misting heads, micro sprinkling heads, or soaker hoses. Drip irrigation using small tubes is the most popular option for fruit growing for the following reasons:
Controlling Where the Water Goes
In most irrigation systems, the water you’re irrigating with sprays across a wider area instead of only where you want it. By using drip irrigation, the water is focused where it’s needed – on the plant that’s producing the fruit. This helps prevent erosion and allows you to use less water.
Because drip irrigation allows you to only water the plant you intend, you use much less water in drip irrigation than you do in other irrigation forms. You don’t end up watering the ground, grass, pathways, or unwanted plants. The water trickles down to the roots of the plants you want it to and does not gather or provide nutrients to additional areas that might harbor weeds or pests.
Lower Weed Competition
Weeds grow well because they can compete with your plants for the same resources – sunlight, soil nutrients, and water. Drip irrigation takes out one part of that equation by minimizing water available to weed plants. In turn, this means that fewer weeds are grown and even fewer become problematic. They can’t establish a good foothold in your production areas.
Fewer Mold and Mildew Issues
Mold and mildew issues are the bane of any fruit grower’s operation. When you use drip irrigation, you’re able to keep the water in the soil instead of on the fruit. Water is not spraying or running anywhere other than directly into the soil and the roots. By not providing extra moisture for mold and mildew to grow, you’re helping break the life cycle of many common mold and mildew organisms. This turns into lower overhead, as you don’t need additional manpower to spray the plants as often with expensive chemicals. Furthermore, you will likely experience higher profits as you’re producing more sellable fruit per plant.
Drip irrigation makes great sense for the average fruit grower, but it can be difficult to determine exactly what your farm’s needs are just by looking at the land. Contact us today for a comprehensive consultation on getting your farm set up with efficient, environmentally-friendly drip irrigation.