Alternatives to Underground Sprinkler Systems
all rights to this article belong to Kay Barton from homemakers guide
This article compares manual and automated irrigation systems for watering lawn, plants in the garden soil and pots.
Find out different methods to make this task easier.
Different Methods for Watering Plants
Those who have many plants know that having to water all of them manually can be a hard job. And you have probably wondered whether there are ways to simplify this process.
Even if you go on vacation, the problem of supplying plants with water while you’re not at home emerges.
The person of trust is not always sufficiently familiar with the watering issue. Quite often, one finds the plants either dried up or overwatered after getting back from vacation.
In the article below, you’ll find out how you can irrigate efficiently your garden without an underground sprinkler system, and what you have to pay attention to.
Watering by Hand
Homemakerguide.com offers an ideal irrigation tool for watering balcony plants inside at working height that needs underground systems installed.
The devices fit the hand and allow a versatile adjustment of the water jet.
With a watering rod, you have a much larger radius of action than with watering aids.
So you can easily reach plants in smaller pots on the ground or water your luxuriantly flowering traffic lights.
Irrigation for Potted Plants— Ideas and Instructions
Like all living beings, plants depend on a regular and sufficient supply of water.
This is especially true for balcony and potted ones since they cannot support themselves via their root system in case of an unforeseen contingency.
Watering in the morning and often in the evening during the hot summer months is, therefore, essential.
An automatic watering system can help and relieve you of a lot of work. Moreover, you can go on your trip without bothering your neighbors or friends.
The system is automatic and serves as a great alternative to anything installed underground. The main benefit is, of course, that you don’t have to ask a favor of neighbors to visit your house regularly.
Diy Irrigation With Bottles and Other Aids
The most cost-effective systems are simple ones, in which you put the water containers directly into the substrate of the potted plants, and they gradually release the precious water to the roots.
You can use PET or glass bottles with solid walls (those with flexible walls don’t work!), fill them with water, and simply put them upside down into the pre-watered substrate.
You can leave the lid on the bottle so the plants won’t be overwatered, but, of course, you have to perforate it, or instead, you can also use screw-on watering cones made of clay or plastic, which also reduce the amount of water released.
Watering balls, which are usually made of glass or clay, work according to a similar principle.
The Bathtub Principle
If you don’t have any system like this, you can always use a simple solution called: The Bathtub Principle
If you have many smaller pots on your balcony that need to be taken care of during a short absence and installing an underground sprinkler system is not an option, you can place them in the bathtub. The latter should be lined with thick towels and filled about five centimeters high with water.
If you do not have a bathtub, a paddling pool or another large container will do the same.
Instead of towels, you can also bed the pots in plant granules (e.g., perlite) and moisten it with water.
They store a lot of water, and the roots of the plants do not stand directly in the wetness. Make sure, however, not to place the plants directly in the blazing sun. Instead, they should be shaded so that less water is used.
Of course, one of the most popular ways to irrigate a garden today, especially flower bad or plants, is with drip irrigation.
It’s an inexpensive, easy-to-operate system, easy to spot a pipe leak, and of course easy to fix.
It will water at any specific point you want, slowly, no flooding, no waste of water, no large water bill, the roots directly receive the water, as a result, the plants are healthy and they produce very tasty fruits and vegetables, or beautiful bloom.
Manual Sprinklers as an Alternative
Manual systems are a great alternative option for hobby gardeners because they require no technical apparatus, and are pretty cheap as well. They are very effective and can do the job of keeping your crops hydrated.
In fact, this is the easiest way to get anywhere in the garden that may not get enough water from an underground system, and even if there is a leak in the hose, it is very easy to locate and repair them, as opposed to an underground irrigation system.
Lawn Sprinkler System for Irrigation
Although in our latitudes the lawn does not have to be watered for 200 years to become beautiful and even — as the gardeners in Good Old Britain claim — the fully or semi-automatic irrigation with a sprinkler is a welcome help and relief in the daily maintenance of the greenhouse.
Especially when the summer days are long and hot, even irrigation is advantageous.
This article provides a lot of useful information about these technical marvels as a basis for decision-making.
People and plants die of thirst rather than starve to death. Sufficient fluid is, therefore, vital for both.
Watering the lawn has a lot to do with experience and observation, yet it can be achieved without any underground installations. It depends on the air and soil humidity, the climate, and the lawn itself. What is certain is that intensive irrigation is good for root development.
If you want to know when the Best time to water your lawn, click the link.
In addition, I wrote two articles on how long to water the lawn with an oscillating sprinkler, and How long to run soaker hose.
One of the most popular ways to water the garden in recent years is with the help of Oscillating Sprinkler.
There are quite a few benefits to watering in this way:
if you are only renting the property. You don’t want to be installing an expensive and hard to remove an underground sprinkler system.
oscillating lawn sprinklers can provide more effective width and length control, ensuring better water distribution.
By using an Oscillator you make sure that your water easily, sparingly (but adequately), and evenly, meaning little to no dry patches.
Good for a garden that needs to be irrigated in several areas.
Spreading only what’s needed, rather than flooding your garden and running your water costs up, which can take a heavy toll in arid climates.
allows slow penetration of water into the soil.
they are useful for large, even areas, such as a lawn.
Very little can go wrong with your typical hose and oscillating-sprinkler setup.
the units allow you to set the water output and the range of the sprinkle
If you want to know more about Oscillating Sprinkler, Click here
Disadvantages of Underground Sprinkler System
The disadvantages of underground systems for sprinkling your plants are quite high operating costs; an excessive amount of water is needed; on the contrary, saline water may cause problems. Another issue is that a lot of wind can also make the water drift into different directions.
In addition to sizeable upfront installation costs, another problem is ongoing maintenance and repairs — and those associated costs. Irrigation systems have parts that do require periodic adjustment and replacement over time.
The biggest problem in my opinion in underground irrigation systems, that if something in the system is wrong, it’s a story to start finding the problem.
You should be aware of potential underground damage to water pipes and the need to winterize the system during colder months.
Pests and tree roots have been known to damage underground sections of irrigation systems resulting in costly repairs and damage to the lawn since you’ll need to dig out to locate and repair cracked pipes.
if you live in colder regions and you have underground Irrigation systems installed that struggle hard freezes, your system will require winterizing to avoid hard damage since water is stored within the underground pipes.
Depending on the underground system installed, winterizing may not be simple, and will require more than minimal effort from a homeowner to ensure their system is well prepared for freeze weather, so if you’re not a professional in maintenance, you will have an extra cost.
Nevertheless, I wrote an article on how to Sprinkler winterization-winterize sprinkler system yourself.
Before you call a professional, you should read it and see if you can manage it on your own.
If you’re renting the property – You don’t want to be installing an expensive and hard to remove an underground sprinkler system, if you only renting your house.
still, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy a beautiful garden.
Alternatives to Underground Sprinkler Systems Conclusion
Watering the garden or balcony by hand is peaceful.
It can even bring relaxing effects, but once you go on holiday or have a lot of plants to take care of, an automated system – or even a self-made watering-structure – can come in very handy.
For that purpose, anything installed under the ground is not really a must as there are a few perfect alternatives, as described above.
An underground automatic system also has quite a few advantages, but there are many disadvantages too, and not everyone could or would like to deal with them. Today in the market you can find quite a few alternatives like oscillating sprinklers to diy irrigation.
Consider what is right for you and of course what is right for your garden.
Hope we helped … good luck!
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