- 1. Surface or gravity irrigation system
- 2. Drip irrigation system
- 3. Sprinkling system
- 4. Subsurface irrigation
- 5. How to choose the most suitable irrigation system
- 6. Types of irrigation control system
- 7. Types of wiring systems8. How to water the plants
The pledge of the annual good harvest and soil fertility in your summer cottage is timely feeding and fertilizing the land and, of course, constant watering. Proper and competent arrangement of the irrigation system will not only ensure timely and regular soil moistening even in your absence, but also save a lot of money. In this article we will give some useful tips on organizing irrigation systems in the country, consider their main types and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each system.
1. Surface or gravity irrigation system
The simplest irrigation system, the organization of which does not require any specific knowledge or costs associated with the purchase of material. The process of arranging such a system comes down to the fact that a narrow trench is dug out on both sides of each bed, a depth of 10-15 cm. Then you can either make a plastic pipe inlet to each trench or lay a watering hose. You can connect the hose to a conventional barrel with water, which is installed at a height of 1.5-2 meters above the ground. This ensures that the water flows out of the hose under its own pressure. You can also use a centralized water supply. Large head in this case is not required - the main thing is that there is enough pressure to let the water out of the hose. This is true when the beds are located at a decent distance from the water tap.
In addition to the furrow method, the surface irrigation system can be carried out by the method. In this case, trenches are not required, because the entire surface of the beds is completely filled with water so that it will remain on the surface for some time. If you really use this method, you should evaluate the state of the landscape. On sloping or hilly areas, it will be difficult to ensure even watering. What are the advantages of this watering system has:
- Easy to organize and maintain
- Requires minimal human participation;
- It takes less effort and energy than your regular watering with a watering can.
This ends the positive moments. Regarding disadvantages:
- This kind of watering is not suitable for all garden crops;
- When flooding the soil with large amounts of water, the amount of oxygen that is supplied to the roots of the plants is significantly reduced;
- A hard crust quickly forms on the ground, causing the soil to become heavy and lose its ability to absorb;
- Uneconomical water consumption.
Experienced gardeners have long ceased to use similar irrigation methods and tend to organize more elaborate systems. These include the following types. However, if you are quite satisfied with the surface irrigation and, most importantly, it suits the crops growing on your site in terms of the frequency of irrigation and the amount of liquid supplied, you should not discard it. The irrigation system should meet your personal needs, rather than the emergence of more modern technologies, for which sometimes it does not make sense to chase.
2. Drip irrigation system
This method is the most gentle and economical. It is advisable to use it for basal watering of plants that are particularly sensitive to drought. Organizing a drip irrigation system is quite simple. It includes several basic elements:
- Water tank;
- Drip irrigation hose;
- Plug by the number of used hoses.
Such irrigation can be carried out both from the storage tank, and with the help of the main pipeline. It is necessary to equip the central pipe, which will have the number of connectors equal to the number of beds. The length of the drip hose must match the length of the bed and have a small margin. It should be located as close as possible to seedlings. Watering can be continuous: the main thing is that the water tank capacity is appropriate.
In case of using water from the pipeline, it is possible to equip the system with a timer, which, according to the established mode, will open and close the water supply. When organizing a drip irrigation system, be sure to install a filter before water enters directly into the drip hose. Technical water has a lot of impurities and small debris that quickly clogs the holes. Drip irrigation has a lot of advantages: :
- Due to the fact that water gets directly to the roots, its consumption is minimal and the moisture content is more than sufficient;
- Uniform water supply to the plants;
- The system is practically not sensitive to pressure drops;
- For the same reason, it is not necessary to water the plants early in the morning or in the evening. The stems and foliage remain dry, and the plants do not burn under the scorching sun;
- Full access of oxygen to the roots is maintained;
- There is no hard crust on the surface of the earth.
- It is possible to make the process of watering automated.
The ’s drawbacks of the include only frequent clogging of small holes on the bottom of the drip hose. In addition to the fact that in the holes and so will settle the raid, the lower rows will be clogged with particles of wet soil. In this regard, many experienced gardeners recommend laying the hose at a small height above the ground. Then this problem can be avoided.
sprinkling system Another less than effective method of wetting the area - the use of so-called sprinklers. They may have a different irrigation angle and be rotatable or static. This makes it possible to water the entire area without leaving dry islets. It makes no sense to use a similar method in small areas. The range of water spray reaches about 2 meters. Not effective this method of irrigation will be with insufficient pressure in the system. In this regard, the system is additionally equipped with a pump. It works in automatic mode and turns on only when necessary, when the pressure is insufficient. Thus it is possible to compensate for the shortcomings and maintain constant pressure at the required level.
static sprinklers can have a watering angle of 90 °, 180 ° or 270 °.Accordingly, the pivoting covers an angle of 360 °.By combining systems of different angles, you can easily ensure even watering in even the most remote places or, conversely, limit the area. Such a system is suitable for moistening lawns and flower beds with ornamental shrubs and trees.
If you plan to irrigate a plot with vegetable crops in this way, a timer should be provided that will turn on the water supply early in the morning or in the evening so that the sun does not burn the young shoots. Plots with lawn grass periodically have to mow. So that the irrigation system does not interfere with this process, give preference to varieties of sprinklers, which, when not needed, hide in a special depression in the ground and become almost imperceptible. The obvious advantages of of this system include:
- Watering with the help of scattered water does not harm the soil structure and does not flush the root system of plants;
- The soil is moistened deeply and efficiently;
- Air humidity increases;
- There is no movement of water over the surface, that is, the fertile layer is not flushed;
- It removes dust from the leaves, which normalizes their metabolism;
- The aboveground part of plants is also saturated with moisture - trunks and leaves, which in turn increases their yield;
- A large range of water spray.
The disadvantages of are as follows:
- If the irrigation system is not turned off in time, puddles with standing water are locally formed on the site, and too wet soil will stop absorbing water altogether. The recommended watering time is no more than 30 minutes. This is quite enough for deep, high-quality irrigation;
- If the above is not observed, a hard crust forms on the soil, which prevents the access of oxygen to the roots;
- With a strong wind, water splashes will be torn in different directions, making it impossible to water evenly;
- Incorrect radius of action will be with low water pressure in the pipeline.
- The high cost of the system.
4. Subsurface irrigation
The subsurface irrigation system is a system of plastic pipes that are diluted throughout the site underground. The minimum laying depth is 30 cm. At a certain distance, small holes are made in the pipes, which provide water access to the rhizomes of plants. Typically, such a system is used in areas that are not amenable to digging. The best material for the organization of the subsurface irrigation system are polyethylene pipes. They possess a number of advantages of over other types of plastic pipes, namely:
- Easy installation;
- High strength and durability;
- The ideally smooth surface of the inner walls eliminates the possibility of the formation of various deposits on them, which is very important in hidden systems;
- The soil is an aggressive medium, to the effects of which plastic is completely inert, unlike metal;
- Polyethylene pipes do not collapse even when the water inside them freezes;
When laying pipes, a layer of river sand is poured on the bottom of the trench, then fine gravel, then the pipe is laid and the trench is returned to sleep. Sand-crushed cushion provides the drainage of excess moisture. It is not difficult to pipe the pipes and connect them together. It is only important to correctly calculate the required amount of material. This process is rather laborious, however, it has many advantages:
- Intra-soil watering is very economical, since water goes directly to the roots.
- It also has a minimum evaporation rate;
- The formation of a harmful crust on the soil is completely excluded and free access of oxygen to the roots is provided;
- In this regard, there is no need to constantly push the top layer.
. has the following disadvantages of :
- Lack of irrigation of above-ground parts of plants, which is designed to increase their fertility;
- Not used on sandy soils;
- The complexity of the process and the costs associated with the acquisition of material.
5. How to choose the most suitable irrigation system
The answer to this question is quite simple to find, having analyzed the features of your landscape and the plant species growing on it. It often happens that in one area along the perimeter there are trees, one part is reserved for rest and is planted with lawn grass, and the second is a small vegetable garden. Many are grown in the country grapes. It is clear that watering is so different both in height and in terms of water consumption of plants by the same method is impractical. Some will be buried in an excess amount of water, while others will not receive even half of the necessary moisture. In this regard, the irrigation system often consists of several lines. For example, sprinklers can be used to water grass and trees, and a drip system is ideal for moistening vines and vegetable crops. It is possible to organize subsoil irrigation over the entire area of a small garden. To understand how properly organize the watering system independently, you need:
- Draw a plan of the area where the water supply tap, reservoir( if any) and areas where trees, grass, bushes, grapes and other plants grow are marked.
- Mark on the plan the location of the sprinklers, noting the radius of their action, mark the line of drip and other type of irrigation. At this stage it is important to place everything so that the area is watered completely. At the corners, it is convenient to install sprinklers with an irrigation angle of 90 °.Between them - with an angle of 180 °.Thus, you will build an irrigation wall around the perimeter of the entire plot. In the middle of the lawn, you can install a rotary sprinkler.
- Decide on the water supply. For owners of large areas, it is advisable to think about your own well or well, which have a suitable pump. You can take water from a pipeline, a reservoir with water, or a natural source - a river or lake.
- Mark on the plan the joints of pipes, it will help to count the number of connectors and splitters.
- Pre-compile a list of all necessary materials.
- Before laying the system, form all the beds.
- When you first start, be sure to flush the system and check its strength. To do this, remove all plugs and set the water flow to maximum. This will help to immediately identify the leak.
- Calculate the water consumption of each element and identify the total amount. For example, sprinkling can have a consumption of 12, 14, 7, 9 or 6, depending on the angle of action and irrigation area. If the capacity of the crane is less than the final figure, it is necessary to split the system into several lines.
6. Types of management of the irrigation system
The management of the irrigation system at the cottage can be either manual or more advanced. Consider three main types:
- Manual - the easiest way. In this case, each irrigation line is equipped with a stopcock, which opens and closes manually whenever it is necessary. That is, you need a constant human presence. It often happens that the opportunity to visit the summer cottage appears only on weekends, that is, during the week all the plants remain without moisture. This method does not always satisfy the need of the plants themselves, which may simply die from drought. In addition, ball valves with a constant on / off wear very quickly and at the most inopportune moment can fail. Always keep a couple of taps in case of unplanned replacement.
- The automatic control method performs irrigation without human intervention according to a predetermined program. The system is equipped with a timer that allows you to turn on the water supply at a certain time every day or every other day, as you need. All elements of the system are connected together within a special controller. It can work both from batteries and from the network. For the safety of the device we advise you to place it in the basement or in the utility room. The system can be assembled by yourself or buy ready-made. In such a simple way, you will save the plants from drought, but you cannot prevent overflow. For example, if it starts to rain at a given time for watering, watering will still occur. If for your plants such a situation has a detrimental effect, then it is better to think about an automated method of control.
- Automated is a computer type of irrigation system control that depends on sensor readings. They should be located throughout the site. These can be soil moisture sensors, temperature, environmental humidity and precipitation sensor. If it started to rain, the system will shut off the water supply and turn it on again at the end of the rain, if the soil has not been sufficiently moistened. The disadvantage of such a system is its high cost.
7. Types of installation of the irrigation system
. We mentioned that polyethylene pipes are used to organize the irrigation system in the country. The diameter of the main line should have more. For example, a pipe with an internal diameter of 40 mm is most often used, and 20 mm is sufficient for branch pipes. Connections are made using compression fittings, which eliminates the need to purchase or use special tools. Only the availability of electricity for a soldering iron is required. The pipes can be properly positioned for irrigation in two ways:
- Surface installation - the entire pipeline will be located above or on the soil level. The advantage of this installation is the ease of assembly, detection and elimination of leaks and other problems. The disadvantages include the possibility of inadvertent damage to the integrity of the pipe, more difficult and limited movement on the site, and easy access to materials for intruders. If you rarely go to the country, then it is highly likely that your system will be absent on your next visit.
- Depth installation - more reliable, therefore, the preferred method of installation. For its implementation, trenches with a depth of 30-70 cm are dug in the right place. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure a slight inclination towards the lowest point of the site. This is necessary for the smooth discharge of water from the system at the end of the watering season. After that, a sidebar is inserted into the main pipe. Experts recommend equipping each outlet with a valve. This is necessary to more accurately control the level of humidity in a particular area. Sprinklers or droppers are attached to the end of the branch pipes. After that, the system is tested and its strength tested by water supply. When you are convinced that there are no leaks and you have the same pressure at every irrigation point, the trenches are buried. Such a system will last for many years and provide high-quality watering.
8. How to properly water the plants
In addition to the correct selection of the type of irrigation and its proper organization, it is necessary to follow the elementary rules that will make moisturizing as useful as possible:
- The main rule is that any irrigation should be systematic. In other words, it should not depend on either the month or the hours of watering. In the ideal case, there should always be a spare water tank.
- It is better to water less frequently, but copiously. During the heatwave period, insignificant, but frequent watering is not only not beneficial, but can also harm the plants. The moisture still does not reach the main roots, but a hard crust quickly forms on the soil, which not only limits the access of oxygen, but also increases the evaporation of water.
- The majority of the roots are located at a depth of 20-25 cm in fertile crops and at a depth of about 15 cm in lawn grass. To completely wet the soil depth of 25 cm requires about 25 liters of water per 1 m2.Lawns can be periodically refreshed during a drought.
- An important role is played by the water temperature for irrigation. If you take water directly from the well or from the well, it will have a temperature of about 10-12 ° C.For plants, this will be a shock that will weaken them. In the ideal case, the water temperature should be the same or slightly higher than the soil temperature. It is clear that no one will heat the water for irrigation, but it is desirable to get an accumulation tank. Its volume can be both 200 and 5000 liters, depending on the area of the site. Being in the tank under the sun, the water warms to an acceptable temperature.
- To ensure sufficient pressure in an automatic irrigation system, it should be located at a height of 2-3 meters above the ground and above. A height difference of 1 meter can create a pressure of 0.1 bar. For normal operation of many systems, the minimum pressure should be at least 2-3 bar. In this regard, special pumps are often installed.
- It is a mistake to assume that if it rained today, the plot does not need watering. Sometimes even heavy precipitation is not able to moisten the soil to the desired depth. You can reduce the duration of watering, pre-assessing the condition of the soil, but not cancel it at all.
- Water consumption of vegetable crops reaches its maximum during the period of intensive growth - from late spring to mid-summer. It is during this period that the rate of development of a plant is determined by the amount of water it consumes. The average rate is 10-15 l / m2 per week.
- Watering should be either morning or evening when the sun does not have such a negative effect on young plants.
- Before choosing one or another type of watering, be sure to study the needs of the plants that you grow. Perhaps they are contraindicated in contact with water on the leaves.