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Conserve Water in the Garden with Drip Irrigation

Make sure that you aren’t wasting water in the garden this summer, and be sure to set up a drip irrigation system! Drip irrigation systems have become the go-to watering method for farmers and gardeners interested in water conservation. Very small laser-cut slits in the irrigation tubing allows for a slow drip of water that mimics raindrops to infiltrate the soil only where the crops are planted, and to leave the rest of the bed dry, slowing the growth of weeds. As water seeps deeper into the soil, plants’ roots are forced to grow deeper and stronger downwards towards the water source, promoting strong plant growth. Drip irrigation also nearly eliminates evaporation, which can cause significant water loss. Drip irrigation systems can be set on a timer for added efficiency. This is an easily-personalized watering system that can be used with vegetables, natives, and ornamentals.

We utilize drip irrigation throughout our SFC Teaching Garden for maximum water conservation and efficiency. Choosing a drip irrigation system can be daunting with all of the tube sizes, connector pieces, and specialized tools needed. For that reason, we recommend using Gardener’s Supply “Snip-N-Drip” irrigation system. No, they aren’t endorsing us to recommend them! We just like how easy their system is to adapt to any size, style, and shape of garden and how fast it is to install.

If you can’t install drip irrigation, make sure you are watering your plants correctly.

  • Water in the morning or late evening when temperatures are coolest.
  • Soak the soil instead of overhead watering (do not water the leaves). By watering the soil, you will be promoting deep root growth, and preventing water drops from forming on leaves that can create a magnifying glass effect and burn leaves.
  • Use other water conservation techniques such as olla pots, wicking beds, or hugelkultur.

To learn about all of these water conservation techniques in more depth, be sure to attend our Water Conservation in the Garden class on May 13th. Everyone will go home with drought-tolerant seeds, and one lucky participant will take home an olla pot!