If you are expecting quality vegetable growth from your vegetable garden, keep in mind that adequate water supply is the key. We now that too much water is not good for plants and many vegetables stringy with water stress. Drip Irrigation or Soaker Hose for Vegetable Garden is perfect It is a process of slow dripping of water into the soil through small drippers. The water comes out of these outlets at a very slow rate and seeps into the soil. Many prefer sprinkler irrigation systems but with them, a lot of water is wasted because it wets the whole soil. But the drip system targets the root zone, that is, the water only moistens the part of the soil where the roots grow. It is considered as the most efficient among all irrigation methods because very less water is wasted and the soil gets enough time to absorb the water. There is a very low chance of the water to evaporate or wasted. You can save a lot of time and physical effort.
Drip Irrigation or Soaker Hose for Vegetable Garden
How much does your vegetable garden really need? It’s really tough to answer that because it really depends on the type of vegetable plantation, the area of your garden and how well your soil retains moisture. However, 1 inch of water per week is considered adequate & you can consider another ½ inch in summer. But keep in mind, you should also keep a close eye on the weather. If it rains, then rainwater may be sufficient for your garden because you don’t want to end up overwatering. Morning is the best time for watering you vegetable garden when the plants experience the full period of sunshine. Best thing to do is turn on your drip system before heading off for work.
Why Drip Irrigation Is Great for Vegetable Garden?
There are so many methods of watering, so why drip irrigation for your vegetable garden compared to a hose, sprinkler system or others? Here is why:
- Convenience of Watering
If you use a soaker hose, how do you plan to water your garden when you are out all day in the office? Our busy lives make it impossible to take care of our gardens properly. But when you are busy, drip irrigation will do the job for you. Just turn on the system and go to the office and the timer will turn it off when the watering is done. It is very easy to install & quite inexpensive as well.
- Efficient Watering
Drip irrigation system works very precisely with a slow pace watering, making sure no water is being wasted through runoff or evaporation. If you look at a soaker hose for example, it suffers from many kink and cracks & lot of water is wasted in the process. A lot of water is also wasted while we leave the hose and turn off the faucet as well. You also have the flexibility to use many drippers for large plants and a single emitter for smaller plants, therefore, reducing the wastage of water. If you use a sprinkler irrigation system, a lot of water is wasted because it wets the whole soil and not any particular region. But the drip system targets the root zone, that is, the water only moistens the part of the soil where the roots grow. There are many diseases associated with too much moisture in the plants like powdery mildew. But with drip irrigation, you don’t need to worry about them.
- Wider Area Garden Watering
Drip Irrigation system is the best for large vegetable patches & large beds. If you use a soaker hose, it may be good for small beds & plants placed closely together, but not at all good for large area watering. If you try to water patches beyond the length of the pipe, the flow of water decreases. Drip Irrigation is great for slope watering as well, but soaker hoses are not. This is because they are not pressured compensating.
- No Tension of Clogging
Clogging is a huge problem with soaker hoses since they have no filters to block the dirt and debris in the water. But the drip system is designed with tiny passages or filters to filter out the debris and avoid clogging.
Drip irrigation systems are not prone to easy damages compared to soaker hoses and also come with replaceable parts if damaged. Soaker hoses are more prone to cracks & leaks especially if not taken care properly. If left under the sun for long, the pipe will be damaged. Many hoses are made of rubber and are not durable enough. If you have leaks, it is hard to repair them to last longer. But drip systems can be easily repaired if damaged. You can replace the emitters if they are damaged.