Irrigation is essential for the growth of plants and crops. Farmers and landscape owners use different types of methods for watering plants. The method a landscape owner uses depends on the location, type of crops, climate, and kind of soil in the field.
In the earlier time landscape owners depend on rain and flood irrigation for watering of plants. Now with the arrival of new technologies, there are a variety of irrigation methods that we can use for watering of crops. Let us know about each method in detail.
Also known as flood irrigation, this is the oldest method of irrigation known. Other than the rain, farmers use surface irrigation to water their crops as there were no other methods available. In this method, a single pump takes the water from a source and supplies it to plants without any network of pipes. The water flows on the surface of the soil to the required areas by the action of gravity. The main drawback of this method is that it leads to the uneven and non-uniform supply of water in different areas of the field.
Linear moving systems
The linear moving systems move in a straight line across a leveled field. They move on wheels with the help of an engine or motor that runs on fuel or electricity. The system can water large fields and landscapes without much difficulty. Farmers can control the motion of the system by using a GPS (global positioning system).
Center Pivot irrigation system
The center-pivot irrigation system is fixed with one end in the center of the field, and the other end is free to rotate in the area of crops. There are several sprinklers attached to a long pipe which rotate over the plants to sprinkle them with sprays of water. The system turns with the help of a rotor or by the action of water pressure. However, the system is suitable only for the fields that are circular or square in shape.
Relating to their name, the micro irrigation systems supply water in small quantities with the help of sprinkler and drips. These systems are best for saving water and conservation of water for the future. They prevent the wastage of water like seepage into ground and evaporation into the air. There are two types of irrigation systems.
Drip irrigation – It is a network of pipes that are laid in the fields with drips on the pipes near each plant. The drips spray water near the roots of the plants that get absorbed by the roots. Drip irrigation prevents the evaporation of water and deep seepage into the ground. The pipes are laid in fields according to the plants and soil level so that the drips spray water near the roots of plants.
Micro sprinkler system – The micro-sprinkler systems are similar to drip irrigation except for the difference that in this method, the sprinklers are fitted at a significant height above the crops. They don’t spray water near the roots, but over the entire plants with micro-sprinklers. They spray a fine mist of water, and the sprinklers rotate to spray water in every direction to cover all plants.
Permanent irrigation systems
These are similar to drip irrigation systems, except the difference that the network of pipes is there under the soil. It makes it easy for farmers to plant and rotate the crops throughout the year. Permanent water systems are fixed in the soil and can water any types of crops in the fields. They are best for the drought-prone areas where there are low chances of rain.
Lateral moving systems
The lateral moving systems move like the linear irrigation systems, but with the help of manual labor or an inbuilt mechanism. You need to connect another pipe for a supply of water after the system covers a specific distance. The lateral moving irrigation systems are less expensive than others, but they require more labor to operate them.
Traveling gun systems
These are large watering systems that landscape owners use for watering large areas. Travelling gun systems come with a sprinkler unit that is fitted on a cart and connected to a source of water through a pipe. There are two types of traveling-gun irrigation systems available.
Hose pulls traveler systems – The hose pull traveler system is attached to a hose that is unwinding. As the system moves, and water the plants, the tube gets wind up with the help of an inbuilt mechanism that moves the sprinklers across the fields.
Cable tow traveler systems – The cable-tow systems are connected to a water source, and a motor provides power for operation. The system comes with a cable that tows it to a docking station. The system automatically stops when it approaches the docking station.
These are the latest irrigation systems used today for watering of landscapes. These systems are made of high tech mechanisms and pumps to make the irrigation easier than ever. Manufacturers use high-quality spares like rotors, washers, and long pump parts to offer a long life to the systems. Farmers and landscape owners need to consider the type of soil, crops, climatic conditions, and watering requirements while choosing an irrigation system.