Your Guide to Micro-Irrigation in Tampa Bay: Part One
What is micro-irrigation, you might ask? It’s an important question, but further, you’re probably wondering something like this–why is it actually worth considering?
As technology progresses, efficiency and the proper use of resources have become paramount. This is especially true in industries that deal directly with natural resources, and landscaping is no exception.
Micro-irrigation is one of the primary ways landscaping companies are reducing waste while improving properties. This method of watering is not new and has been used in agricultural applications for quite some time.
Its popularity for commercial and private projects is now on the rise thanks to a variety of advantages that differentiate it from traditional irrigation.
So, what exactly is micro-irrigation, and why is it gaining traction in the commercial and private landscaping sectors?
We’re glad you asked—the world of micro-irrigation is full of exciting potential with the ability to revolutionize efficient water usage.
What is Micro-Irrigation? A Tampa Bay Micro-Irrigation Guide
Before diving into the benefits of micro-irrigation, of which there are many, it is important to understand what micro-irrigation is and how it differs from traditional watering methods.
The technical definition of micro-irrigation goes something like this. Micro-irrigation is a low-flow method of irrigation that delivers water directly to the roots of plants. In other words, micro-irrigation flows at a rate of fewer than 30 gallons an hour and applies that water beneath the surface to better reach the roots.
There are several advantages to this style of irrigation, and it can be incorporated into a landscape design in many ways. It is especially attractive in areas where evaporation and runoff are serious issues that lead to poor efficiency and excessive water use.
These compelling advantages make micro-irrigation appealing to businesses and homeowners alike.
The Benefits of Micro-Irrigation in Clearwater, FL (and St. Pete and Tampa!)
To be widely adopted, innovative alternatives to tried-and-true methods must provide legitimate benefits. Otherwise, there is no reason for the change.
Micro-irrigation not only presents a viable alternative to traditional watering systems but also proves to be a much superior option for many applications.
It is these advantages that are driving many commercial and private properties to install micro-irrigation systems, convert their old irrigation systems, or combine the two into a hybrid approach.
By nature, micro-irrigation is more efficient for most watering applications than traditional irrigation. The reason for this disparity is clear—delivering water directly to where it is needed just makes sense.
Because less water is wasted via evaporation, runoff, and other environmental factors, plants can thrive while you use far less water—up to 50% less.
The precision of micro-irrigation also contributes to this efficiency. A lower flow rate to the right place helps the soil surrounding roots absorb enough water. Only locations that require water receive it.
At the same time, micro-irrigation runs longer than traditional watering methods. This means that, despite using less water, the plants receive the water they need over an extended period, allowing them to fully utilize it.
Fewer Weeds with Fewer Chemicals
When designing a landscape, particular care is taken to limit plant growth outside of predetermined areas. In other words, you work hard to reduce the possibility of weeds sprouting at random and wreaking havoc.
This weed control is typically done in two ways—leaving certain areas of the property bare and/or covered with mulch or stone and spraying said areas with herbicides. Those herbicides, despite advances in the chemicals used, can then make their way into nearby water sources via runoff and cause problems.
Reducing reliance on herbicides is ideal for both the environment and your wallet. Micro-irrigation can help with that process. By delivering water only to the desired areas, weeds do not benefit from your irrigation efforts.
Save Water (and Money)
The efficiency of micro-irrigation is a clear advantage over traditional watering methods. The low-flow, precision delivery of micro-irrigation systems greatly reduces the amount of water needed to help plants thrive.
When compared to traditional irrigation systems with spray sprinklers, micro-irrigation reduces water use by 20 to 50%. Over the course of a year, that’s more than 25,000 gallons of water saved by the average home.
While these water savings are tremendous in their own right, the advantage of such a massive water use reduction extends to your wallet. Less water use means lower bills, a benefit that Florida businesses and residences alike can certainly enjoy.
Micro-irrigation is revolutionizing how commercial and residential properties irrigate. The advantages are numerous, diverse, and profound. If you would like to learn more about micro-irrigation and other important landscaping trends, be sure to contact Landcrafters. As a premier Florida landscaping company for over 20 years, Landcrafters has the answers to all of your landscaping questions.
You can also treat yourself to some interesting, usable landscaping tips and tricks by checking out our free blog. It is updated regularly, including with the second part of this series on micro-irrigation, so stay tuned!
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