MICRO IRRIGATION, the application of water at a slow rate,
is a more efficient way to irrigate trees, shrubs and ground covers. Benefits
of micro irrigation include:
A better soil water / oxygen balance is achieved,
resulting in faster growth and less plant loss.
Foliage and flowers are not wetted, resulting reduction
of plant disease and longer lasting blooms.
Weed growth is reduced, as very little soil surface is
Drip tubing is generally installed just beneath the
mulch, reducing labor costs to install, eliminating damage to plant roots and
reducing water loss to evaporation.
Existing in-ground sprinkler systems can be easily
modified. Use retrofit kits available at garden centers and home improvement
stores to convert spray heads to micro irrigation.
Runoff is reduced. A lower flow rate allows more water
to get to plant roots. Wind does not degrade micro irrigation efficiency.
The ability to precisely control water placement allows
the irrigation of narrow and irregularly shaped areas without wasting water on
buildings and paved areas.
Drip systems range from small emitter tubes to highly
controlled emitter pipes.
Micro-sprays are similar to regular spray heads except
water is applied at a slower rate of flow.
Bubblers are used to apply water to trees and shrubs to
A PDF version of
A Guide to Micro-Irrigation for West-Central Florida Landscapes is available
from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (1.5 MB).
If any of these activities are beyond
your capabilities, you may need to hire a professional, licensed irrigation
contractor for assistance in installing and maintaining your system. Assistance in finding a
contractor is available from the
Florida Irrigation Society in their publication
Know Your Irrigation Contractor
(PDF) or from the
EPA WaterSense Program.
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