One Step to a Better "Florida Yard"
Micro-irrigation, the application of water at a slow rate, is a more efficient way to irrigate trees, shrubs and ground covers. Year-round restrictions allow non-turf areas water by micro-irrigation may be irrgated any time. Other benefits of micro-irrigation include:
Better Plant Growth
A better soil water / oxygen balance is achieved,resulting in faster growth and less plant loss.
Foliage and flowers are not wetted, resulting in less plant disease and longer lasting blooms.
Weed growth is reduced.
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 using retrofit kits available at locations where irrigation system materials are sold.
More Efficient Irrigation -- Maximum Flow Rate for Micro-irrigation is 30 gallons per hour.
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 avoid overspray.
A Guide to Micro-Irrigation for West-Central Florida Landscape is available in PDF version.
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 or from the EPA WaterSense Program.