For minding water usage in the landscape, there's no better way to direct H2O straight to the source (plant roots, of course) than drip irrigation. But is drip irrigation a smart solution for your Kauai commercial landscape? There are advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation, as well as maintenance concerns that you should know about before you make a decision.
The one sure thing is that your property needs irrigation to maintain the health of grass, plants and trees. Lack of water (and fertilization) are two major culprits for a declining landscape, so we encourage Kauai property owners to plan for watering as part of their overall maintenance program.
Here, we’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation in commercial landscaping so you can determine if this watering solution is a fit for your property.
Advantages — Drip Irrigation Conserves Water
The hallmark of drip irrigation is the system’s ability to efficiently water plants because of controlled delivery of water directly to the ground. Drip irrigation systems consist of tubing through which water travels from its source to drip emitters (also called micro sprinklers).
Drip irrigation tubing is snaked through landscape beds and groundcover areas, and water literally drips from the emitters right to plants’ root zones. It’s a bullseye way to water, really.
Drip irrigation installation does not require excavating and rarely disrupts the integrity of a landscape bed during installation. Tubing is weaved throughout the area requiring watering. Therefore, drip irrigation systems can be moved and are not permanent like conventional irrigation systems (involving spray-heads, pop-up heads, etc.).
With drip irrigation, water is delivered directly to the ground’s surface rather than being sprayed up and out over an area. This direct application of water yields water savings.
Drip irrigation can deliver 1 to 4 gallons of water per hour to a landscape bed, and there is no drift, which is what happens when wind carries water dispersed from an irrigation system to areas that do not need water (your sidewalks, walkways and parking lots). Drift wastes water.
Water Bill Savings
More efficient watering in the landscape saves money. As a Kauai commercial property owner, you’re looking to reduce monthly expenses and drip irrigation can decrease that water bill.
Disadvantages — Drip Irrigation Can Be High-Maintenance
There are many advantages to drip irrigation, and it may be the ideal solution for your commercial property’s landscape beds and groundcover areas. That said, there are some maintenance considerations you should know about before having a system installed. Primarily, these systems require more regular maintenance than conventional irrigation systems.
Regular System Flush-outs
Your drip irrigation system will require system flush-outs on at least a monthly basis, and more depending on the type of water that’s flowing through the tubing. Non-potable water contains more particles and can more easily clog filters and drip emitters. And no matter what type of water you’re using to water your property, the nozzles on drip emitters must be cleaned out sometimes weekly.
Best For Beds
There are limited uses for drip irrigation. For instance, drip irrigation is not a solution for a lawn area, which will require conventional irrigation to disperse water throughout an open area. So, chances are that drip irrigation is an option for some areas of your Kauai landscape, but not all portions of the property.
A landscape maintenance crew must keep a careful eye on plant health to ensure that the drip system is working properly. Plants suffer when a drip system is not working effectively or needs to be cleaned. The thing is, you might not notice there is a problem right away because the decline is gradual. That’s why it’s critical to have professionals maintaining your property so they can identify and manage any issues with your drip irrigation system before plants take a hit.
Be Water Aware With Drip Irrigation In Commercial Landscaping
Drip irrigation systems are a water-efficient, cost-effective method of delivering water to landscaping beds and groundcover areas on your Kauai commercial property. But you’ll be better served by a conventional irrigation system for large spaces that need watering, such as turf areas.
Regardless of what type of irrigation system installed, the equipment requires regular maintenance, and plants and turf must be carefully monitored to ensure that they are getting the “drink” they need to thrive.
Let’s talk more about drip irrigation in commercial landscaping and other smart solutions for your Kauai property. Contact us any time at 808-335-5887, or fill out this simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.