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Water Efficiently with a Home Irrigation System

by Matt Goering

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The key to beautiful landscaping starts and stops with a good home irrigation system. All the money you spend on sod, annuals and perennials, and new trees and shrubs, is wasted if those plants don't receive enough water to survive. Manual watering with a hose and sprinkler is possible, but it's also time consuming and often gets left the wayside when homeowners get busy with the demands of daily life. By installing a home irrigation system, you can ensure that your landscape vegetation gets the water it needs on a regular schedule, and in an efficient, water-wise manner that saves you money in the end.

Installing a Sprinkler System
By far the most popular source of home irrigation is an automated sprinkler system. The benefits of these systems are many. For starters, there isn't a better way to ensure that every part of your yard receives the perfect amount of water on a regular basis. An automated sprinkler system comes with a computerized "control center" that allows you to set how often and how long each part of your yard gets watered. And since it's fully automated, once you've programmed it you won't have to worry about forgetting to water during busy times, or about your yard being neglected when you leave for summer vacation.

Irrigation Maintenance
Home irrigation systems are also nice because they are relatively maintenance free. You'll need to pay out for the system and hire a professional to install it, but after that, your responsibilities are almost nil. The only big maintenance tasks you'll need to keep on top of include repairing or replacing damaged sprinkler heads, and making sure to flush your system come fall to prevent any damage once freezing temperatures arrive. Besides that, you can sit back and watch your landscaping flourish with the regular waterings your irrigation system provides.

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Go Drip for Garden Irrigation
With increasing talk about water conservation, and with large areas of the country experiencing drought and water shortages, drip irrigation has gained popularity as a garden irrigation solution. With drip irrigation you'll be installing a system that provides low pressure, drip irrigation to specific plants, shrubs and trees. These are perfect for garden irrigation, since they can effectively and efficiently target specific shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. With these systems a drip nozzle is installed along an irrigation line at plant specific locations, which "drips" water slowly into the soil when the system is turned on.

Talk to a Professional
As with any home improvement project, it's a good idea to talk to a professional before installing any type of home irrigation system. From design on down to installation, a professional landscaper or home irrigation installer will be able to help you get the best home irrigation system for your landscape. Even if you do it yourself, the advice and expertise of these professionals can provide can't be underestimated.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.