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Drip Irrigation Versus Overhead Sprinklers: What's Best For Your Florida Landscape?

by Emily Durgan | Mon, Jan 06, 2014

overhead sprinklerOur landscape selections say a lot about who we are as homeowners. But no matter what types of plants you've included in your own Florida panhandle landscape, every homeowner can agree on one thing: All plant life needs water.

And throughout the year in Florida, plant life often needs a lot of water. (And in some seasons we get enough from nature to skip hand watering altogether!). How that life-giving water reaches those plants you've invested in — to express who you are for all the world to see — depends largely on the type of irrigation you choose.

There are two basic types of irrigation systems: "overhead" sprinkler systems and drip irrigation systems.

Overhead sprinkler systems are the most common, showering a larger area with an indirect spray of water. Overhead sprinkler systems create general precipitation zones throughout your landscape. Drip irrigation systems, on the other hand, send water directly to plants' roots using delivery lines that transport water right where it's most needed.

Overhead sprinkler systems

Overhead sprinkler systems can help maintain the general health of your entire landscape. Because so many homeowners use these systems, manufacturers have created many ways to customize overhead sprinklers.

If you're planning to install new overhead irrigation system, keep in mind that you'll need to dig trenches to bury the pipes before installing — which could disturb existing landscape installations. So it's best to install these systems before a major landscape overhaul, if possible.

Overhead sprinkler systems can be programmed on timers to deliver water at the most efficient time of day, even finishing before you've woken up to get ready for a day at work. If your neighborhood or municipality has watering restrictions, you can program your irrigation system to comply with those rules!

Drip irrigation systems

If you have important plants that need special attention — a precious palm tree, for instance? — a drip irrigation system could be your best friend in the backyard.

The biggest benefit of drip irrigation systems is their consistent, precise water delivery to exactly where you need it in the landscape, whether it's the roots of a tree, a flowerbed, shrubs or even a finicky container plant. You won't want this type of system alone if your landscape is mostly turfgrass.

Drip irrigation can be scaled to any size landscape and can be seamlessly incorporated into landscapes with or without overhead sprinkler systems. The tubes used in drip irrigation systems are barely visible to the naked eye!

Drip irrigation is eco-friendly: These systems use less water and don't need as much energy to deliver their moisture. And it's very efficient because the tubes deliver water to plants' bases, where water is most quickly absorbed.

Ready to get started?

The information in this blog post only scratches the surface of what you can learn about irrigation and the systems used to achieve it. But it's obvious that the type of irrigation you choose depends on many factors, starting with the type of watering your landscape needs and how much money you're looking to invest in the system and its use.

Start your decision process with a comprehensive consultation from the landscaping professionals at GreenEarth Landscape Services. Call our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959 or our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment. Or, fill out the simple online form on our website to schedule a free consultation.


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Image credit: Anton Croos

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