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Drip Irrigation Wasting Money in many Cities Newsletter





Drip irrigation does have an important place for growing certain crops, but not for large areas of grasses and groundcovers. For row crops and most vegetable planting drip systems work well because they can be installed in straight lines as the transplants are arranged and the lines can be left visible on top of the ground. In landscape beds, especially large areas, the lines are put out of sight in the ground or under mulch. Water seeks the path of least resistance and the result is overly wet areas, completely dry areas and dead plants. On slopes, drip irrigation is a complete disaster.

Good place to use drip is on row crops in the vegetable garden.

The main reason these systems are being used so much is that cities across the country are dictating their use. The alleged reason is that drip irrigation saves water and money when compared to traditional spray systems.

Examples of ground cover failure under drip irrigation.

The problem with that thinking is that acres and acres of landscaping irrigated with drip irrigation is dead or dying as a result. So - the cost of lost plants far outweighs the water savings. Also, bare soil and erosion look bad and lead to costly repairs. Spray systems are more cost effective anyway if installed and managed properly. Our next newsletter will cover those details.

Buried drip irrigation causing severe over-watering and plant death.

Groundcover loss due to surface drip irrigation.

Common loss of groundcover plantings. There are acres and acres of this kind of ugliness and loss of money across the country.

Drip irrigation used correctly in row crops.

For the time being, pass this information on to the decision makers in your city and maybe we can at least slow down this wasteful approach.


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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett
The Dirt Doctor


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