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Conserving Water with Drip Irrigation


Well if you haven't figured it out yet it's hot and dry. Some people are saying, "Well, I don't guess we can grow flowers or vegetables anymore until we get some more water in the area." That's just as wrong as it can be. What we need to do is target our precious water that we have.

A lot of people put on water with these sprinklers, kind of shotgun it with this big gun effect so to speak, and use a lot of water. Really when we're growing flowers and vegetables what we can use are these micro-sprinklers or micro-sprayers to put the water exactly on the plant that we need it on. Not the weeds and not some of the grass, but actually the vegetables and flowers that we need it on.

Then of course we can use drip irrigation in our vegetable gardens. It's almost time to start planting fall vegetable gardens now. People say, "Well I don't guess we can do that this year we don't have any water." Certainly you can. If you use drip irrigation you can put that water right on the plants that you want to grow and do it in a very effective way that it will not evaporate. Then put a little mulch on top of that and then you really have an efficient way to put on water.

Now what a lot of people don't realize is not only does this save water and conserve one of our natural resources, but it also grows plants better because it keeps our plants moist, not wet and not dry. And drip irrigation of course keeps the foliage from becoming wet too and keeps diseases to a minimum.

So we can target our water, grow better plants, and still save one of our most precious resources, the water that we have so little of.

This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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