How to Design an Irrigation System in 7 Steps
For agriculturists living in rural areas, having the right crops in abundance is paramount, as it pertains to one’s livelihood. There are many factors that have to be considered in order to ensure the harvests yielded are of the utmost quality. If you are a farmer, one of these key factors is which types of irrigation systems and irrigation filters to employ.
Depending on the time of the growing season, farmers will have to determine how much water crops are given during growth. For multiple crops that are grown simultaneously, an intricate irrigation system must be designed and implemented.
Follow these seven steps to learn how to design an irrigation system and put it into action.
1. Review the area
When you start to design an irrigation system, you’ll need to evaluate certain elements of your farmland. This is because there are parts of the land that need to be prepared for the overall system to be implemented. One of the most crucial aspects of this process is to first measure the dimensions of the area that will be affected by the water.
There is a pretty neat way to do this, in order to lessen the labor needed to complete the task. Grab some measuring tape, and measure the length and width of your land. Then, use some graph paper to draw the area to scale. Make sure features of the farmland, such as the driveway, are included in the drawn picture before proceeding to the next step.
2. Automatic vs. manual irrigation systems
Irrigation systems generally come in two formats; automatic and manual. Depending on your irrigation needs, you’ll have to determine which one is more friendly for overall crop growth. For starters, automatic systems applies water to a designated area without the need to be physically controlled.
On the other hand, manual systems require more direct input on a regular basis. This arrangement is relatively cheaper, when compared to an automatic setup, but does not have more intricate features that are normally found in an automatic system. The choice here is up to you, in terms of what is desired.
3. Inquire about the water needed
Before determining the amount of water you’ll need for the overall system, you’ll need to get access to your property’s water line. This creates a relatively easy access point for the irrigation system to be used, usually through a spigot located on your land. After this has been completed, you’ll have to figure out what your current water pressure is.
Employing the use of a water gauge can help you out with this part. Turn off all the water inside your household, before connecting the gauge to the aforementioned spigot. Turn this spigot on to measure the water output, and you’ll have a general idea about the quantity to be used. This information will help you to design an irrigation system that is efficient.
4. Divvy up your land
No matter the scale of the irrigation system to be implemented, there are certain parts of your land that will need to be portioned off. Generally speaking, you don’t want your crops to have minimal amounts of water, nor do you want them to be oversaturated. This is why establishing proportionate zones will spur overall crop growth.
Before dividing up these parts of your land, take into consideration a few, key components. Shady areas of your property, for example, won’t require as much water as those exposed to sunlight. Also, the type of soil used for crop growth influences what sprinkler head will be needed, to ensure your crops get an adequate amount of water.
5. Choose a sprinkler head
Choosing a sprinkler head is an important component when you design an irrigation system. However, the selection process is more sophisticated than one would initially think.
As stated previously, crop growth is directly correlated to the type of sprinkler head used in the dispersing of water. For example, rotor sprinkler heads are based on the overall radius of your zones, while drip irrigation heads are miniature enough to directly water a plant’s roots. The choice here is up to you!
6. Install the sprinkler head
After determining what type of sprinkler head you require, you’ll need to properly install it. Prior to doing this, make sure that the actual head is flushed out.
This will eliminate any debris or fibers that may be taking up an unnecessary amount of space inside. For installation, place the head onto the relevant risers, and level it to the soil before filling in the trench with dirt.
This step is made a lot easier once you have drawn an irrigation plan on the previously mentioned graph paper. Follow this setup, and connect the relevant water valves to an irrigation controller. Then, organize the subsequent pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to create one, cohesive irrigation arrangement.
After the general legwork has been completed, install a controller timer and you have finished designing your very own irrigation system. Congratulations! Be sure to keep a list of all the equipment and supplies used in the process, and tweak all sprinkler heads occasionally. By doing this, you’ll ensure your crops get all the water needed for maximized growth.