Design or redesign a landscape

Select an irrigation system

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Table 1. Aspects to consider when comparing sprinkler systems and micro-irrigation systems

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Aspect Sprinkler Systems Micro-irrigation Systems

Efficiency of application is reduced in hot, arid climates

Winds distort coverage

Efficiency of application is less affected by heat and aridity

Coverage remains unaffected by winds


Advisable alternative for well-draining coarse soils

Less advisable for less-permeable soils, where a higher rate of application may result in runoff

Advisable alternative for medium and fine soils that facilitate horizontal movement of water

Less advisable for well-draining coarse soils, which may limit capillary action and decrease the water that reaches soil near the plants' roots

Installation and Maintenance

Usually requires trenching to install

Leaks and other such problems are easy to spot

Problems with the delivery or distribution of water usually require trenching to repair

Solvents are needed to repair pipes

May be installed at or near grade in warm climates, which minimizes the need for trenching

Problems, such as leaks, are less noticeable

Clogs are more common due to the size of emitters, so that filters may be needed

Repairs may be quicker and easier, though it depends on climate and installation

Solvents are not needed for repairs

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