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The History of the Drip Irrigation System and What is Available Now

When it comes to watering your garden, there are a number of different systems that will help you get the job done. A few that come to mind are a hose, sprinkler and watering can. Some are easier to use than others. And some require you to do some installation work.

One of the most misunderstood systems is the drip irrigation system. Many homeowners assume that they have to have a sprinkler system set up to water their lawn or garden, but a drip system can be set up quickly and easily and with very little money invested no matter how large, or small, your garden is.

The History of Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation has been used for thousands of years. Ancient people knew that they had to supply water to their crops, and they did so by any means possible. They eventually figured out how to bury pots near the plants.

These pots had small holes in them that would allow captured rain water to escape slowly near the plants. In 1866, however, researchers began trying to figure out how to use piping to create a full watering system. They had some minor success.

After World War II, plastic was used all over the world. Because it became so popular, an Australian inventor got the idea to use plastic to hold and distribute the water to his crops. The inventor, Hannis Thill, created a way for the water to be released through long passageways in the tubing in order to make the distribution more even.

The first company to deal entirely with drip irrigation was known as Netafim, and they took Thill’s idea and developed an emitter that would allow the water to be distributed in the most efficient way possible.

Drip Irrigation Now

Now, drip irrigation can be a complicated, or simple, setup depending on what your needs are. Large farms use drip irrigation on their crops, and you will find a similar, smaller system in almost every greenhouse in the country. Irrigation systems have evolved, however.

To begin with, most use a filter to stop the plants from getting unhealthy water and to stop the piping from getting clogged with minerals and sediment. Many places use liquid fertilizer mixed in with the water to give their plants a bit of a boost, and the drip system is the best way to deliver it all at the same time.

Like many other systems, a drip system can be put on a timer so that the owner doesn’t have to worry about remembering to water their plants. Unlike other systems, however, micro irrigation systems are easy to set up with fresh rain water. With a simple system, you can collect rain water and have it distributed through the irrigation lines.

There are a few disadvantages to using this type of a system. The first is that it can get clogged if you don't keep it clean or use a proper filter on it. I've been running my system for two years now and so far no problems. It is a good idea when you first start your system you check to make sure none of the drip emitters are plugged.

Another is that the tubes, if used outside, the tubes can experience weather damage if you leave the system connected during the colder months. The first year I had a drip irrigation system I disconnected every thing and put it in my garden shed. This year I disconnected the hose from the tap and drained this system of water.

For more information, please read these articles:

How to Install Drip Irrigation with an Automatic Timer

Planning Micro Drip System for your Garden

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