Is Drip Irrigation better than Spray Tubes?
Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation that involves the wetting of the root areas of plants. With drip irrigation, a set of hoses or pipes are used to pass water to the root zones of plants. Drip irrigation is efficient as it conserves water, saves labour requirement and also conserves power.
A typical drip irrigation system consists of pipes, hoses, connectors, end plugs, drip tapes, submains, source of water, venturi injector for Fertigation and Chemigation. The drip irrigation drops water in trickles to the roots of plants, these small droplets of water ensure that the plants optimally use water as the water does not go to waste.
A spray tube is a sprinkler like hoses used for spraying or sprinkling water to plants. Spray tubes work like sprinklers; they are laid beside the rows of plants. When the spray tubes are pressurized with water, they spray water to the leaves and surfaces of plants.
The spray tube irrigation system consists of hoses that are already perforated, connectors, source of water, end plugs and valves etc.
Why Drip Irrigation is better than Spray Tubes
The following are the reasons why drip irrigation is better than spray tubes:
Drip irrigation is the best method of irrigation when it comes to water conservation and plants’ water use efficiency. With drip irrigation, water is dropped in small droplets to the roots of plants while spray tubes sprays water around the farm. The plants solely use the water dropped in the case of drip irrigation, in the case of spray tubes, water is sprayed to the plants and weeds. This is why water use is highly efficient in plants irrigated with drip irrigation systems.
Soluble fertilizers can be passed to the roots of plants if drip irrigation is used. Relatively large doses of soluble fertilizers can be easily applied to the root zones of plants using drip irrigation venturi injector or dosing pump, this can significantly increase crop yield. Spray tubes can only be used to spray low quantity of foliar fertilizers to the leaves of plants.
Drip irrigation requires less power or electricity input than spray tubes. This is due to the low volume of water it uses unlike the spray tubes that use a lot of water. It is not uncommon to see drip irrigation systems powered by gravity mechanism without the use of electricity. For spray tubes, fuel or electricity powered pumps are used to pressurize the system.
The use of drip irrigation may reduce the risk of plants getting diseases. Spray tubes spray water to the surfaces of plants; this can increase the risk of fungal diseases in plants. Drip irrigation only passes water to the roots of plants; this can reduce the risk of plants contracting fungal diseases.
Drip irrigation is easier to set up than spray tubes as it needs lesser water flow and pressure. To set up a spray tube irrigation system, you may need to engage the services of an expert.
Drip irrigation is obviously better than spray tubes.