Garden & Greenhouse July 2017 Issue - Page 40

of contamination in soil. Drip tape irrigation reduces the contact between water and leaves, stems and fruit, minimizing the development of diseases. Fur- thermore, because drip tape is directed towards the crop’s roots and eliminates flooding, weed control is a lot easier. Many growers using a soil medium and drip tape will bury it slightly below the ground and call it subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). SDI should help protect drip tape from sun exposure and damage done by cultivation or weeding. In dry climates, SDI helps to reduce water evaporation and waste by cre- ating an even more direct path to the root system. SDI is more effective than laying drip tape on top of the soil, especially in arid climates. This type of precision modification is a great way to increase ef- ficiency in a drip irrigation system. Efficiency is a major reason to use drip irrigation systems. Both water application and fertilizer appli- cation is much more precise than in traditional over- head watering. Precision creates a more unified and productive crop that performs exceptionally well. On the contrary, traditional watering, like overhead watering or flooding, methods of farming in general are failing in the area of sustainability. Adaptability Traditionally, agriculture in America has oper- ated under the assumption that there is a need for flat plots of land for growing, but drip irrigation changes the game. Drip systems are able to adapt to misshapen or uneven fields and soil textures. By re- placing overhead sprinklers and flooding techniques with drip tape irrigation, farmers can adapt to using imperfect topography. It is, however, important to measure and get a good reading on how much pressure a system loses as water travels over its dis- tance. Drip tape operates at a lower pressure than traditional sprinklers saving in pumping costs, but without a good understanding of the work a system has to do to reach crops, watering can end up being applied unevenly. Uneven application can lead to over using fer- tilizers and amendments. An effective drip tape irrigation system can save on costs of inputs, but also maximize their availability. With countrywide droughts and the most productive agricultural areas bearing the worst of it, water conservation is a huge upside to using drip irrigation. Drip tape systems can use up to 60 to 70 percent less water than tradi- tional irrigation systems and drastically reduce com- mon environmental problems with other irrigation systems, like erosion and leaching. F RESH N EW P RODUCTS , N EW F AMILIES N EW W EBSITE N EW 315W C ERAMIC MH Full Spectrum Grow Lamps • High Output • Balanced Spectrum With 8% more blue/violet energy and 18% more red energy compared to industry leading 315W 4K In the coming months . . . Double end 1000W COOL NEW Double end 1000W SUPER P RODUCTS Single end 315W FULL NOVA 3K L OOK © 2017 Venture Lighting International, Inc. 40 FOR SunmasterGrowLamps.com SUN-0186A8_v1-0517 www.GardenandGreenhouse.net July 2017