You may employ a number of the top irrigation systems on your farm. Irrigation has had a significant and positive role in the history of humanity. Although there are many various irrigation methods, the plant should always be watered as effectively and efficiently as feasible. One of the numerous things on which our world and everything on it depends is the plant. We also need irrigation systems for agriculture since rain is a seasonal occurrence, particularly in the temperate zone. With irrigation, a farm may produce twice as much food.

What are irrigation systems?

Irrigation systems are systems used to supply water to crops and plants. This is in order to promote growth, yield and maintain their health. These systems are used in agriculture and landscaping. They also have other applications where plants are grown and need a consistent source of water.

Rain gun sprinklers
Rain gun sprinklers

What are the top irrigation systems?

There are several types of irrigation systems that are widely used and considered top irrigation systems. A variety of irrigation techniques are applicable to increase agricultural productivity. These irrigation techniques are also applicable in accordance with various soil types, climatic conditions, crop varieties, and resource availability. These are the top Irrigation systems that are available:

Drip irrigation system

A drip irrigation system is a method of watering plants in which water is delivered directly to the roots. This is done through a network of tubing, emitters, and valves. This method allows for water to be delivered directly to the roots of plants. Therefore, reducing water loss from evaporation and runoff. It also allows for precise control over the amount of water each plant receives. Making it ideal for use in areas with limited water resources. Or for plants that require precise watering schedules. Drip irrigation systems can be used for a variety of plants, including shrubs, flowers, vegetables, and trees.

A drip irrigation system typically consists of several key components, including:
  1. A water source. The water source is typically a pipe or hose that connects to the irrigation system. It can be connected to a well, a municipal water supply, or a reservoir.
  2. A filter. The filter removes debris and particles from the water before it enters the system. Hence, preventing clogging of the emitters.
  3. A pressure regulator: The pressure regulator is used to reduce the pressure of the water coming from the source. Thus, ensuring that the emitters are not damaged by high pressure.
  4. A backflow preventer: The backflow preventer is a safety device that prevents water from flowing back into the water supply and contaminating it.
  5. Mainline tubing: The mainline tubing is the main pipe that runs through the irrigation system. It is also typically made of plastic or polyethylene and is used to distribute water to the different areas of the irrigation system.
  6. Submain tubing: The submain tubing is used to distribute water from the main line to the individual rows or areas of the irrigation system.
  7. Emitters: Emitters are small devices that release water directly onto the roots of plants. They can also be adjusted to release a specific amount of water per hour or per day.
  8. Valves: Valves are used to control the flow of water through the irrigation system. They also allow you to turn on and off specific areas of the irrigation system as needed.
  9. A control system: A control system is used to manage and schedule the irrigation system. It can also be a simple manual timer or a more advanced electronic system that can be controlled remotely.
  10. Accessories: Accessories such as quick couplings, elbows, tees and end plugs are used to connect and install the different parts of the system.

Sprinkler irrigation system

A sprinkler irrigation system is a method of watering plants in which water is distributed through a network of pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads. The water is propelled into the air by the sprinkler heads. It then falls to the ground to water the plants. Sprinkler irrigation systems can be divided into two main types:

  1. Impact sprinkler: Impact sprinkler systems use a rotating arm with a sprinkler head at the end. The arm is driven by a motor, which rotates the arm and sprays water in a circular pattern. These types of sprinklers are also commonly used for large areas of lawn or other non-crop areas.
  2. Spray sprinkler: Spray sprinkler systems use stationary or pop-up sprinkler heads that emit a spray of water in a specific pattern. Spray sprinklers are commonly used in residential and commercial landscapes, parks and sports fields.
  3. Rotary sprinkler: Rotary sprinkler systems are similar to impact sprinklers, but they use a spinning nozzle to create a rotating stream of water. These types of sprinklers are commonly used for large areas of lawn or other non-crop areas.
  4. Micro-sprinkler: Micro-sprinkler systems are similar to spray sprinkler systems, but they use small, low-pressure sprinkler heads that emit a fine mist of water. These types of sprinklers are also commonly used for small areas or plants with specific watering needs.

The water source is typically a pipe or hose that connects to the irrigation system. It can be connected to a well, a municipal water supply, or a reservoir. A control system, such as a timer, is used to manage and schedule the irrigation system.

Overhead irrigation system

An overhead irrigation system is also known as a sprinkler irrigation system. It is a method of watering plants in which water is distributed through a network of pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads. The water is propelled into the air by the sprinkler heads. It then falls to the ground to water the plants. The main components of an overhead irrigation system include:

  1. Water source: The water source is typically a pipe or hose that connects to the irrigation system. It can be connected to a well, a municipal water supply, or a reservoir.
  2. Control valves: Control valves regulate the flow of water from the water source to the sprinkler heads.
  3. Sprinkler heads: Sprinkler heads are devices that emit water into the air. They can be classified into different types such as impact, spray, rotary, and micro-sprinkler.
  4. Pipes and tubing: Pipes and tubing are used to distribute water from the water source to the sprinkler heads.
  5. Control system: A control system is used to manage and schedule the irrigation system. It can be a simple manual timer or a more advanced electronic system that can be controlled remotely.

Rain hose irrigation system

A rain hose irrigation system, also known as a soaker hose or drip hose, is a method of watering plants in which water is delivered through a network of perforated hoses placed on or near the soil surface. These hoses are typically made of a porous material that allows water to seep out of the hose, through the perforations, and directly to the roots of the plants.

The hoses are connected to a water source, typically a pipe or hose connected to a well, municipal water supply or a reservoir, and controlled by a valve that regulates the flow of water. It can be placed on the soil surface or buried underground to water the plants.

Sprinkler

Rain hose irrigation systems are known to be more water efficient, as they deliver water directly to the roots of the plants reducing water loss from evaporation and runoff. They are suitable for small to medium-sized gardens, orchards, and other areas where plants are spaced closely together, or where water resources are limited. It’s important to note that the water pressure must be low and the water flow slow to prevent erosion and runoff.

Pop-up irrigation system

A pop-up irrigation system is a type of sprinkler irrigation system in which the sprinkler heads are located underground, and pop up when activated. The sprinkler heads are typically flush with the ground when not in use, and then rise up to a set height when water is flowing through them. Pop-up irrigation systems are commonly used in residential and commercial landscapes, parks, and sports fields.

The main components of a pop-up irrigation system include:

  1. Pop-up sprinkler heads: These are the devices that spray water into the air. They are subterranean and appear when activated.
  2. Water source: Typically, the water source is a pipe or hose that connects to the irrigation system. It is possible to link it to a well, a municipal water supply, or a reservoir.
  3. Pipes and tubing: Pipes and tubing transport water from the source to the sprinkler heads.
  4. Valve controls: The flow of water from the water supply to the sprinkler heads is controlled by control valves.
  5. Filter: A filter removes trash and particles from the water before it enters the system, preventing sprinkler heads from becoming clogged.
  6. Control system: A control system is used to manage and schedule the irrigation system. It can be a simple manual timer or a more advanced electronic system that can be controlled remotely.
  7. Backflow preventer: A backflow preventer is a safety device that prevents water from flowing back into the water supply and contaminating it.
  8. Pressure regulator: A pressure regulator is used to reduce the pressure of the water coming from the source.

What are the benefits of irrigation systems in Kenya?

The benefits of irrigation systems in Kenya are similar to the benefits of irrigation systems in general, but they may also have some specific advantages in the Kenyan context. Some of the benefits of irrigation systems in Kenya include:

  1. Increased food security: Irrigation systems can help to increase food security in Kenya by providing a consistent and reliable source of water for crops, even during times of drought.
  2. Improved livelihoods for farmers: Irrigation systems can help to improve the livelihoods of farmers in Kenya by increasing crop yields and allowing farmers to grow crops that would not normally be possible in their area.
  3. Reduced poverty: Irrigation systems can help to reduce poverty in Kenya by providing farmers with a reliable source of income and food.
  4. Increased water availability: Irrigation systems can help to increase water availability in Kenya by providing a way to store and distribute water in areas where water resources are scarce.
  5. Reduced dependence on rainfall: Irrigation systems can help to reduce dependence on rainfall in Kenya, which can be unreliable due to the country’s changing climate patterns.
  6. Improved soil fertility: Irrigation systems can help to improve soil fertility by providing crops with the right amount of water at the right time.
  7. Increased crop diversity: Irrigation systems can help to increase crop diversity by allowing farmers to grow different types of crops in different seasons.

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