Effective, efficient, and cost-sufficient agricultural practices is the drive of any person involved in agriculture. One of the ancient methods that saw an agricultural revolution around the world is the use of irrigation in farming. Changing times, including technological advancements, has seen a change in irrigation, whether on commercial or small-scale use.
There are numerous irrigation techniques currently in use globally, all with the main aim of ensuring that the plants are well-watered, remain healthy and strong irrespective of the season or weather. Irrigation is essential in plants preparation, germination, growth, and in promotion of adequate yield quality and quantity.
The goal of irrigation
Irrigation plays an essential role in plant preparation, production, and management. For primary producers, the irrigation serves the following purposes;
- Creates an ample environment to grow more pasture and crops
- Ensures there is more flexibility in the planting systems or operations, offering the plants continuous access to water, helping achieve good plant growth and producing higher yields.
- Acts as insurance against seasonal variability and occasional drought
- Enables stocking more animals per hectare and practice tighter grazing management
- Saves on cost and promises higher returns
- Improves the capital value of farming or gardening property
- It has less reliance on supplementary feeding on large-scale farming.
- Acts as a transformative aid to your landscape, supplying the much-needed water to plants all year round
Settling on an irrigation system
Before deciding on a particular irrigation system, there are certain factors to keep in check, which includes the following;
- The soil type within your farm or garden
- The landscape and topography of the land
- Reliable and efficient water source
- Available of sufficient labor and financial resources
- The size of the area chosen for irrigation
- On-farm water storage capability and ability that is sufficient for long term use
Many people involved in agriculture around the world in the current trends are focusing on going natural, including in-plant preparation, management, and production. There has been a success in many agricultural practices going natural, but the question on many people’s minds is natural irrigation possible?
Natural irrigation ensures sufficient and ample use of water and preventing unnecessary water loss that could otherwise be useful. Freshwater sources are on a decline globally, and everyone should strive to use water correctly and avoid wastage. Some of the currently available irrigation methods allow for excessive water losses through evaporation or losing water through unintended means.
Natural irrigation offers a reprieve in water management matters and also in ensuring that plant get sufficient and much-needed water supply throughout, irrespective of the season or weather conditions. Naturally irrigated farms or gardens offers an effective and efficient water conservation measures, with practical and straightforward methods.
Transforming your garden with natural irrigation
For those looking to tap into natural irrigation and transform their landscape, the answer is that it is both practical and possible. Some of the technique and designs used in natural irrigation include the following;
- Rainwater rules- rainwater provides an opportunity to harness the water provided freely and in plenty. To get the best out of the rain in irrigation, subtly shape the earth in the garden or farm to adequately spread and soak the water into the soil. By proper and timely drainage, it prevents instances of losing water without adequately harnessing. To ensure appropriate water utilization, choose the right kind of garden bed, utilize basic water catchment systems, and install water-saving techniques in the farm. Rainwater is the most natural source of water, naturally filtered without any impurity and has a composition of essential plant elements.
- Earthwork techniques- this technique involves making landscaping changes to the land surface to support water retention and prevention of natural drainage. The method features the use of standard practices like contour lines, swales, berms, and terraces, aiming to pacify the flow of water. Other methods include basins, and infiltration traps serve as ultimate effective natural drainage lines.
- The natural mindset- the natural irrigation mitigation measures focus on slowing down water, spreading it over a wide area, and allowing for slow, gradual drainage. The natural mindset allows for adequate soil hydration, acts to prevent flooding, and soil erosion. The technique involves taking advantage of hard surfaces and natural water reservoirs to act as storage and source of water for irrigation.
When preparing your farm or garden for natural irrigation, there are specific strategies to keep in check, which includes;
- Proper and precise design of the irrigation system with details on the flow of water in, around and out of the farm or garden
- Utilize the existing advantages when setting up earthworks such as swales and berms when establishing pathways.
- Fashion the garden around the established water system, including mulching the garden beds.
Once the natural irrigation is set up and running, it is essential to prevent over-watering. To avoid over-watering, ensure an adequate water intake, use, and exit from the farm or garden.
Importance of natural irrigation
Natural irrigation has numerous benefits both to the primary producer, to the plants and the environment in general. To the primary producer, it saves on the water costs, ensures quality and quantity yields. If used in gardening, natural irrigation provides excellent aesthetic outcomes.
Natural irrigation ensures the conservation of fresh drinking water and prevents loss through spillage, and unwarranted wastage.
Natural irrigation offers numerous benefits to the plants as they can access water and minerals in their natural form throughout the seasons, irrespective of the existing weather conditions.
Natural irrigation is the ultimate choice for those looking to benefit from the endless provisions of Mother Nature, conserve the environment, and save on financial expenditure. It is possible to use natural irrigation both on a large scale and on a small scale like in-home gardening and promises to transform the landscape with an everlasting cascade of natural water flow within your landscape.
Natural landscaping is the way to go for those looking for an effective and efficient way of water conservation and environmental conservation at a reasonably fair cost.