Automatic watering is a modern system for watering plants and saturating the soil according to a programmed schedule. The universal technology delivers water to the soil layers where the roots germinate and nourish them with the necessary moisture at a given time. It is a simple and effective system for irrigating the earth with little to no manual labor. Strangely enough, automatic watering technology still has not only obvious advantages but also hidden disadvantages that every gardener needs to know.
How does automatic watering of indoor plants and greenhouses work?
Automatic irrigation systems are useful for novice gardeners and professionals alike. The watering schedule is regulated on a special computer, and then the system itself sends signals and waters the plants at the given time. With the help of this device, early summer residents will never forget the timely care of their garden crops and the hands of professionals will no longer feel tired.
In terms of construction, the automatic irrigation system consists of the following necessary components: water storage tank, pump, rainwater drain, microprocessor controller, control panel, dripper, and fixtures.
For automatic watering to work, the system must be able to use a reliable source of water. In such a role, ordinary plumbing can work. In this case, the owners of country houses and summer houses install special filters for purifying liquids. However, drinking water for plants is optional, so the connection to the water supply is completed in advance before installing these filters. If there is enough water from underground mines, some people prefer to dig wells and take water from this source for automatic irrigation.
An automatic watering pump is required in the installation to maintain a constant pressure level during irrigation. Due to the internal pressure of 6 bar, the right amount of irrigation water is spilled. The pump is connected to a storage tank and when the water level in it drops, an automatic mechanism opens a valve to fill the tank again with water from the source. The container is installed outdoors on a hard surface. Often, experienced gardeners hide the storage tank behind a bulkhead, wall, or garage.
If the water source for automatic irrigation is ordinary tap water, a fine filter is installed in the storage tank. This is because this water often contains mechanical impurities to which plants are susceptible. Experienced gardeners recommend flushing the filter to reduce the level of contamination of the liquid. Often, automatic irrigation pumps are equipped with an integrated filter, but not every device is capable of cleaning large amounts of divalent iron and calcium. High levels of these components can lead to clogging inside the pipes, although in practice this rarely happens.
However, experienced gardeners do not recommend using a natural water source without a filter in an automatic irrigation system because the liquid contains microorganisms that can overgrow inside the pipes and cause malfunctions.
The system provides quality irrigation through a controller, a control unit. The system is automatically activated. There are two components in the design: a microprocessor control unit and a pump start-up unit. In production, these components are housed in an enclosure, and the microprocessor unit is used to control the solenoid valves of the distribution unit. This controller is housed in a sealed container.
The control panel is operated by a 110V mains power supply and the unit consumes up to 40 watts. At the same time, the unit offers the possibility to set the irrigation system to three or more programs, up to 40 times per day. This feature allows the user to adjust different watering times and frequencies during hot and frosty seasons. The system can also be set to run automatically at night. During this time, the water does not evaporate intensively and does not interfere with the work of the garden during the day.
During irrigation, the pump start-up device regulates the consistent delivery of pressure. Inside the unit are: intermediate relays, pump start contactors, automatic motor start, and motor protection, safety switches, and a distribution panel.
In addition, an automatic water distribution device can be added to improve irrigation efficiency. Inside the plastic box, there are three solenoid valves, a glycerin pressure gauge, a tap, a terminal block, and connecting elements. If there are more than three irrigation lines, then 2 or more such cabinets must be installed. The controller sends a signal to the solenoid valves and opens them, then the pump pumps water to the irrigation pipes.
The irrigation pipes in the system are designed to partially irrigate the garden. This feature helps conserve water and allows the use of smaller pumps and smaller storage tanks.
Three types of irrigation piping are popular today: drip, sprinkler, and hand irrigation.
Drip irrigation involves moderate irrigation of the soil’s root layer. This type of irrigation is favored by many gardeners because it is economical in terms of energy and water consumption. Drip irrigation is most often used in southern regions because, in other types of irrigation, most of the water evaporates from the ground and does not reach the roots.
In this system, a drip head and a micro-tube are used, which makes drip irrigation very effective. A special plastic holder holds these two components a few centimeters above the ground. To ensure the most efficient irrigation, the drip kit is a water maze. The liquid flows along a meandering path through many twists and turns, resulting in a drop in pressure. As a result, water drips down drop by drop at the outlet. Experienced gardeners have also found drip irrigation to be the most efficient system because it requires only 2 bars of working pressure instead of 6 bars like other types of irrigation.
Drip irrigation has the following advantages.
The feature allows you to set the frequency and duration of watering.
The plants are fully saturated with water and oxygen.
The system makes it possible to irrigate even the most inaccessible areas of the garden or greenhouse.
Water consumption is minimal.
It is possible to adjust the irrigation regime for any plant.
Disadvantages of drip irrigation.
Increased possibility of clogging, as small holes tend to accumulate impurities.
Thin drip heads and tapes can become mechanically brittle if not installed correctly.
Sprinkler irrigation is carried out by special devices called sprinklers. The irrigated area depends on the design of the components and the pressure of the water supply system. Depending on the technical equipment, the sprinkler heads can be rotated 360 degrees to irrigate the entire garden area at once.
Manual irrigation systems include the use of watering taps. It is not possible to obtain the right amount of water from the system itself, but it is necessary to flush the path from time to time. The standpipe makes the water available at all times.
Advantages and disadvantages of sprinkler systems
Before buying an automatic irrigation system, it is important to become familiar not only with the technology of the system but also with its positive and negative aspects.
The following facts favor the purchase of this system.
- the plants are always in good condition, whether in a flower garden or a greenhouse Watering runs automatically according to a pre-set schedule in the software. 2.
- Drip irrigation and the whole system are installed by trained professionals, so you don’t have to worry about installation. In addition, the installation does not take long.
- Automatic irrigation for house plants is also a good variant because the system does not take up much space and can be installed both in the garden and in a small greenhouse.
- In blazing hot weather, the garden becomes a wonderfully pleasant place to relax in the cool, humid air.
- With the professional installation of the system, all areas of the garden or greenhouse can be watered for plants.
The misconceptions about automatic irrigation are as follows.
- High price compared to other plant watering technologies.
- The system requires professional help for installation and maintenance.
- The system requires constant maintenance, with filters cleaned at least every six months.
Other important issues to consider before purchasing an irrigation system for your plants, greenhouse, or garden.
A pond or water source must be prepared in advance and, most importantly, the unit must have constant access to the liquid.
Improper installation or untimely maintenance can lead to water logging, which can be dangerous for certain types of plants.
On particularly hot days, rain can cause sun-sensitive foliage to be burned.
Where can I buy sprinklers or wholesale watering cans for houseplants, greenhouses, or gardens?
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