Commercial Irrigation Systems

The Right Irrigation System for Your Commercial Landscape

Irrigation is Critical to the Success of Your Landscape. Don't Get Overwhelmed by the Options.

Your landscape design is not complete without an irrigation plan. But there are a lot of options, and each has its benefits. Which is the best option? That will depend on a variety of factors: soil, plantings, climate, and exposure. Planning your irrigation needs is a critical part of the design process.

The Options

Traditional Surface Irrigation
Surface irrigation is by far the most common form of irrigation.
  • Surface Irrigation 
  • Drip Irrigation
  • Soaker Hoses
  • Sprinkler System

Surface Irrigation

The method used primarily by homeowners, especially on smaller properties. Using a watering can, hose, with or without a sprinkler attachment, water is applied to the soil’s surface and allowed to seep into the root system. Though extremely popular, it is also incredibly inefficient and labor-intensive. Due to the often-uneven distribution, it can lead to either parched or water-logged plants.

The benefits of surface irrigation include:

  • Perfect for small plots of land
  • Good for supplemental watering

Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation System
Drip irrigation minimizes evaporation by placing water directly into the root zone.

Also referred to as trickle irrigation, the drip method conserves water and is useful for non-turf areas such as flowerbeds, perennial gardens, ground cover, street medians, and containers. Drip irrigation allows water to be delivered directly to the base of the plants. Water drips slowly onto the roots of plants through narrow tubes equipped with emitters. 

The benefits of drip irrigation include:

  • Saves time, money, labor, and water because the system is so efficient.
  • Prevents fungal disease by minimizing water contact with the leaves, stems, and fruit of plants.
  • Discourages weed growth because water is only delivered where it’s needed
  • Reduces runoff and increases effectiveness on uneven ground.

Soaker Hoses

Soaker Hose Irrigation System
Soaker hoses are a form of drip irrigation placed directly on the soil.

Soaker hoses are a form of drip irrigation category. By cutting holes, usually 2 to 3 inches apart, in a length of the tube, water seeps into the soil and directly to plant roots. Several hoses can be connected to create a custom length. The tubes can either be laid above ground or buried beneath the mulch. Though not as efficient as drip irrigation, it has a lot of the same benefits.

The benefits of soak hoses include:

  • Highly efficient and saves water.
  • Prevents fungal disease by minimizing water contact with the leaves, stems, and fruit of plants.
  • Discourages weed growth because water is only delivered where it’s needed
  • Reduces runoff and increases effectiveness on uneven ground.

Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler System Irrigation
Sprinkler irrigation applies water in a controlled manner similar to rainfall.

Sprinkler irrigation best mimics nature's rainfall and is best for lawns. Water is pumped through a system and sprayed into the air through sprinklers. The water forms small drops that uniformly fall to the ground. Sprinkler systems are best used in the early morning hours to reduce water loss through evaporation. 

The benefits of sprinkler irrigation include:

  • Suitable for varying sizes of land—both large and small plots.
  • Better able to direct water flow to specific areas of a property, avoiding water loss.
  • Evenly disperse fertilizers and chemical treatments through the system.

More Than One Option

Your landscape has more than one design element. You have created green open spaces as well as colorful flowerbeds and containers. Your commercial landscape will look its best, and you will reduce water waste if you incorporate a variety of these irrigation methods. You can optimize your investments by using sprinklers for the grass and a combination of surface, drip and soaker hoses for bushes, trees, flowerbeds, and containers.  BrightView commercial landscaping is a valuable resource for establishing the right watering management system for your landscape design.