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Irrigation for the Veggie Patch- Dripper line, Spray or both?

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Both Spray Irrigation (Pop-ups or Spectrums) and drip irrigation can be effective for watering a vegetable garden, but the best choice will depend on various factors such as the size of your garden, the type of soil, the type of vegetables you're growing, and your water source. Here are some pros and cons of each option:

Spray irrigation: Pros:

  • Provides even water coverage over a large area.

  • Can be customized to deliver precise water amounts to each plant.

  • Suitable for vegetable gardens with larger plant spacing.

  • Efficient and fast, making it a good option for busy gardeners.


  • Can waste water if not installed correctly or with the wrong system design.

  • May cause soil erosion or runoff if installed on steep slopes.

  • Requires more water pressure than drip irrigation systems.

  • May not be the most water-efficient choice, especially if you live in a drought-prone area.

Drip irrigation: Pros:

  • Delivers water directly to the root zone, which reduces water waste and helps plants absorb more water.

  • Conserves water and is suitable for dry climates or areas with water restrictions.

  • Can be installed on sloping areas without causing erosion or runoff.

  • Prevents weed growth and soil-borne diseases by keeping the water off the foliage.


  • Can be more expensive and time-consuming to install than pop-up irrigation systems.

  • May require frequent maintenance to prevent clogging of the emitters.

  • Suitable for smaller gardens or gardens with closely spaced plants.

  • May not be the most efficient option for watering large vegetable patches.

Using both Spray and drip irrigation in a vegetable garden can provide many benefits that each system alone cannot achieve. Here are some reasons why using both systems together can be advantageous:

  • Water conservation: Drip irrigation is an efficient method for delivering water directly to the roots of plants, minimising water waste and reducing the risk of evaporation. Pop-up irrigation, on the other hand, is ideal for providing a quick and even coverage of water over a large area. By combining both systems, you can achieve the benefits of both and conserve water in the process.

  • Customizable watering: Different types of vegetables require different amounts of water, and drip irrigation is ideal for delivering precise amounts of water to individual plants. Pop-up irrigation, on the other hand, can be customized to provide varying amounts of water to different parts of the garden. By using both systems together, you can provide each plant with the right amount of water they need for optimal growth.

  • Versatility: Depending on the weather and the time of year, your vegetable garden's watering needs can change. For example, during the hotter months, your garden may require more frequent watering, while during cooler months, less frequent watering may be necessary. By using both pop-up and drip irrigation, you can easily adjust the watering schedule to meet the changing needs of your garden.

  • Redundancy: Using both systems together provides a backup in case one system fails. For example, if a section of your drip irrigation system gets clogged, the pop-up irrigation system can still provide water to the affected plants until the drip system is repaired.

In summary, using both spray and drip irrigation systems in your vegetable garden can provide many benefits, including water conservation, customisable watering, versatility, and redundancy. By combining both systems, you can ensure that your garden receives the right amount of water it needs for optimal growth and productivity.

The veggie patch in the image below is a work in progress, we took this photo while testing the new pop-ups, it will have both dripper line and pop-up sprinklers installed to provide the very best coverage.

Pop up irrigation on new Vegetable garden

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