Why We Switched To Irrigation
Visitors to Milbridge Commons may have noticed something new in the gardens—an irrigation system. We have been eager to make this shift for several reasons. We are promoting health. A healthy planet is not something to take for granted; the threat of climate change is now a harsh reality. We feel a strong responsibility to ensure the most environmentally friendly practices in our gardens. For example, pesticides have never been used in any of the Incredible Edible gardens. And now our irrigation system will translate to significantly less water usage. According to civil engineer Ryan Larson, a drip irrigation system can reduce water use by 30 to 70 percent compared to conventional sprinkler irrigation. Sprinklers waste water due to scattered spray from winds, evaporation, run-off or deep leaching.
Another benefit, according to Larson, — “plants thrive with a slow, steady application of water directly to the plant’s roots. The ideal soil moisture level also minimizes plant stress, which spurs faster growth. Drip irrigation also prevents unsightly brown spots on flowers because spray never touches the plants, and it reduces fungal diseases by keeping the soil surface and foliage dry.”
“Because drip irrigation only covers a relatively small part of the soil’s surface around the plant, weeds receive less water and subsequently have less opportunity to grow.”
Water is a precious commodity. We thank our donors whose contributions made the irrigation system possible. This critical support helps us achieve our goals of promoting health and wellness in our community. And it helps us be better global citizens, tending the earth with reverence and respect.