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Knowing the best irrigation for your soil type

Each soil type handles water differently, which means we have to be precise about how we do our irrigation. Smart farmers use specific drip emitters and sprinklers to emit water precisely and effectively. Take a quick look at our guide for irrigating based on soil type before you go digging around in your farm.

Heavy Clay Soil

Heavy clay soil holds water tightly and can often be rich in nutrients. Water is absorbed slowly and moisture spreads out laterally, but when heavy soil dries out it can be especially prone to cracking. Roots can have a hard time getting through this soil type. We recommend low flow emitters in heavy clay soil environments. These give the water time to soak in and spread out in a nice wide pattern. Try to amend clay soil with compost and other organic matter.Use emitters with a low 2 liters per hour.

Loam Soil

This require a 15cm – 30cm spacing between emitters. This an an excellent choice because they distribute water evenly across the entire length of the drip line.

Sandy Light Textured Soil

In sandy soil, water travels vertically, straight down. As a result, it may be necessary to water sandy soil more often. To uniformly moisten sandy soil, use higher flow emitters 7-18 liters per hour. When growing row crops on a commercial scale, use drip lines with a closer spacing like 10cm-20cm.

Also Read  How to increase your farm productivity


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  • Joseph Boit

    Joseph is the founder of Graduate Farmer, a Kenyan online platform that provides resources and tools to help farmers improve their agricultural practices and increase their productivity. Joseph is a passionate follower of Christ and farmer who loves to use technology to make a positive impact on people's lives.

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