Sprinkler Irrigation: Advantages and Disadvantages | How to Water the Garden

Irrigation is one of the main cultivation tasks on which the success of the harvest depends, which is why at Agrohuerto we have published several articles on the different irrigation systems for the orchard. Today we will talk about sprinkler irrigation, one of the most used systems to water gardens and orchards.

Sprinkler irrigation in horticultural plants
irrigation sprinkler

What are the advantages of irrigating with sprinklers? Is drip irrigation or sprinkler irrigation more effective? How to choose the best irrigation method? Let’s see it!

Choosing the best type of irrigation

There are several types of irrigation for the garden, but we have to know how to choose the method that best suits us depending on the type of crop that we are going to plant, the amount of water that we have, the shape of the land, the time that we can dedicate to irrigation, etc.

Orchard irrigation. How to water a garden

The most important thing and what we have to do in the first place is to plan the irrigation of the orchard. There are many options that we can choose to water: it can be watered manually with a watering can and hose or through surface irrigation (by furrows, blanket…) or, on the contrary, use an automatic irrigation system.

One of the basic components of automatic irrigation systems is the irrigation programmer, a device that connects to the tap or water intake and that allows us to manage the start and duration of irrigation.

Sprinkler irrigation system programmer

Drip, sprinkler and micro-sprinkler irrigation, oozing tape , or home self -irrigation methods are examples of automatic irrigation. If we have a large orchard, we can choose various irrigation methods or rely on irrigation with a shower or hose. In the article about the types of irrigation systems you will find more information about the different methods to irrigate the garden.

Advantages and disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation

To learn a little more about each of the irrigation systems for the orchard and better decide what type of irrigation to choose, today we will see what the pros and cons of one of these irrigation systems are: sprinkler irrigation.

Advantages of sprinkler irrigation

  • You can water large areas frequently, in less time and with little effort.
  • Very suitable for lawns or low-growing plants due to the uniformity of irrigation.
  • As an automatic irrigation, it requires less time on our part, since it is usually connected to a water intake with a programmer, so we only have to program it and not be aware of when to water, it is not even necessary for us to be present.
  • The curtains of water drag dust and dirt from the leaves, and help drive away a very common pest: thrips, which find falling water very annoying and move away from our plants.
  • The sprinklers allow the regulation of irrigation, more or less water can be applied depending on the needs and the rainfall.
  • The system of tubes and hoses on which the sprinklers are installed can have keys that allow dividing the orchard into sections, varying the pressure, etc. and, in addition, they act as filters.
  • It adapts to any type of terrain and irrigation is uniform even in orchards and gardens on slopes, where it is not necessary to level or prepare the ground.

Disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation in orchards

  • The consumption of water is greater than that of localized irrigation systems such as drip or exuding tape, which directly deposit drops of water on the ground. In this case, it must be taken into account that a larger part of the water is lost by evaporation and part does not reach the ground.
  • It is necessary to have a water intake or a full tank where the pipe network starts, and also a pumping group, so the initial cost of the installation will be higher.
  • Inefficient for some taller crops and a lot of plant mass, such as tomatoes, since most of the water will stay in the leaves and branches and will not reach the soil and roots. In this case, microsprinkling, with less reach and lower water height, can be an alternative.
  • The leaves and flowers get wet more than with other systems, which causes the humidity around the plants to be higher. Due to this, the incidence of fungal diseases can increase.
  • It is necessary to study and plan in advance where the sprinklers will be placed and the distance between them.
  • Strong winds can affect the uniformity of irrigation.

I hope it has been useful for you to choose the irrigation system for your orchard or garden. For questions, comments or personal experiences you can use the comment thread below

Micro-sprinkler irrigation

In the following article on orchard irrigation we will talk in depth about another system, perhaps less known, but very useful in orchards: micro-sprinkler irrigation, a variant of sprinkler irrigation that is very useful for watering vegetables. See you soon!


  1. Santos Pereira, L. et al., 2010. Irrigation and its technologies. CEER – Center for Biosystems Engineering, Higher Institute of Agronomy, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. 1st Edition in Casellano published by CREA-UCLM (Regional Center for Water Studies, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain).
  2. Demin, PE, 2014. Contributions to improve the management of irrigation systems. Irrigation Methods: Fundamentals, Uses, and Adaptations. National Institute of Agricultural Technology. Catamarca Regional Center, Argentina.
  3. Martín Rodríguez, A. et al., 2016. Garden irrigation manual. Ed. Junta de Andalucía, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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