Irrigation Systems – a brief introduction

Whether you have a small residential garden or hectares of land that require irrigation systems, it makes sense to invest in a system that makes the job easier for you. But it’s not just about convenience. It’s also far better for the plants, grass, and/or crops to get regular deep watering, ensuring that the roots are deep and secure, resulting in stronger, more robust plants, and a lush-looking garden. Installing an irrigation system on your property has many benefits, such as:
  • Eliminating manual labour
  • Reducing costs
  • Preventing uneven watering
  • Preserving the Soil-Structure & Nutrients

Types of Irrigation Systems

There are a few different types of irrigation systems to choose from, based on different soil types, climates, crops, and resources. Surface irrigation is the application of water by gravity flow to the surface of the field, and is particularly suited to broad-acre crops. While this type of irrigation is the lowest cost of the three types, it is initially labour intensive. Overhead sprinkler irrigation is likely the type of irrigation most used in domestic homes and works well to cover large areas. This type of irrigation uses pressure to spray water down onto the plants in a controlled manner, similar to rainfall. This type of irrigation system has high investment costs, and relatively high labour, and energy costs to maintain. Drip irrigation, also known as micro-irrigation, allows water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. This minimises evaporation and can eliminate many diseases that are spread through water contact with the foliage. Drip irrigation has the highest investment and replacement costs (plastic degrades in the sun, or can be attacked by rodents), but lower labour, and energy costs. Automatic irrigation allows for no or minimal manual intervention, and watering can be scheduled for any time during the day or night. A rain sensor can also be fitted which automatically shuts off your sprinkler system when it rains, so you don’t have to worry about wasting water. Almost every system (drip, sprinkler, and surface) can be automated with timers, sensors, or computers. Each type of irrigation has its advantages and disadvantages, so the application needs to be carefully considered before applying any specific type of system to the given area.


The main considerations before applying particular irrigation systems include:
  • Topography (physical features) of the area in question
  • Soil type
  • Availability of resources
  • Water Quality
  • Water Availability/scarcity
Rainwater harvesting tanks can also be used in the irrigation system which will save you money on municipal water. And, there are different types of materials used for irrigation, which would typically be plastic or brass. While plastic is more economical (certainly in the short term) and obviously lighter, brass can tolerate higher pressure and is more resistant to chemicals typically found in irrigation water and therefore less susceptible to failure due to cracking. The correct installation of the irrigation system of choice is imperative. A poorly installed system will cause untold headaches and could end up costing you double in the long run.

Irrigation systems by FSG

At FSG, we have years of experience designing, installing, and repairing irrigation systems for homes, office parks, and sports fields. Get in touch with us to see how we can add value to your lawn, garden, or sports field. We’re reliable, efficient, and affordable and we’re confident you’ll be happy with the results.


Head Office Address
318 Sunriselaan, North Riding AH, Roodepoort, 2169

010 600 5050

Opening Hours
Mon – Thu: 07h30 – 16h30
Fri: 07h00 – 15h30

Enjoyed reading this blog?
Here are some more blog posts that you might enjoy