Important Considerations for Small-Scale Farming Irrigation

A crucial consideration when beginning a small farm is water availability. Nature does not always provide enough water at the right time to maintain the productivity of a vegetable farm, and that is when you will need an irrigation system to fill in.

While most kits contain similar components, you need to know your water source before you determine and install your irrigation system. If groundwater is your source, you need to site your well and arrange for water well equipment in Fort Bend to complete well construction. Once you have determined whether you will use surface or groundwater for your irrigation system, you can determine which method of irrigation you will use. There are two primary types to choose from: drip and overhead.

irrigation and drainage | Definition, History, Systems, & Facts ...


Drip irrigation is a great choice when you want to conserve water and have the ability to invest in the initial costs for setup. This system uses less pressure than an overhead system and concentrates water delivery at the plant’s root zone. Since the system is set up just beneath the surface, water is not lost to evaporation or wind. A drip irrigation arrangement will also work better on heavier soils and on crops that have been transplanted.


Overhead irrigation utilizes a sprinkler system to deliver water over a wider area than a drip system. The setup requires higher pressure to operate, as well as higher flow rates. With an overhead setup, water is lost to evaporation and wind. Sprinklers work well for seeded crops, as long as the plants aren’t susceptible to the diseases that take hold on wet leaves.

The type of irrigation system you choose will depend on the crops you will grow, water pressure capabilities and water conservation goals. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages for drip vs. overhead to determine which is right for you.

Starting a small farm is an exciting prospect. There is much to consider during the planning process, not the least of which is water. Making the right choices for your irrigation system takes away your water worries and lets you focus on growing good food.