Drip Irrigation vs Spray Irrigation


When thinking about the best method to water planting beds, a common conversation our JB Lawn Sprinklers Irrigation Technicians have with clients is the comparison of drip irrigation vs. spray irrigation. We wanted to put together a blog to educate the community at large about each form of irrigation and compare the pros and cons of spray vs. drip irrigation. If you’re new to JB Lawn Sprinklers blogs, we are irrigation, drainage, and landscape lighting focused company in the Wilmington area that serves the Greater Wilmington community. This includes cities like Leland, Southport, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Castle Hayne, and Hampstead among others.

Drip Irrigation and Spray Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a form of watering that uses tubing and emitters to apply water slowly to plants and soil. It’s commonly used for watering trees and shrubs as the water can be directly applied above a root system. Spray irrigation utilizes pop-up heads or fixed risers to spray water and apply quickly to areas. Both types are commonly used in many residential neighborhoods and should be used on dedicated zones, not mixed together. These zones are designed and installed to cover as much land, shrubs, plants, etc. as possible with the given water source.


Drip Irrigation Pros

  • Drip irrigation is the most efficient and effective system at covering large areas of land.


  • It’s efficient because the water is released directly into the ground, avoiding wind, evaporation, and over spray.


  • Another great part about drip irrigation is you have the ability to dictate how much water is used for each plant, so it can be customized based on the shrubs, plant, crop, etc. These drip irrigation zones can range from small window boxes all the way up to acres of land depending on the need.


  • Also, point source drip zones cut down on unwanted weed growth as only the roots of the desired plant receive water.

Drip Irrigation Cons

  • Drip irrigation can be hard to inspect because it’s not easily visible. Sometimes you have to rely on the health of your plants to gauge the effectiveness of the drip system.


  • Since the system does not run underground, rodents like dogs, squirrels, mice, and rats can be destroy tubing and other parts.


  • Unfortunately, roots can also overgrow the tubing and make it difficult to move in the future.


  • Drip irrigation systems can be clogged somewhat easily so they require a fair amount of seasonal maintenance.

Spray Irrigation Pros

  • Commonly used in residential irrigation throughout neighborhoods, this form of irrigation is very durable and requires little maintenance.


  • In addition to little maintenance, it’s typically easier to move around and relocate if zoning is incorrect.


  • This form of irrigation simulates rainfall and sprays water through the air. This allows irrigation technicians the ability to easily inspect and audit the irrigation system to make sure it’s operating properly.

Spray Irrigation Cons

  • Size and shape of areas can cause issues in regard to spray irrigation. For example, narrow or irregular areas can be difficult to water as well as areas with dense, high shrubs as the spray heads can’t get water through them.


  • During hot and humid seasons, this form of irrigation can be inefficient due to evaporation, wind, and overspray.


  • Also, spray irrigation doesn’t allow the ability to apply different amounts of water to different plants, it’s always uniform.
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How To Contact J B Lawn Sprinklers

Reading one article about spray and drip irrigation is probably not enough to help you determine which solution would be best for your property. One of the many roles that JB Lawn Sprinklers Irrigation Technicians handle is helping customers with questions about the differences between the two irrigation types to help them figure out what is best for them. If you would like to schedule a consultation with an Irrigation Technician, you can call our office at 910-794-8042 or contact our office by clicking this link.