Irrigation (flood irrigation)

Flood irrigation in general seems to be getting fazed out but it still has value. I know there are many places that flood irrigation is used, from my past it was used for nursery stock in green houses at times and it is very common in California almond farms.


(Almond Farm in California, image retrieved from:

There are limitations for flood irrigation, there is no way I could do this scale at my location, I am way to sloped to do this! In green houses it is used sometimes because everything is mechanical anyway, water gets pumped in and then it is returned to the storage tank.

One problem with flood irrigation is that if there is a disease it is easily spread between all of the plants, another problem as in the above picture, much water is lost in evaporation but I am not convinced that it is much worst than big sprinkler systems.

I do believe there is a place for it though, my strawberry bed used to be flood irrigation capable, it was level and I could just put the hose in it and fill it up, the edges had to be maintained though and I haven’t done that so it doesn’t hold water anymore.

Another place that flood irrigation is used but I have never heard it called that is when plants are put in horizontal PVC pipes.


(Image retrieved from:

This isn’t exactly what I mean (this is hydroponics but hydroponics seems a lot like flood irrigation), What I was getting too was having PVC pipe like shown in the picture with plants in pots sitting in cut holes with some type of wick to pull water up to the pot from the reservoir. Again not exactly the same as flood irrigation but the concept is giving a lot of water at one time to many plants.

Depending on your circumstances having beds that you can flood may be a good form of irrigation even if you don’t do it all of the time. I wish that my beds could hold rain water better sometimes but it would be necessary for it to drain off in an appropriate amount of time. If you were irrigating from a pond, especially one that was higher than your crops, flood irrigation may be a perfect solution, water could be simply siphoned from the pond and delivered to the crops with out pressure.

Author: millcreekhomestead

Just a stay at home Dad trying to become more self sufficient in a world getting more dependent. It’s easy to get lost in all the things of the world, sometimes the best therapy is getting your hands dirty and growing something good!

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