Irrigating Your Tampa Bay Landscape: Is Irrigation or Hand-Watering Better?

Tom McCoy Tom McCoy

Irrigating Your Tampa Bay Landscape: Is Irrigation or Hand-Watering Better?

Summers in Florida are known for their afternoon thunderstorms. As a property owner in Tampa Bay, the rain is always a welcomed sight. It brings a bit of reprieve from the heat and keeps your landscape looking lush.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t the most reliable water system on the market. You can’t sit back and trust the rain to provide enough water for your landscape to thrive day after day. Instead, you need to take an intentional approach to water your Tampa Bay landscape and maintaining its health.

This leads to the inevitable debate of which watering method is best—irrigation or hand-watering. It seems everyone has strong opinions on the matter, but who is right?

All About Irrigation

The concept of irrigation is simple. It is, essentially, a passive watering system that delivers water to your landscape on a set schedule. There are nuances that differ based on your property’s unique layout and needs, but the basics remain the same.

There are pros and cons to irrigation systems, the significance of which will vary based on your property and preferences.

Installing Irrigation for Your Tampa Bay Landscape

Developing a new landscape or rethinking your current design are the perfect opportunities to install an irrigation system. If you are not in either stage of landscape development, know that installing irrigation involves digging up portions of your landscape, thereby disrupting it.

In other words, it is wise to think ahead and plan for the installation and new landscaping to take place simultaneously.

Properties that Benefit from Irrigation

Large properties, including commercial landscapes in Tampa Bay, can benefit from irrigation systems. Simply put, they are often too big to effectively hand water, making irrigation the superior choice from a time and efficiency perspective.

Newer landscapes that are not yet established can also benefit from irrigation, as they need more frequent watering to thrive and mature. Water-sensitive landscapes, including those with flower beds, are also prime candidates for irrigation.

Irrigation Systems Require Maintenance

Irrigation systems are incredibly convenient—when they are working properly. In order to enjoy the full efficiency and potential of an irrigation system, regular maintenance must be conducted. If it isn’t, problems can arise that will prevent your irrigation from working properly, potentially causing damage and increasing your water bill.

The maintenance process, while generally straightforward, can be time-consuming, especially when you have a business to run. Of course, an experienced landscaping company can perform routine inspections and maintenance for you, removing that burden and allowing you to allocate your time to more pressing matters. Should repairs be necessary—which they likely will be over the lifespan of an irrigation system—your landscaper can handle them with ease to keep everything operating smoothly.

Is Smart Irrigation the Future?

The appeal of irrigation is largely based on convenience and efficiency. Smart irrigation is a cutting-edge technology that automatically adjusts your system to maximize efficiency and provide your commercial Tampa Bay landscape with the water it needs.

Smart irrigation systems account for the season, weather, and even watering zones on your property, ensuring that water is used efficiently and waste is kept to a minimum.

Hand Watering is Still a Valuable Tool

Irrigation may be the shiny new toy in landscape watering methods, but there is still a place for good old-fashioned hand watering. It can be very useful when you have a small commercial property or have plants that require special attention.

Despite its perceived simplicity, however, hand watering is more nuanced than it appears, and doing it right is essential to keeping plants healthy and happy. The water needs to soak into the root areas, meaning that water placement, patience, and timing are vital. This is especially true in Florida where evaporation is a major concern during the summer.

Due to the numerous factors that can impact effective hand watering, it’s typically a good idea to leave it to a landscaping professional. They are practiced in hand watering plants effectively and with minimal waste. They also are sure to take their time, avoid wetting foliage (which can lead to plant disease), and have the knowledge required to provide each plant with the amount of water it needs to thrive.


No matter the size of your Tampa Bay area commercial property or the plants that populate it, working with an experienced landscaper is key to unlocking its full potential. Whether you opt for a state-of-the-art irrigation system, hand watering, or a combination thereof, Landcrafters has the expertise to ensure your landscape thrives.

With over 20 years of servicing commercial properties in Tampa Bay, Landcrafters has the know-how to elevate your landscapes to new heights. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have and check out our blog for free landscaping tips and tricks.

Tom McCoy

Tom McCoy