Irrigation is a way of getting water to soil. In these cases, it is not done by organic means, but rather man made sorts of paths that are used to help grow crops during drought or in places that do not have enough rainfall. It has a variety of other uses, as it is beneficial in preventing soil consolidation and suppresses weed growth, but also may help to protect plants from frost and usually is used in tandem with drainage.
Drainage is sort of the flip side of irrigation. Where irrigation brings the water, drainage takes it away. When you're thinking about your yard, you probably do not have much issue with drainage; some people do find they need to install or dig drainage, but this is not as much of an issue as irrigation can be.
In terms of landscaping, most people are probably not looking for a high grade, multi irrigations system combined with a drainage system. Generally speaking, the irrigation of choice for home lawns is sprinkler systems, but there are a number of different systems to choose from that you should know about if you're considering irrigation for your lawn. These four basic types are sprinkler irrigation, subsurface irrigation, trickle or drip irrigation and surface or gravity irrigation. Each of these has potential advantages, and of course, there is always the old standby, hand watering, which, is actually a method that many opt for even now. If your lawn is not overly large, this may be a good choice for you with an appropriate sprayer to distribute the water.
Most use sprinklers, as mentioned above, so we will go into some of the ways that you might use sprinkler irrigation in your landscaping projects. Underground sprinklers have always been a much less obtrusive or defacing way to achieve this, when it comes to automatic irrigation systems. The only downfall to an automatic, underground system is in that they tend to use a great deal more water than other systems, and if you live in an area where there are drought laws, you may wish to consider other options. This leaves of course the above ground systems and these are usually fairly water efficient and are able to moisten soil more thoroughly. In more recent years, designs have become decorative, or minimally obvious, so these are not a bad option for most.
Before you choose the sort of irrigation system you are looking for, you may want to look at what you need. If you live in a zone with regular rain fall, it may be your best bet just to consider hand watering, or using a portable system which you could move from area to area of your lawn as needed. If you live in a heavily dry area, you may have to check with your local authorities on water use laws. However, once you know and can determine exactly what your water needs are for your landscaping, choosing which system will be best is usually down to a matter of below or above, and becomes much easier.