Water and lack thereof is a huge talking point in this day and age of “Climate Change”. By changing your watering technique you can improve your watering effectiveness, save you time and save some money in water bills.
Over the past couple of months we’ve been adding to our new large garden bed. We’ve put in plants such as Passionfruit, a lemon tree, Moses in the cradle, honeysuckles, ponytail tree, marigolds, vinca, lavender etc. All of these plants have different water requirements, but to help preserve what goes on, it has all been mulched with hay, and some parts have been covered with horse manure to help the hay break down into a nice rich topsoil / compost / mulch.
I’ve been using my standard watering sprinkler which puts out a whopping 990 liters per hour over a large area. It takes 4 moves of the sprinkler to get the whole area covered, and it is easy to forget to move it, and some areas get neglected from time to time.
Working with small scale irrigation systems is quite easy, even for the first timer who has no experience. Your basic setup requires a few key materials and a little common sense.
For our setup I bought fifty meters of 13mm hose, two T pieces, a hose adapter, a filter (to stop the drippers blocking) with pressure reducer (keeps it at 100 bar), and some drippers.
Overall it only took 30 minutes to install. The first step was to lay the hose out in the desired pattern, cut and fit joiners where required. Next attach the hose and fill with water, take the hole making tool and start installing the drippers.
Each of my drippers run at 4 litres per hour, I used these on the larger plants such as the lemon tree, passionfruit vine and other larger dedicated plants.
To make placement easier, I used some smaller 4mm flexible hose to attch to the main 13mm hose. This allows me to move them around the base of the tree as required.
Over my anuals (which will be replaced with perennials when the current perennials grow to be a bit bigger) I used a small rotating sprinkler head. Using upright raisers to get them above the mulch, they spin around distributing water over a larger area. The exact water usage from these is unknown at the moment, but should they begin putting out too much water, I can easily add taps to their raisers and they can be turned off.
The best part of creating your own drip irrigation system is that it can be modified at any time for little cost, once the initial financial outlay has been done.
By completing this job, my household water consumption should drop significantly thus reducing my water bill. Along with the installation of the low water toilet bowl and dual flush cistern in the bathroom, I’m taking the first step top making my house even greener.
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