There are numerous ways to water your plants and landscape with some being more wasteful
than others. The watering options depend to a great extent on what you are watering, but drip
irrigation is a great option for individual plants or shrubs and even containers.
Drip irrigation works by allowing a slow stream of water to be delivered directly to the
roots of a shrub, perennial or container plant. This avoids wasting water on the ground between
the plants or on the lawn. Setting up a drip irrigation system is very easy, and can be
completed in just a short time.
Start by designing the system to have one long ‘hose’ line that travels through your
perennials and shrubs. This is the main delivery line for the water. A secondary line or two
will take the water to a specific group of plants. Finally have smaller side shoots that take
the water to the individual plants.
Every time you take a side line off the main line, you need to have a junction connector
that reduces the diameter of the line from the main line to the smaller branches. Measure the
linear distance needed for each line size before you head to buy the drip system.
For a simpler drip irrigation system that works well for a row of tomato plants or a group
of containers, try the irrigation kit that does not need connector for the side lines, but
allows water to exit every 6 inches along the run. This is perfect for the vegetable bed where
plants tend to be evenly spaced and close together.
When you have your system designed and purchased, you lay the main line along the length of
the garden as per your design. Cut and splice connectors for side lines as needed. When the
system is placed on the garden space, attach a regular garden hose to the faucet and the main
drip line. After a few minutes you can see if your plants are all receiving adequate water or
if you design needs adjusting.
When you are happy with the delivery of water, anchor the line securely with hooks and cover
the whole system with mulch to reduce the evaporation of moisture.
The hose can be attached to an automatic timer so that you can forget about watering all
summer and still get a vibrant and healthy landscape.