much time and money, youve probably gone through a lot of options in your
mind. Maybe youve considered a sprinkler, a hose, or a good old-fashioned
watering can. All of these methods might be convenient, but most of the
time you will end up wasting water on plants that dont need any more. If
you live in a drought stricken area like I do, you know that every bit of
water counts. I ended up getting a drip irrigation system. I havent
regretted this decision at all.
When you install a drip irrigation system, you can choose one of two
varieties: above ground and below ground. The above ground version drips
small amounts of water continuously onto the ground, and allows it to soak
in. It is all regulated from a pressure controller, which ensures that the
water just comes out at a drip instead of a spray or a stream. These
pressure regulators are very inexpensive. The whole drip system can be set
up with a pressure regulator and a garden hose with holes poked in it
(although it is ideal for you to get a pipe designed for this type of use,
Ive found that the hose method works acceptably).
The underground system is a bit more of a pain to install and maintain.
But if youre really into the aesthetic aspect of your garden and dont
want any visible watering system, then you might consider it worth it.
Its essentially the same as the above ground version, only a small trench
is dug for the hose or pipe prior to any planting. This allows the water
direct access to the roots for the most watering efficiency. Plus, you can
impress your neighbors by having a beautiful garden without ever going
outside to water it! Theyll be baffled.
To choose between the two systems, you need to take several things into
account. Do you have the same plant layout year round? If it is always
changing, you probably wont want to bury your hose. It can be a pain to
dig it up and re-align it with all your new plants every year or so. Even
if your plant layout never changes, you need to consider how much you
really mind seeing a hose in your garden. If it really bothers you to the
extent that youre willing to work for a few hours to get rid of it, then
by all means bury it. But otherwise I would suggest staying above ground
if for nothing else than the convenience of repairing and rearranging.
One of the main advantages of the drip irrigation system is its
efficiency. Instead of spraying large amounts of water willy-nilly like a
hose does, it makes the most of your precious water by putting it exactly
where it is needed. It can also provide your garden with constant
watering, instead of just having to go thirsty whenever youre not around
to water it.
So if youre looking for an easy, cheap, convenient, and efficient
alternative watering method, you should go out to the gardening store
today and purchase the necessary items to install a drip irrigation
system. I think youll be surprised at how much easier it is to maintain a
garden after you have it.
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