Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

It’s not that we needed drip irrigation in our vegetable garden. I think spraying down the plants with a hose in one hand and a glass of lemonade in the other is a perfectly acceptable way to spend a summer afternoon. However, the furniture business was going slow and I don’t idle well.

So we went to Home Depot and picked up a drip irrigation system.

For those of you not in the know, drip irrigation is the process of installing narrow perforated tubes through the soil to water your plants rather than spraying the roots of the garden with a hose or sprinkler. The biggest benefit to such a system is that it saves water – which means that it also saves money (especially if your state is going through a drought and water is expensive). However, some experts have also claimed that drip irrigation also makes plants more resistant to disease. Additionally, there are rumors that by not splashing water haphazardly everywhere, you can reduce weed growth.

We have kind of a wonky garden layout, so we had to splice in lengths of un-perforated tubing to keep water waste down. Screwing on all those connectors was well on my hands. I also made the mistake of allowing my daughters to trough out the trench for the hose – which ended in my husband and me spending a few hours correcting their “liberal” excavations.

After the tubes went in, we staked them down and covered the whole operation with mulch. Then we plugged in the valve to our spigot and that was that. It’ll be a month or so before we see any changes in the water bill, but my outlook is hopeful at the moment.

Do you guys use drip irrigation for your gardens? If so, how complicated is your system? We decided to forego those additional sprayer heads in order to keep everything simple and under-budget, but if they work really well we might consider adding them in.

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Comment by Jennifer on July 29, 2013 at 1:36pm

Lucy: Thanks for sharing your adventures in irrigation! I don't have a drip system myself, but HOMEGROWN member Rachel wrote a 101 on installing one, with a handy supply list and some diagrams. Looking forward to hearing about other folks' systems—and looking forward to hearing how you guys like yours.


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