Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to Water Your Garden While Cooking Dinner III

I wrote about two ways to water your garden while doing other chores.  I will now explain my third and last inexpensive way to get the job done.

Here is how the third system works.  You will need enough soaker hose to cover the areas that need to be watered.  (In my case, I purchased two fifty foot lengths, one per season over two years.)  Spread out the hose in each bed so that all of the plants in that bed get enough water from the soaker hose.  (I use two different patterns.  Either a spiral or an S-curve pattern.  The spiral pattern round a tree.   An S-curve in most other beds.)

For the spiral, start at the tree trunk.   Circle the tree laying down the hose in a spiral with about 12" between each successive ring until the outside edge of the bed is reached.  Using the S-curve, snake the soaker hose back and forth with about 12" between each lay of hose.   Be careful not to make a bend too tight or the water flow will be diminished.  Once the hose is spread cover it with compost.  This will hide the hose and keep the water from spraying into the air loosing it to evaporation plus keep the soil moist longer and feed the plants, slowly.

In either pattern the far end of the soaker hose must have a male threaded mending fitting and a cap with a rubber/plastic washer to prevent leaks.  The other end, or supply end, will have a female threaded mending fitting.  Now here is the difference in this system from either of the other two systems.  The supply ends must have quick connect fittings, as will the garden hose end.  The quick connect fitting on the garden hose will have its own shut off valve. You are now able to quickly connect to a bed and adjust the water at the bed.  No more running back and forth to see if the pressure is correct.  Then you will run the water to each bed using a timer as I explained before.  Once that bed has been thoroughly watered, disconnect move the hose to the next bed, connect and adjust valve at garden hose end.

This system still uses the same soaker and garden hoses but does not move them from bed to bed.  By keeping the soaker hose in the beds all season it will reduce the damage done to the plants when the soaker hose is placed into and removed from the beds.  This third system does not use all the gang valves as in the second system and thereby needs more labor to connect/disconnect and move the garden hose from bed to bed.  No matter which system you choose, one of them will work for you.  Let me know which you choose and why and how it works.
Soaker hose around tree

S-curved method
As a post script -The quick connect fittings may also be used in the first system.  Doing that will add the valve at the garden hose end and eliminate the need to walk between the spigot and the soaker hose to regulate the water pressure.  It will also allow the quick disconnection of the soaker hose and connection of a nozzle onto the garden hose.



Female quick connect fitting with valve on hose and male quick connect on nozzle


Lowe's Link
SWAN  1/2"Dia. x 75'L Soaker Hose

Item #: 288510

Gilmour  1/2" POLY HOSE REPAIR - 

FEMALE END

Item #: 36788

Gilmour  1/2" POLY HOSE REPAIR - 

MALE END

Item #: 36776
Gilmour  5-Piece Quick Connect 

Starter Kit with Shut-Off

Item #: 99316
Item #: 228740

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