What’s the best solution for watering the way your plants need it without wastage? Install a drip-line watering system DIY.
Ask any gardener about how to have the perfect garden and they’ll wax lyrical about the right plants in the right place, good maintenance, fertilising and keeping on top of pests and diseases.
Funnily enough, most don’t mention one of the foundation stones of a great garden, and that is using correct watering practices.
While watering with a hose by hand can be a wonderfully therapeutic exercise, it’s not the wisest way to get the job done, as distribution is uneven and the water often doesn’t soak down deep enough to where it’s needed.
Hosing can actually cause all kinds of problems, as the plants start to develop more surface roots seeking the water and are then more prone to heat stress in hot weather.
You can also lose lots of water to evaporation if it’s applied to warm soil or mulch.
And in the case of sprinkler-style irrigation systems, they often scatter water to the four winds.
A typical irrigation system uses black poly pipe into which you plug various sprinkler heads and nozzles.
Drip line looks different, as it’s brown or purple and has small holes every 300mm along the tube.
Inside the pipe, behind each hole, is a tiny regulated dripper that releases a set volume of water an hour.
This slow watering allows for greater penetration deep into the soil, reducing runoff and evaporation.
As drip line has a set output, which is found on the sticker, it’s easy to calculate water usage and the capacity of your tap to run a system.
You can then work out the maximum length of drip line you can install.