Sunday, April 26, 2009


Drip Irrigation

I've basically come to the conclusion that I'm not capable of watering plants.

My first clue happened back in '05 when I was given a small plant as a housewarming gift...within 2 months it was a crunchy carcass. Sometime back in '07 my sprinkler timer stopped working. Being um...frugal...I didn't see the value in spending $70 to replace a device that just switched valves on an off from time to lawn has struggled every summer since. And then finally, way back yesterday morning, I realized some containers I had planted with horsetail and other grassy things were looking awfully ragged and wilted. It turns out that several days of 90 degree+ weather early last week hadn't been too kind and I was too busy to water.

Last weekend I finally replaced the failed timer unit with a new one ($35 for an outdoor one) and replaced 2 faulty valves. This Saturday morning I made two big decisions: 1. No new plantings will go in without an irrigation plan to water them and 2. I would try installing some drip irrigation for the containers.For some reason I remembered drip irrigation as being one of those bizarre contradictions where despite being smaller and having far fewer parts than traditional irrigation, it ended up costing twice as much to install. I was pleasantly surprised that it is now commoditized and less expensive than water-waste irrigation. They even had several pre-made kits that included a bunch of drippers, tubing, stakes, and Ts at affordable prices. I got the one made by DiG Irrigation @ HomeDepot. I did the patio kit for less than $12 and added a fitting that let me hook it up to one of my exist sprinkling risers for $1.37. Plus, it has all of the "fun" of normal irrigation without the annoying part: digging trenches. So for less than $15 I will not have to worry about watering the containers ever again.

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