1 irrigation system
If you don’t like watering by hand, consider setting up a simple ‘set and forget’ reticulation system. This is indispensable for gardeners in dry areas, especially if there is little summer rain. For a small investment, the system regularly waters your plants for you, even when you’re on holiday.
Some people install reticulation for year-round use, but you can also rig up a simple system that can be used to help plants get established, then pull it apart and use it for the next project.
If you have no idea how irrigation works or what you need to buy, create a basic sketch of your garden bed and the position of the plants. Write down the dimensions of the bed and the distance from the garden bed to your closest tap. Take the sketch and measurements to an irrigation specialist or garden centre, and seek assistance. Tell them about any wind conditions and water pressure, so you get the correct sprinklers for even coverage.
The irrigation professionals will draw a simple plan, work out what you need and sell you poly tube, the joiners to connect sections, elbows for corners and dripper fittings. Gardeners with high water pressure may also need to buy an inexpensive pressure reducer, so that the system doesn’t burst.
Think of it as a kids’ construction set for gardeners. For help setting up your system, take a look at the diagram on page 42.
Permanent systems usually sit just below the soil surface, but if you leave the system on top of the soil, you can hide it with a layer of mulch. To keep it simple, connect a self-timer to your tap and set it to water early in the morning to minimise water evaporation.
“All plants need water while they’re getting established”