Friday, April 9, 2010

Put your watering cans away, we made the Big Time.

For the last year and a half- and actually for as long as I can remember in any garden I've worked- our "irrigation" has consisted of a hose (or series of hoses totaling 300 feet) and a bunch of buckets and cans. Not anymore! We bought a brand new drip irrigation system from the good people at Nolt's produce supply, and installed it yesterday. Normally I am averse to working with any kind of hosing and leave it all to Matt to take care of (a tangled hose or wire could send my temper through the roof in seconds and leave me in poor spirits for the rest of the day), but I thought I'd give this a whirl with him in case one day I find myself alone and needing to know how the system all works. It was much simpler than I'd anticipated- pleasant, even. We laid out the long header along the top of the beds, about 85 feet or so of hose. Then Matt punched holes in it about every 12 inches, and I followed him with the little plastic valves, plugging them into the pre-punched holes. Next, Matt took the giant roll of tape and rolled it back and forth lengthwise down the garden- about 150 feet each- cutting and tying each end while I attached my end to the valve. This whole production took about 2 hours. We turned it on and lo and behold, water dripped slowly from the holes, just as it should. Nothing to it, really. Now we have to wait a few more weeks to put mulch over it, which will keep it from looking unsightly (see long, black lines running the length of the entire garden), and will keep the plastic from heating up and the water from evaporating.
Now we can turn the water on and go about our business, safe in the knowledge that the plants will get the water they need, and none will be wasted.