Choosing an irrigation system

After such a wet winter it may seem perverse to talk about irrigation systems but if you are planning or replanting an area of your garden, it is worth thinking about watering now.  Unless you are using drought tolerant plants then at some point int eh summer watering will be needed especially in the vegetable garden.

 A traditional hose and/or sprinkler system needs mains pressure to operate effectively.  Porous pipe & drip irrigation operate at lower pressure and can be fed from a water butt or storage tank.

These systems supply water all along the hose at a steady rate that is absorbed by the soil & you do not risk the water simply running off the surface of the beds or falling straight onto hard surfaces as with a hose or sprinkler.

  • Porous pipe is usually made from recycled car tyres (very eco friendly) and slowly leaks out the water right along the length; it is best laid just below the soil surface or under a layer of organic mulch.
  • Drip irrigation, also called micro-irrigation, consists of narrow hose pipe with tiny drippers at approx 30cm intervals along the length; the effect is similar to porous pipe but is recommended if you want to lay it on the surface or under a bulky mulch (eg bark chips) not buried in the soil.

Happy Gardening, Alison.

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