Keeping the garden watered in hot weather can be a difficult task, especially for people who work long hours during the day. The garden can easily dry out if no one is around to water it, and this kills water-loving plants in the process. An irrigation system that is installed properly can save homeowners money by directing water only where it is needed. Fortunately, gardeners can install their own irrigation systems to keep the water supply constant throughout the day. This is easy to do and does not require many supplies.
Gardeners need a pair of gardening shears, a measuring tape, and a shovel to prepare the installation. They also need garden pegs, locking clamps, an end cap, and a tap connection to connect the system and keep it in place. The system itself runs through a system made of a length of garden hose and a length of drip hose.
Installing the irrigation system
An irrigation system sits in the middle of each garden bed, offering a constant supply of water to the beds throughout the day. Installing the irrigation system itself is an easy job. Gardeners can complete the task in a few hours over a weekend afternoon.
Measuring is important for a successful result. If gardeners measure too low, they risk cutting the pipes too short and therefore not reaching the end of the garden. It is best to overestimate the measurement since it is always possible to cut the hose shorter if need be. Factor corners into measurements because the hose requires connectors to fit around corners. Lay out the drip hose to get a general idea of how much is needed.
Cutting, digging, and connecting
- Cut the drip hose using the garden shears, leaving some extra room at the ends to connect around corners.
- Dig a small trench between the nearest garden bed to the tap using a shovel. This is where the hose that connects the drip hose goes, and also prevents people from tripping over exposed lengths of hose.
- Lay the drip system hose on top of the garden beds themselves because the beds do not have frequent foot traffic.
- Secure the drip hose with pegs to keep it from being jostled around.
- Cut the drip hose where it reaches around sharp corners.
- Take the connector pieces, and connect each length of drip hose and garden hose to create a unified system.
Finishing the irrigation system
- Apply clamps to each connector to ensure that they do not leak to finish off the system.
- Connect the garden hose to the taps using a tap connector, and test the system. The system is connected properly if water runs out of the end of the drip hose.
- Install the end cap on the end of the drop hose, using clamps to keep it tightly in place.
- Bury the garden hose in its trench, and cover the drip hose with some mulch or straw.
Other easy watering options
Drip irrigation systems are convenient, but they can sometimes supply too much water to the garden. They also cannot easily reach raised beds or planter boxes.
Gardeners can also use sprinklers instead of drip hoses in their irrigation systems. To do so, dig small trenches to hide lengths of hose in the ground, and connect them to small, aboveground sprinklers. To avoid leaving the sprinklers turned on all day, use timers at the taps to turn them on and off at different intervals throughout the day.
Wine bottle water supply
Gardeners can use wine bottles or other rigid bottles to supply water to planter boxes and pots while they are away. These cannot supply sufficient water to beds, but they work well for small spaces. To make a bottle water supply, simply fill up an old bottle and stick it into the ground, with the opening first. The soil absorbs the water as it is needed. In particularly dry areas, use more than one bottle per pot.
How to buy hoses and connectors on eBay
No irrigation system is complete without a set of hoses and connectors. Sellers on eBay offer a variety of options, such as garden hoses, drip hoses, and a variety of connection options. Use specific search terms to find the item you are looking for; general search terms can pull up many unrelated items. You can use categories and search filters to narrow down your search by item type, location, price, and more.