Christmas is so close I can almost taste Ma’s Christmas ham! There is plenty to do beforehand to prepare the garden, as we will be out and about and I won’t be able to hand water to help things along.
I have finished my retic out the back and not posted it, but the last week or so I have been plodding away at my front yard so can walk you through my process. I have a small strip on the southern side where I have planted natives, so no need to have that on watering as it can go a while without. The main area though has a rosemary hedge, a lemon tree, plenty of soft flowers, vegies and herbs. This means that a hot Christmas will certainly kill it off.
I have decided to do all the retic myself using weeping hoses. These are underneath my mulch so water straight in to the soil. You won’t see water all over the road or driveway from these sprinklers, so a great way to save money. Water doesnt need to soak through my mulch to get to the soil, so they are really getting a good soak. Plus, most weeping hoses are made out of recycled rubber tyres so you are helping to ever so slightly reduce land fill too! Weee!
When laying your hose you will find that is pops up instead of laying flat on the soil. You can buy pegs to keep it in place, but instead I purchased a roll of wire, cut pieces off and folded them in half which works out much cheaper. Water will reach 30cm each side of the hose at best, so you do need to lay more hose than you do with above ground sprinklers. There a plenty of fittings available to help you get around corners or across the beds, be sure to map out your garden and plan what parts you need before you start.
My top bed gets wider toways the end, so I decided to split this into a Y at the end as I intend to fill this soil with more plants in the long term. I ran this on a seperate line to the main bed as then my second line won’t need to go as far and I won’t run in to the pressure issues I had out the back. I used a T connector to form this shape.
I purchased a cheap garden hose at Bunnings to connect this up to the tap. For the main bed I did the same, digging the regular garden hose piece under the gravel to the strating point of the weeping hose.
My garden slopes down at the front, I needed the soaker hose to go into a raised bed so made this journey first when the water will have the most pressure. Using L fittings to stop the hose kinking, I have run the hose up the outside of the bed with the most shade. I ran it back out a little further over as the hose going up weeps too and I don’t want to flood one area with water. then I have gone around the bed and through the middle. If you are watering a large sloped area, run the hose in rows accross the slope so you arent sending water back up hill.
I noticed at the bottom there was a large area getting only a little bit of water. I used two T connectors to run a bridge through this area. as it is only a small length it seems to do fine running up/down the slope rather than across.
I have a small bed under my letterbox that I wanted reticulated as well. I ran a piece of regular garden hose off the end of the soaker hose under the gravel to the extra bed and added a small piece of soaker hose on the end. There are fittings for regular hoses that you use to add to these areas – the hose clicks in on one end, the soaker hose slides on to the 12mm pipe end on the other side.
Make sure when you lay your reticulation to lay it no longer than 30m long. I did in the back and failed miserably – it just ends up watering only the end of the hose and nothing the rest of the way along. Another thing you need to do is add a pressure reducing disc to the tap fitting. This little disc replaces your rubber washer and forces the water through a tiny hole. This means the start of the soaker hose will water just as well as the end, rather than only the very last bit. Three pressure discs come with the Holeman weeping hose.
I also bought a digital tap timer that runs off a battery, you can set the days and times to automatically set of the reticulation, which is awesome when life gets really busy – plus it tells me the time! Do consider before you use soaker hose reticulation as it waters evenly – plants that need less water need to be set futher away from the hose.