By Jennyhicks – Added 13th of August 2009

When most people think of irrigation they think of giant industrial sprinklers in fields and, yes, these can be complex and expensive.  But now irrigation system manufacturers have recognized that most people just want to take the hassle out of watering their garden, hanging baskets or greenhouse through a cheap, easy-to-use and efficient irrigation system.

Over 10 000 gallons of rain falls on the average house every year and everyone knows rainwater is best for plants. So why not make use of this and give plants a helping hand at the same time. As an added bonus your water bill will plummet as you no longer have to pay through the water meter for using mains water. These systems can be purchased with fully programmable timers which can even be set to come on and off when away on holiday ensuring plants have the right amount of water when they need it.

Everyone’s garden is different. Therefore, irrigation systems need to be flexible and fully customizable.  This means a system needs to have the ability for the pipe work design to be set out exactly to the needs of each garden. This bespoke layout will suit the garden and use the ideal jets to most effectively water the plants. Installation is then simply a case of connecting up the pipe work and inserting the jets.  This DIY method saves on installation costs that are unnecessary and well beyond most peoples’ budgets. The three simple steps below show you how to setup even the largest system.

Connecting the system to the water source

If you are using mains water, simply screw a tap connector or optional timer directly to a mains tap.  Alternatively, if you are using rainwater from a water butt, run a short length of garden hose from the water butt to the bottom of the pump.

Laying out your supply hose

A 13mm hose should be laid out around the garden or house (using clips if desired) so as to allow water to reach all areas that need watering.  With a little imagination, it’s easy to make the hose discrete, for example by covering it in forest bark or running it under the eaves of your house. Because the hose is rigid it is necessary to use elbows on tight corners.  Simply cut the main hose and dip in hot water for easy push-fitting.  When you’ve finished your run of hose, just push an end-stop in the end.

Inserting the Jets

Various jets are available on the market for different watering needs.  To insert any jet, first simply use the key or punch to push a hole in the main supply hose. Some jets can be inserted straight into this hole in the supply hose.  Alternatively, insert a microbore connector to attach a length of microbore hose and extend the range of your jet. If using microbore hose simply cut to length and push the required jet in the end.  Stakes are available to alter the height from which you water.

So by installing a rainwater garden watering system, time is saved, water bills are cut, the environment is helped and plants are nourished with the best possible water.

James Middleton

An obsessive gardener since 1982. Day-time job - web designer and developer and University lecturer.

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