Archive for the 'Connection Series' Category
Garden Connections appreciates the questions and comments we have received from our viewers. This is in response to a question asked recently about drip irrigation. Thank you Jason.
Drip irrigation is definitely the way to go when watering. There are many different types of irrigation (Ebb & Flow, Sprinkler, Mist, Drip, Manual), but drip irrigation is definitely the most eco-friendly and very easy to use if put together properly. Drip irrigation uses up to 70% less water than sprinkler irrigation because it is applied directly to the root zone or pot, whatever you are working with, and reduces water loss from wind blowing and evaporation. It is more efficient than manual watering because it is delivered slowly so the water has time to thoroughly soak in instead of just running off.
Like I mentioned earlier, putting the system together properly and maintaining it is the key. You can often find soaker hoses (porous hose that allows water to soak through the entire length) at most stores that carry garden hose. This would be the simplest way to start. Simply hook it up to your faucet and turn it on for 1-2 hours. However, it may not be the most precise. When working with pots, you may find you need a specific line to each, or you may have plants that need more water than others in the garden. These scenarios would mean hooking up a main hose line and then adding secondary lines attached to the main line with regulatory emitters. You can then place 1 line in each pot, 1-2 lines to each plant (depending on water needs) etc. You can even get as fancy as adding timers. For homeowners that already have lawn sprinkler systems, they may be able to add a drip line zone for shrubs and flowers if their system has the proper set up.
Though drip systems give you the best water usage, they can be tricky to maintain. You need to make sure water doesn’t leak from connections, wind or animals may pull up or move the drips, animals may chew on the lines, etc. So, you will need to check on the system regularly to make sure it is working properly. If you end up with a wilted pot/plant one day, check it out right away and fix whatever the problem is. It is also best for many trees and shrubs if you limit water to whenever necessary and only water 1-2 times per week with a good deep soaking, rather than a little bit every day. This will encourage deep healthy root systems that can be self sustaining rather than shallow systems that depend solely on your irrigation system.
I want to thank our viewer’s callers and guests for another informative episode of Garden Connections. I know I will be looking at my own lawn differently. Ken Brown (spring-green.com) has a wealth of knowledge and information. Tom Theesfeld once again helps us out with helpful information at alseed.com. A special thanks goes out to Bob Mugaas and his experience with the University of MN extensions, at extension.umn.edu.
If you have any questions send them in. We’d like to hear from you and address your ideas. Thanks for watching.
I want to thank the views and the guests for another good show. Albert Lea Seed http://www.alseed.com and Super Fresh have been wonderful to work with. I appreciate their input and information they are willing to share. It has been interesting for me to learn more about different varieties of plants and types of gardens one can consider. Join us next week as we will be discussing Trees, Shrubs, annuals and perennials.