There I was, standing with a hose in my hand watering the garden thinking about numerous other things I would rather be doing; well, truth be told, it was a beautiful evening and my beer was on the table some distance away - need I say more. It occured to me that there had to be a better way.
I, first of all, set about experimenting. Standing there with a hose in my hand and water gushing out at a million miles an hour (well at least faster than I can move), I began to wonder just how much water is acutally sprayed into the garden to get it wet. On average, it isn't unusual to water the garden for 15 to 20 minutes this way. So I measured the amount of water by pumping it into a bucket for one minute at the same rate at which I would have been spraying it into the garden. The answer: 10 litres per minute. So, over 15 minutes (and some extremely complicated maths), that's 150 litres. To be fair, I then used one of those hose attachments that waters the garden by oscillating from one side to the other: 7 litres per minute and (more complicated maths) this equals 105 litres over 15 minutes. The reality, however, is that, these self watering attachments result in a lot more water being sprayed onto the garden as people tend to set it going and come back later - usually a lot later.
This amount of water just to feed the plants seemed rather excessive to me especially given that a lot of it will evaporate and some of it will end up too distant from the plants for them to benefit. I am not concerned about conservation; just looking to do things in a better way.
The key is to feed the plants, not everything else. Further, the plants are going to absorb most of the water through their roots. As such, I needed a system that delivers water to where their roots are. Finally, if I was going to share my thoughts, I felt that anyone should be able to put this together with materials easily available from local suppliers.
The following pages set out my solution. Now I can sit back and enjoy my beer.
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Carol, my wife, has quite a different approach to gardening from me.
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