Anita Morton - Growing Gardens

Drop by drop

Watering our gardens efficiently without wasting that precious resource will be at the top of our agendas when spring comes around, so now is a good time to install a watering system. The most efficient and least wasteful system I know of is the weeping hose. This hose is made of recycled rubber with millions of tiny holes in it, through which water oozes.

A weeping hose simply clicks onto the standard hose fittings, and is easily cut and joined into whichever arrangement is necessary in your garden. It distributes water over the full length of the hose, and that water then seeps out into the surrounding soil or mulch. The hose is most effective when buried at the root zone, but is also efficient if laid on the surface and covered with mulch.

I use the latter system in my vegie garden, where I often have to cultivate the soil. Keeping the hose on the surface lets me remove it when necessary so that I dont damage it with a spade or fork. In permanent beds or under lawns, the hose can be buried under 20cm of soil. This will encourage the shrubs or grass to grow good deep root systems, and will prevent loss of water through evaporation.

Weeping hoses work at low water pressure, so are excellent for tank water. When you first set up the hose, and before youve covered it, turn on the tap and wait for it to fill. When you see beads of water emerging and slowly dripping down, you have the water at the correct pressure. If water is spraying out, the pressure is too high. Once you have it right, make a note of the position of the tap so that you can repeat when youve covered the hose.


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