Summer has arrived in Texas.  A bit early even by Texas standards.  Apparently it is a La Nina year which is associated with hot and dry.  Boy are we excited.

Last year we had lots of rain.  Record levels of rain.  I didn’t water anything and most things survived.  Even so some of the smaller plants did die.  With this year’s expected heat and lack of rainfall I decided we needed to do something about the landscape so I’ve started putting in a drip irrigation system.  I’m pretty pleased with it so far.  There are a lot of options and I was a bit overwhelmed with all the little pieces.

I started with, get this, a starter kit from Dig Irrigation Systems that I picked up at Home Depot.  The kit has nearly everything I need.  I’ll need to pick up a pressure regulator and some more tubing to expand beyond our flower bed near the house, but otherwise I got the priority areas done for less than $20.  I also picked up a timer kit from Costco that will water the plants on a set schedule so I don’t have to be up in the early morning hours.

I actually had a lot of fun setting this up.  From the hose spigot I connected 1/2″ poly tubing which makes up the backbone of the system.  From there I used a punch that came with the kit to make small holes in the large tubing.  I then insert little barbs that act as adapters for the 1/4″ rubbery tubing that feeds the plants.  At the end of each small tube you can attach a bunch of different watering devices.  I mostly used little 1 gallon per hour drip buttons.  But I’ve also got some little sprayers to cover some larger plants.  The technology is actually really neat with a ton of different options.  None of them cost much and if you screw up you just stick in a “goof plug” to fill the hole.

It may not be as flashy as the pop-up underground sprinkler systems that you see in some homes and parks.  But it is much, much less expensive.  You can easily change the setup with only a few minutes work to accomodate new plants.  And the best part, it uses much less water.  The drip system only waters the areas you want watered.  You waste less water and get less weeds.  It is just too dry between the plants for much to grow.  If you water like I will, in the early morning, you’ll get almost no loss to evaporation compared with the big spray water all over the place systems that are so impressive to watch in action.



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