Howdy! Happy Monday, everyone.
Have I told you the news yet?? This is officially my last week of working full-time. I am SO.EXCITED! Avery and I are going to have the best time once I’m not chained to my desk 8-5!
A while back I mentioned we finally installed a drip system in our back garden. It didn’t get any water at all from the sprinklers, and rainfall around here is pretty much nil, so that meant it just didn’t get watered.
Oh – except the raised bed, which is on the sprinkler system. Minor detail
The REST of the back bed, though, is a desert. I’ve tried to plant low-water-need plants back there, and some are doing ok, but many of them are struggling anyway. It’s just so hot and dry.
So a drip system has been on my mind for a while.
We never got around to putting it in, though, because we knew we’d have to buy a huge length of main line (and not use a huge length) and all the connectors etc. This isn’t exactly an expensive project, (all the parts are like $1 a bag), but it’s a little daunting thinking about exactly where to put a dripper, a sprayer, whathaveyou. Well, my mom to the rescue!
She has a drip system in her yard, and she happened to have a bunch of old parts she’s kept around for spares. We took three lengths of the 1/2” hose (which already had a bunch of sprayers, drippers, etc on them), and a bunch of other spare parts. The treasures hidden in some people’s garages – I tell ya.
We started by connecting the three hoses with a “T” connection and a valve on two sides. This allows the water to be shut off to the section running behind the raised bed, the section running along the front edge, or both.
Then we turned on the water to see which existing drippers worked and where there were holes to plug. We replaced some broken drippers or sprayers, switched a few around, and added some 1/4” poly tubing to extend some out from the main line here and there, as you can see above. We used “goof plugs” to fill unwanted holes. We also put an inexpensive pressure regulator on the front end of the system so we can turn the faucet on without worrying about blowing dripper parts out of the hose.
So it turns out we didn’t need to be so calculated at all! We just needed to get something going, and then it’s easy to switch it out if it isn’t the most effective option.
I even copied my mom’s idea and rigged up a sprayer to fill the bird bath.
Finally, we used a “quick connect” on the end for fast, easy connections to the garden hose. We need to get a few more of these, because they are so handy. No screwing required.
Just pull the collar back, slide the pieces together, release the collar, and you’ve got a nice, tight connection.
You can see how parched the plants are in the shots above. The lilies’ leaves are withered and brown on the ends, the “purple emperor” sedum was splaying out to the sides, the bamboo was straw colored, and the lambs’ ears is flattened. Not exactly the picture of health.
But hopefully everything will start to perk up.
Meanwhile, here’s a mid-summer tour of the backyard:
The deck plantings are looking much nicer next to a non-rotten deck, don’t you think?
The one major trouble spot: the far right corner of grass which gets absolutely *zero* moisture from the sprinklers. Thus, it’s not really grass. It’s more like cracked, dusty, cement.
Looking toward the house is a little nicer view…
Avery’s inflatable swimming pool is a colorful addition to our deck. Just a little “pop of color”. Of the inflatable, plastic variety.
Nick sealed the pergola a few days ago. Lookin’ good, eh?
I’m actually looking forward to trimming all this stuff back this fall. There’s something cathartic and cozy about trimming all the summer plants in late fall and cleaning up the yard for winter. I also plan to divide several plants. (Now that I’ll be staying home full time, finding ways to save money in our budget will be my #2 job, and dividing plants is a great, cheap way to garden.)
In the meantime, it’ll be fun watching the back garden get punch drunk on a little irrigation!