08 January 2010

October 2009 - Irrigation

Last summer we spent a lot of time hand-watering our vegies, and still lost most of them in a couple of heat waves (OK, yes, and the final nail in their coffin was a week when, discouraged by the small harvest, we were just too lazy to water).

We had been talking about ways to do it better this year, and also I was disturbed at the amount of virtually clean water from Eva’s baby bath that we were pouring out each night. So when I spied a pile of polypipe being thrown out on hard rubbish collection it motivated Tyson to build an innovative irrigation drip system.

Initial cost: $26 worth of polypipe fittings and silicone sealant from Bunnings, some thrown out polypipe on verge collection day, an old recycling tub to act as a header tank, broken dining chair for a tank stand, some old shade cloth to keep out the leaves and act as a filter.

Initial time: 3 hours to fit, cut, glue and seal everything together.

Ongoing time or cost commitment: 10 min each morning to empty captured water into header tank. Periodic maintenance eg re-drilling the drip holes when they gunk up.

Impact: No mains irrigation needed to water the vegetables. Also the drip delivery means the water is delivered to the plant right at its roots under the mulch – less evaporation, less sprinkled in the vicinity of the plants to feed the weeds. Much water saved from going down the drain... which leads us to November...

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