My husband installed a drip system in our garden plot. The long black tubes looked too industrial for me at first. But when the drip system watered the plot while I planted seeds, weeded the beds, cut the swiss chard crops, removed tomato suckers, photographed garden flowers and bugs, and played with my son, I came to appreciate the contrast of black plastic stripes against green foliage and brown dirt. The drip system is awesome! It saves time and water.
After consulting with a local master gardener, my husband ordered drip system supplies from Robert Marvel. It took him about 2 hours to completely set up the system. The system has these basic parts: a removable assembly (consisting of a check valve, filter and pressure regulator), a distribution tube, drip tape and a garden hose.
To water the garden, all I do is hook up our hose to the community garden water spigot and the removable assembly attached to the distribution tube (thick tube seen in photo at edge of plot). Water flows out from the distribution tube to the drip tape between the plants. The drip tape has emitter holes every 8 inches and delivers .53 gallons of water/minute/100 feet of drip tape. Our garden plot needs one inch of water per week thus the drip system needs to run for a total of two hours a week.
The initial cost of installing a drip system is not cheap, but the benefits are worth it. Drip irrigation is the most efficient way to water plants. It delivers water directly to plant roots where the most water absorption takes place thus prevents water run off. It eliminates water on plant foliage thus reduces risk of diseases and water evaporation. The cost of all the parts for a drip system is around $100, but most of the parts last for many years. Drip tape costs 3 cents a foot and is the only part that needs to be purchased each season.
Thanks to my husband for the drip system! It allows me more creative free time in our garden plot!