It’s January, sunny and 75 degrees (jealous?) here in La Jolla. I’ve been thinking a lot about spring and all of the things I want to get accomplished in my yard, including tweaking our drip irrigation.
My yard looks it’s best in the spring. I’m trying to get it to look great year round, but am not quite there. I need to add in quite a few more plants and, therefore, more drip lines.
I’ve been through 3 gardeners in 5 years. They all start off great and then slack. I hate staying on top of them to do what’s already in their contract. The last time my gardener came, I’m not sure if he did much beyond mowing the lawn.
Anyway, we have drip irrigation which is great because it’s water efficient, but not great because the lines can blow out or get clogged. I’d nag my gardeners to fix it but they’d forget or I’d forget and then my plants would suffer because sometimes I’d have to turn off zones because of leaks. Or maybe I’d add or move a plant and need a new line installed. It might take a month before my gardener remembered or could do it. I’d have to hand water it in the meantime.
Last summer, I finally decided to teach myself drip irrigation and I’m telling you it was one of the best things I ever did.
I bought this Rain Bird Gardener’s Drip Starter Kit on Amazon. It has basically everything you need to know with an easy tutorial. Once I figured out what all the parts were and how to use them, I could substitute parts from Home Depot and Ace Hardware. I do like Rainbird parts best, but find that I have to order them online and sometimes I can’t wait that long (impatient). Oh and this kit won’t outfit your whole yard and you probably won’t need all the parts it comes with. It’s just going to get you started with whatever it is you’re going to do.
I bought and assembled 3 raised vegetable Grow Beds like these from Gardeners.com. I added in my own drip irrigation system with this Rainbird kit and a mini soaker hose from Ace Hardware. Took about 20 minutes and I was beyond proud of myself. These grow beds will probably be the subject of a different blog post because I love them.
The bottom line is that I can move plants around anywhere in my yard and adjust how much water they’re getting with the various drip parts. The whole experience has been totally liberating. If you have drip irrigation or would like to add it to your existing irrigation, try doing it yourself and save $$$. It’s not hard.