Hi...I'm new to your group..Recent retiree transplant from Oregon to SW
Washington...Have a large lot that is primarily in lawn with perimeter
straight edged beds...want to work toward more island flower beds and
sculpting the existing beds...also have a large collection of large
container plantings that are currently serving as my "holding beds"..
There is an existing underground sprinkler serving the lawn and 80% of
the beds, that is approx 6-7 years old...want to augment that with
automatic drip system for containers and new beds....
Have any of you some experience or war stories you could share....would
really apprecicate it....Am looking for hints as to making the system
as easy to maintain as possible...Thanks a bunch
I did this a few years ago. I was fortunate in that the original
installer had had the foresight to build a manifold that had capacity to
add two control valves, so I just added the valves (be certain that you
get the type that can be adjusted to reduce the water pressure; drip
systems use low pressure) and ran some lines down my flower beds. I
installed the drip nozzles, and some misters, with a kit.
I didn't have this problem, as my beds are all along the perimeter, but
if you will have some in the interior of the lawn, you will have to find
out where the original lines run, and avoid them when you are trenching.
Fortunately for me, our excellent original installer had left a map
showing where he ran the lines.
Soaker hoses are great, but if you live in an area with hard water the
hose will clog with dissolved minerals. Also, fertilizing through drip
hose using liquid or other water soluble fertilizer can clog the hose
On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 20:08:36 -0400, Stubby
No properly designed and installed systems, even with the incredibly
saline high TDS water in desert municipalities, emitters do NOT clog!
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine,
one need only own a shovel.
-- Aldo Leopold
Is there a good way to "unclog" a soaker hose which has started to get
sluggish from such deposits after a season's worth of use ?
I'm getting ready to put two of mine away for the year, and I'd
appreciate suggestions on their "care & feeding" :-)
It may depend on how one defines hard water. Our irrigation water (AZ
desert) comes from watershed runoff, is very alkaline, and contains a lot
of mineral salts. My experience is that the useful life of soaker hoses,
including those manufactured locally, is only about one year. I have heard
that the plugged hose pores can be cleaned up by soaking and flushing out
with Lime Away but I haven't tried that.
About 8 years ago, I started using Dripworks' ( www.dripworksusa.com ) 15
mil, 40 GPH/100' drip tapes where appropriate or their turbulent flow ,
self- flushing emitters. The drip tapes need to be in a straight line (no
bending or curving around corners) but work very well once one learn how to
use them. MiracleGro is injected regularly using the "EZ Flo Fertilizer
Injector" and there has never been any clogging but there are grayish spots
at the emitter on the drip tapes where the water evaporated leaving the salt
deposits on the tape. Covering with mulch helps to minimize the salt
deposits. I also use the 1/2 inch drip tubing (emitters enclosed in the
tubing) around the drip line of trees and have had no problem with those
either but these are a bit pricey.
I normally remove the scale from my soaker hoses in the spring by pulling
them around a sharp bend to break up the scale then flushing out the hose
with water. This works best if the hose is dry to start with.
I use soaker hoses religiously. Some from the Home Depot and some from
Sears. You gotta love Sears' 100% replacement warranty. Seems the hoses
from the Depot emit about 50% more water and therefore cannot be
coupled with the Sears brand.
The water here is relatively mineral free and salt free so the hoses
tend to last about 3-4 years under the mulch without any signifigant
clogging issues... but all municipal water systems sometimes convey a
bit of agitated sediment.
Usually in the Spring I'll remove any hose which doesn't seem to be
peforming well and coil it up into a a large "whiskey barrel liner"
type container, fill the hose and container with water and leave it in
the sun for a day.
In the evening or next day, I drag the hose around a 4 x 4 post to jog
any debris out if their niches or pores, and flush with clean water
from a hose.
Remember a soaker hose is just one very long, narrow filter.
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