I've been using a sprinkler to keep my plantings watered, and the rock
around the plantings and the nearby concrete is turning rust colored.
Is there anything I can buy and put in-line to prevent this from
happening? Ie. some kind of filter or whatever to remove the iron/rust
before it puddles on the rock and concrete?
I see the variety of soaker hoses from Fiskars and Orbit, but I'm afraid
those might not provide enough water since I have so much rock-based mulch.
Any advice would be appreciated!
But it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to go to drip irrigation
and water the plantings instead of the sidewalk.
Rock based mulch has nothing to do with using drip irrigation. I'd use
pressure-compensating drippers and/or the laser-drilled 1/4" tubing rather
than the foamy-looking hoses that sort of "sweat". Examples:
or click on "micro watering handbook" in the left column here:
Put the drippers in the root zone, under the mulch.
If you've got a sprinkler system in place, the sprinkler heads can be converted
to a drip watering manifold fairly simply -- raindrip is one such manufacturer
Don't forget a backflow prevention device if you're hooking drip irrigation
to a standard hosebibb.
Raindrip is a product line that I'm most familiar with and have found
satisfactory for smallish scale home use; I'm sure there are other good
manufacturers of similar supplies.
I have the same problem, as many other do. It is a tough one. It can
get to be so bad that, if sprinklers are used frequenly on plants with
low rate of green growth, the leaves turn redish. For example a Saint
Agustin lawn is no problem because gets cut and grows a lot, but I had
fescue and it did turn red in the summer because of the water, not brown
because of the heat...
I have tried the drippers for some areas, but they tend to clogh from
the well water sediments that go with the iron. From my experience, if
drippers are used, look for the higher flow ones, install them in pairs
on a T instead of single drops, so if one fails the other probably still
works and you dont have to be watching the thing continuosly. Be ready
to replace them periodically. DO NOT BURY THE DRIPPERS as suggested by
the previous post. With the high chance of clogging, you want to be
able to see the drippers dripping.
To try to avoid the red coloring of plants and the problem with
drippers, I have started to experiment with simple high volume dripping,
where I have a multi-port manifold with 1/4 tubing that splits with a T
into two other segments of tubing with just a splicing connector (if
anything at all) as a terminator to provide some limitation to the flow.
A few feet lenght tubes and the T help to reduce the flow per drop to
a manageable level. They put out a significant amount of water, but not
too much, it is just a matter of shorter cycle times. You have to play
with the tube lenghs and relative drop levels to have equivalent flow...
I am experimenting with a bed of 12 or so trailing lantanas, with a drop
per plant. A single zone with a 12 GPM pump can handle a lot of this
open drops. I am sure that over time the tubes will build internal
sediment and eventually will have to be replaced, but I hope it may may
last a couple of years or more.
It is not a matter of dripping savings, but of preventing wetting the
leaves with the thin spray that tends to sediment over the plant. I am
sure it will save water, which is great, but that is not the main
By the way, I also use some bubblers but in general they are hard to
adjust and for low flows they are also affected by the deposits.
Kay Lancaster wrote:
A water softener will take out the minerals, but may add traces
of salt which is bad for most plants.
As other posters have suggested, various mild acids will clean
the stains from rock and concrete, but may turn the soil acid,
so you may need to add lime.
Some folks collect rain water in barrels to use for plants.
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