Why use automatic watering for my garden?
There are many reasons to use automatic watering for your garden. The systems save time; freeing you up to do more important tasks round the garden. They save water (and money), as automatic systems are more efficient, they actually use less water than a hosepipe would. Even water distribution means more even plant growth so the garden looks better. When you are away, the system waters the plants, so you come back from your holiday to a lush green garden.
How often should I water the garden?
It is often better to water quite heavily, and then allow the soil to dry out between watering, rather than watering every day. A suggested regimen is to water 2 or 3 times a week for normal shrub beds and once or twice for the lawn. Obviously exceptionally warm weather may require additional watering. Note that hanging baskets and patio pots require watering every day as they rely on capillary action for water to reach the roots and the soil must remain damp at all times.
I have a narrow shrub bed I want to water, should I use drip pipe or micro sprinklers?
We recommend the use of micro sprays over drip except where the bed or planter is less than 50cm wide. Micro sprays provide a more even coverage for smaller plants and in dense planting areas. Micro sprays tend to provide more even watering of the whole root zone. If the bed is narrow (or a self contained planter) then a drip pipe may be better. Be warned that unless the soil has a high clay content the water will not spread out from a dripper pipe more than 10" or so. In sandy soils this may be even less.
Can I add to my existing Micro Spray system?
It is usually possible to add directly to an existing system, especially if you are only adding one or two extra sprays. However many water supplies suffer from a low pressure and this leads to problems when adding to a system. The best method it to ascertain what the flow rate from the tap is and at what pressure and then divide in the flow for each micro spray. This will tell you how many sprays you can run at one time. In practice it is just as easy to add the sprays and if the pressure is too low to work the system properly, then split the system into two separate lines each with a timer (or zone from a controller).
Can I water the whole garden with just sprinklers in the lawn?
If you set the sprinklers to cover the beds and lawns in one go, then yes you can water the whole garden. However the amount of water and the frequency of watering is different for lawns and beds. Flowerbeds require more water, more often than lawns for optimum growth. The lawns can be kept green with less water (and less than optimum growth so less cutting the grass) with about half the water needed for the beds. We recommend a separate zone with pop-up sprinklers for the lawn and another for the beds with micro sprinklers (or drip pipe) But to keep it simple and reduce costs just stick with pop-ups and 'make rain'.
I have a large garden of about 1.2 acres and our water pressure is very low as we live on a hill. What can you recommend to allow us to water the whole site?
The usual solution to this problem is to install a tank that can be filled slowly over the day and then pumped out over night to provide the necessary flow and pressure. Some people opt for a borehole supply but this depends on location and can be costly.
To ascertain the best solution it would be better to contact us and talk to an advisor or arrange a site visit.