24 August 2011

Drip...Drip...Drip

After posting last week about our new drip irrigation system, I discovered that the installers missed one plant -- our winecup.



Not their fault, really, as it's currently looking less like the picture above and more like this:



I don't know why we can't make it happy. But my botanical woes aren't the subject of this post. (It will likely be the subject of other posts, but not this one.)

Anyway, we needed to add another drip line to the winecup. Since the main 1/2-inch line is already in, we just needed three things (all of which are available at home improvement stores): 1/4-inch tubing, a special hole punch tool, and a emitter. We found the tubing and the hole punch at Lowe's:



Lowe's was out of the emitters, but fortunately, I found one in the yard that the workers had dropped:



Emitters come in 1/2-gallon per hour, 1 gallon per hour, and 2 gallon per hour models to accommodate each plant's specific needs. This one happens to be a one gallon per hour model. Since the system is programmed to come on for about 20 minutes at a time, the winecup will be getting about a third of a gallon of water -- definitely more than I've been able to give it (since it just flows away from the plant, and most of the water probably ends up evaporating).

I started by digging up the 1/2-inch main drip line and poking a hole in it at the point closest to the winecup:



The hole punch came with some spare hole stoppers (in case we put a hole in the wrong place or change our minds about where to run a line). But this hole is just right:



I plugged the connector into it:



And attached a length of tubing (note the red 1/2-gallon emitter at the top of the picture, which serves one of our lavender plants):



The only complication was that the tubing had been rolled up in the box for so long that it wouldn't lie flat, but I used the heat to beat it into submission and was able to stretch it straight to the winecup after a few hours.



And then I put the mulch back over the tubing, and it was done. (I didn't take a picture of the finished product, since all of the drip line would be hidden -- and it looks just like the second picture above.)

The whole operation probably took five minutes and really couldn't have been easier. I'm glad we are going to be able to handle our own modifications to the system so it will suit our needs as the landscaping evolves.

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