Halfway There

As the temperatures are rising, we have called it a day on our outdoor project of installing drip irrigation in the front. My father-in-law came down and spent the day helping us design and install our new system. I mentioned before how he'd brought several bags of equipment last week. Well today he brought even more, we are seriously set for some major drip irrigation. I went yesterday and got the DIG starter kit from Home Depot along with an extra 50' of 1/2 inch tubing for the main line and a couple 100' rolls of 1/4" tubing for the drippers themselves. I spent a whopping $35 for the kit, extra tubing and elbows, can't beat that for a full drip irrigation system! I decided on DIG after reading Caroline's write up at her blog, The Shovel-Ready Garden. She did alot of research on drip irrigation and really broke it down with her own conclusions. Extremely helpful for this newbie! When I mentioned the brand to my father-in-law he said I was right on track and he highly recommends DIG products. In fact, most of the equipment he gave us are DIG. So with two high recommendations, I think we chose wisely.

We laid everything out and the fun began! After several discussions on where to lay the line and a few stern "Watch where you are stepping!" from yours truly, we were on our way.

My father-in-law was very helpful in teaching me why certain pieces are used over others and the best ways to lay out the line. No question was too dumb, even when I felt I was asking dumb questions. He was very patient and took it slow while J dug the trench for the main line in the walkways and joked around with me about my lack of knowledge. We were cracking up and having fun, all the while working hard and trying to beat the heat that would soon be percolating to unlivable degrees. After getting the main line laid out, J and I worked on the 1/4" tubing, adding them and drippers to the 1/2" line laid out. While we did this, my father-in-law cut wire to bend into "U" shapes to hold the line down and fine tuned our placement of the drippers. He took every opportunity to educate me as to why you want water at the roots, how a drip system works, how to maintain our system and gave me advice on a couple plants I wasn't sure about. We ended up using 1/2 gallon per hour drippers, both in-line and regular, for most of it. We used a couple micro sprinklers in the round Bulbine bed, and a 4 gallons per hour dripper for the lime tree.

We were able to finish 4 beds, about halfway, when it started getting just too hot to continue. Dad had to get on the road and we were pretty much getting tuckered out from the sun, so tomorrow morning will be the final push to get the rest of the yard on the system.

It was a good and very productive day, to say the least! Lola had spent last week with my in-laws taking swim lessons, so her and Xi spent the entire time playing and catching up on what they'd missed about each other all week. It is so nice to see them playing and enjoying each other so much. It is good to know my plants may actually survive the brutal heat. I look forward to a lower water bill and the knowledge that no drop of water is being wasted. We will be doing the same system with our raised veggie beds in the back for fall, and it should be a piece of cake putting that one in now that we know what we are doing. Life just keeps moving forward and I look forward to learning more on my gardening adventures.

I have to say a public THANK YOU to both my in-laws for all their generosity and care with the girls and with Lola this last week. I have to say a public THANK YOU to Dennis for taking his Saturday, in the heat, to teach me something new and make the project fun at the same time. Thank you so much and I love you both more than you'll ever know and completely appreciate all that you do.

Micro sprinklers in one of the Bulbine beds.

A 1/2 gph dripper in action:

The kit:

Just some of the extras that were donated. The entire picnic table was covered in equipment:

In-line drippers we used in the round front bed:

I'll take more pictures tomorrow as we progress. Hope you all are having a great weekend and staying cool! Peace!

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