I was away for a bit, but am now back. Since I was also away from my gardens and garden work, I had a TON of catching up to do. Funny how falling out of sync for just one week can throw your gardens into an ugly frenzy!
My share today, because of the garden frenzy, is this great little invention:
Here we call it a Y-connector. Most people will attach it to their outside faucet to obtain the ability to water two spots at once. We go the next step. We have drip lines EVERYWHERE in our gardens. They are most helpful in the greenhouse as there is no rain to supply backup water in there.
Even with our whole end swamp cooler going, the plots in there can still dry out pretty fast. Especially on those 90+ degree days with full sun. When we initially started up the greenhouse, everything was watered by human power. Dragging a hose with a nozzle on the end of it up and down, over and under all the plots and plants – not a good thing Martha!
Then (as it always seems to happen) we got smart! Drip lines were installed. We tried several different types with several different connections and extensions. Over the years, and a ton of trial and fail, we came up with running two long lines about six to eight inches away from the edges of the plots the full length of the plots. Since the plots are about forty feet long and the lines are about fifty feet long, we looped the ends to come back into the center of the plots. We used to connect to each line one-at-a-time – DUH! Thus the inclusion of Y-connectors.
We now have both drip lines connected to the same single y-connector. The end of that has a quick-connect attachment which we can then simply snap on and off each plot for easy, even watering. We have our own well, but I set a timer for everything I do. The normal time of each plot is thirty minutes. This manages to place the water right where the plant root systems are set. We also (just this year – another “get smart” idea that came to us) set the lines about two to three inches below the surface. This has managed to deep water beautifully!
We used this maneuver on one of our outside tomato lines for the first time this year – outstanding results! Before this, we would just place them on the top of the soil near the plant stalk. It never appeared to be providing the amount of water that we wanted. By setting them up “BELOW” the surface, the results have been amazing.
It should be noted that we do not use any type of poking device to make a hole for the initial sets transplants. Hands work just fine, and my finger nails get a strong dose of great minerals that make them stronger (don’t know how that works, just that it does?).
Please feel free to comment any questions you have in our method(s), and I will be happy to share our secrets with you.