Did a shovel slice a drip line? A rock or staple puncture the tubing? An expelled emitter or goof plug create a crater? A gopher or puppy chew the polyethylene? Two-way compression couplings pictured above work wonders to repair these too-big-to-plug holes. Designed to join 2 tubings to extend lines, couplings come in 1/2″ or… Read More How to fix a big drip line hole
Irrigation is crucial when it seldom rains, and drip (unlike spray) is an effective mechanism to keep plants healthy with minimal waste. But it has some downsides, and now in our 6th year of a drought and 3rd of rationing, a gardener can either get creative or crazed. Drip is just that – a drip… Read More Offset drip’s downsides
Who would have thought waterwise gardening would at times take Holmesian sleuthing? Unexpected increase in a zone’s consumption, change in a plant’s health, or surface moistness are all signs of potential waste. Sometimes, the signs are oh-so-subtle. Take a case with 3 oddities that haunted me for 2 1/2 years: My hypersensitive nose smelled something… Read More Channel your inner Sherlock
How much to water dry-climate gardens can be a puzzle. The consensus for lawns, the poster child for waste, is 1″/week. Beyond generic groupings into low, moderate, or high water use, the answer for plants is less clear and can challenge long-standing practices. Let me wade into the morass with the Goldilocks principle. Applied to… Read More Too much, too little, just right?
Want to radically increase water effectiveness at no cost? Rather than run a zone for its total time, divide duration into 2 or 3 parts separated by a brief respite. This cycle and soak technique minimizes runoff and maximizes absorption. Since implementing it 2 years ago in my one-acre Southern California garden, it has proven… Read More Cycle and soak gardens
Yogi Berra could have been describing water-wise landscaping when he proclaimed “Little things are big.” It may seem counterintuitive, but that is particularly true for irrigation leaks. The big culprit is not the once-in-a-blue-moon, attention-getting gusher but rather a myriad of little, insidious leaks. A gusher can waste thousands of gallons in a few hours… Read More Four smart sleuthing skills
Goof plugs, designed to repair holes in drip lines where emitters are removed, are notoriously leak-prone. Conversely, smart plugs, the term coined for a new creation borne of sustainability, are leak-proof. Goof plugs fail often and fail big. The 2nd worst drip irrigation leak, they can pop from a drip line to boldly spray 125… Read More Say no to goof, yes to smart