June 11, 2011

Coping with Drought

As you try to catch a glimpse of a Dogface Sulphur butterfly you can hear the drone of a diesel engine in the background, pumping water to irrigate a field of corn just north of our house.

Dogface Sulphurs are the most plentiful butterfly right now. They and fiery skippers are all over Lantana and they spend some time among my tiny Senna alata plants.

It was 98 degrees midafternoon on Friday as I dragged hoses. We've worked out specialty watering devices that meet the needs of my plants. In addition to regular outdoor faucets, we have inground faucets.

Homemade manifold can feed four hoses. I usually use two
hoses and have the other pipes capped with access.
You can buy a brass manifold at the garden center.

An extension pipe makes the faucet in the ground more
accessible. A brass Y-connector feeds two hoses.
The green cover upside down here fits over the bucket
in winter so the capped faucet doesn't freeze.

A sprinkler on a metal pipe with an adapter welded on the bottom fits into a
3-ft. PVC pipe driven into the ground. Pipes are placed to give adequate
coverage to different parts of the garden. The mower can pass right over the
 inground pipe in a grassy path when the sprinkler is removed..
 Sprinklers can be adjusted to water various bed shapes.

In addition I have various sprinklers collected over the years that sit on the ground; the kind that have a round base, the kind that rotate back and forth. My favorite is a cast iron sprinkler that has no
moving parts that is regulated by water pressure, perfect for spot watering.

Cast iron sprinkler, inexpensive, very handy.

A dribbler gives a drink to thirsty hydrangeas.
I've blogged before about the PVC pipe dribblers, homemade.
In some of the beds I use black perforated soaker hose.

Trial and error has shown how many sprinklers we can run and maintain a pressure
that will keep the pump from cycling yet keep sprinkler pressure adequate.
The simplest way to measure 'rainfall' is to use empty tunafish cans.

Gardenias after they had a good drink on Thursday.

Fresh water for the birds.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

1 comment:

gld said...

Nell, I like that watering system.
My favorite is the little cast one too. I hate watering the grass...and can just adjust the water pressure to keep it right where I want it.

We have two frost-free hydrants on the east size and two on the west side. I have hoses two hoses on one and one on the other on the west side. I need to buy more hose for the east side.

I am not watering everything; just the critical areas.

My major butterflies so far are the dratted cabbage butterflies and their resulting damage to the cole crops.

I Blog Here & Here too