Quick-ties and duct tape can fix anything

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One of the reasons that I decided to have a wild garden was that I wanted to be able to go on vacation and not worry that the irrigation system would fail, leaving my landscape scorched brown or emerald green (with a deservedly astronomical water bill). Although I do not water more often than about every ten days, I still have to worry on longer trips, like the one we will be on this month. This is a good trial run for our trip to India next winter. Although my son, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter will be staying in the house, my grand-daughter is not quite old enough to take care of the garden, and her parents have brown thumbs.

Most of the native plants, especially those around the oak tree and in the parkway garden will be just fine since I do not water these areas at all during the summer. The areas surrounding the avocado trees in the back, and the small lawn and non-native trees in the front need irrigation. For the front yard, which is on an automatic irrigation system, I ordered the Irrigation Caddy. This controller will allow me to follow the weather from anywhere in the world and set the sprinkler to go off at will – it excites me just to think about this!  I can also set it to go off every other week, or any interval within a 30-day period. Unfortunately, I need an ethernet bridge to work the magic. The controller will be set up in the basement where the irriation wires are, while the router is upstairs. I ordered the bridge but it hasn’t come yet so I may have to set this up after our trip. If that turns out to be the case, I will set the existing controller to go off weekly – not too wasteful.

Then there is the vegetable garden. A drip system and a small timer on an outdoor spigot is already functioning and has been working for about two months now. In the far back there are two other lone tomato plants. I planted them last August, after tomato season, and they have just begun to bear fruit. I was going to let them fend for themselves, though I know full well that they will not make it past two days, especially when the heat kicks in next week.

I am happy to report that with the help of Krista, my garden buddy, we set up a quick netafim drip arrangement. Pulling out hoses, splitters, connectors, a timer, and a bit of netafim tubing, we got it set up in about 45 minutes, and it would have been faster if I wasn’t such a disorganized mess.

Spigot with y-splitter, timer on one side, hose to soaker hose on other.

The connection between the hose and the 6-inch tubing was leaking badly, but worked fine after I added a 26 psi pressure regulator.

A 26-psi pressure regulator reduced the spray that was coming out of this connection. It still drips but not much more than the netafim emitters.

Yes, we had to use a “T” when a straight connector was called for, but Krista came through with quick-ties, so we just stuck a short tube in the third hole and folded it down. (I think Krista is right, everything can be made to work with quick-ties and duct tape.)

Sorry these pictures aren’t clearer but I’ve got some packing to do.

Two tomato plants (Delicious) get almost enough sun to produce, though more would be better. We wrapped the netafim drip hose twice around both plants. I set it for 15 minutes daily and covered the hose with mulch, keeping the base of the tomato plants clear.

I can just taste these delicious tomatoes already!

‘Delicious’ tomatoes are coming right along. One ripened recently and it was very tasty.