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No More Watering by Hand

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Project by Harold and Pam posted 06-08-2010 07:44 PM 2494 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

No More Watering By Hand

As “da little women” consumes more and more of the yard with flower and vegetable beds, watering the little gems becomes more and more of a chore. While water sprinklers in Florida is a must for the lawns, the ones we use would simple beat the plants to death. So, Pam has been watering the many beds with a hose by hand. This can take up a lot of time, especially when we have several home made “Earth Boxes” which utilizes a fill tube process, as opposed to simply soaking the soil.

Watering the Earthbox - one by one

Hand Watering - YUK!!

When I constructed these two beds (12”high x 3’wide x 8’ long) Pam needed a structure to help support the tomato vines that would be growing from the earth boxes. With that, I added side supports and a top canopy. I drilled holes in the four upright side supports to which we strung wire, running length wise with the box. This gave the vines something to hang onto as they grew upward towards the sun.

Wire Support

One morning as I sat on the deck enjoying a cup of coffee, I was struck with pain as I watched PJ spending so much time watering. While I could offer to do the watering for her; there had to be a better way. Holding up my near empty cup of coffee (her waitressing skills are lax – no tip for her) I told her I had an idea.

My Poor Wife has been Watering for Hours!!

As Pam pointed out, we have two very distinct watering needs. While one bed can be soaked as if a good Florida rain had popped up, the other must be watered individually into the container’s fill tubes. Hmm, I could see this would be a three cup morning “better brew more coffee sweetie as I think this one out”.

The answer we came up with required two separate and independently controlled watering sources.

I brought ¾” PVC to one of the beds; tee’d off and reduced to ½” PVC. You can see that I have ran the two separate lines up the side supports and each have their own shut offs. I then cut the pipe needed for the first bed and marked where it would rest on top of the five cross bars and drilled 1/16th holes into the pipe (no holes at the cross bars). The section at the far end is drilled slightly larger 5/64th. I’m not sure this was needed or be of any benefit – but they are larger.

The second pipe runs the length of the first bed and over to the second bed – the one with the “earth boxes.” Here I cut the pipe and added tees between each cross bar. The bottom of the tee is threaded and has a special fitting with barbs is inserted allowing me to use what my plumbing supplier called “funny pipe.” When I got the bill I understood why it’s called funny pipe. I, however, was crying!! This piping is very soft, flexible, and has some other neat applications which I sure Pamela will have us employ in the near future. I simply cut the funny pipe to length, attaching one side to the barb and placed the other end into the fill tube.

Now Pam can water these two beds with little effort while I enjoy my morning coffee. Perhaps with all this new found time on her hands, she could being to mow the yard before going off to work… hmmm!! Another cup of coffee honey , while I think this one through!!

Watering made Simple

Spring Shower

Fast and Easy

Funny Pipe running to each box

And da little women is happy again!!!

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl



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Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1711 days
hardiness zone 10b

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watering systems flower beds raised beds

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14 comments so far

View jroot's profile

jroot

5063 posts in 2267 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-08-2010 10:34 PM

A neat set-up. I LIKE it. When there’s a will, there’s always a way. ;-)

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2637 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-08-2010 11:52 PM

wow.. that is SO impressive.
Of course I’m busy chuckling at the watching/thinking process while having the gardener fill up your coffee… and then potentially have time to cut the grass now …. definitely worth your time to build this system.

The gardens look luscious! Very impressive. I wish I had a green thumb.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2417 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-09-2010 12:50 AM

I am very impressed with your gardens and your watering system.Well done.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View redassedape's profile

redassedape

22 posts in 1608 days
hardiness zone 8b

posted 06-09-2010 01:12 AM

SWEET! My lazy bone tells me this would most definitely fit my program! I really like the twisted wire with the (bamboo?) stays. I plan on building a 15’x30’ raised garden this fall and I got to tell ya, I’m getting a few ideas here.

-- -Live your life so the preacher won't have to lie at your funeral!

View donjoe's profile

donjoe

220 posts in 1622 days
hardiness zone 7

posted 06-09-2010 03:56 AM

Now that’s the way to water a garden.

-- Donnie in sunny South Carolina

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1899 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-09-2010 01:59 PM

What an inspiring way to solve the watering chores! Good way to use the structures you built for multiple functions. If you want to come solve some of my watering challenges, I will pour all the coffee you want! : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2287 posts in 2457 days

posted 06-09-2010 04:07 PM

Indeed a challenge to keep all things watered. Dragging 300 yards of hose up and down, back and forth, across to the front, back to the barn, over to the house…...........its even exhausting just typing it !!!! and then you finally have the last 100 yard hose to connect to the other hose only to find out you have the wrong end and then of course I have to dodge the FIL who just loves to drive on top of the hose and flatten them to the point of bursting.

I dream of the day I can have an automated sprinkler system that does ALL the gardens.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1711 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 06-09-2010 09:04 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments. Yes indeed Debbie, Pam has a gift when it comes to gardening. However I do get a kick out of reminding her it’s all growing in MY yard!!! She has brought over several plants from her yard that never blossomed there, but have in MY yard!!!

Redassedape, the whole thing is built out of pressure treated lumber. The side supports are 2X4 that I ripped in half (2×2’s). So tell Mr Lazy Bones to get to work!

Robin, my wife and i would love an excuse to visit Ma. I lived in Greenfield for a year, we got married in Rhode Island and honeymooned in Boston. Let us know when you have some real good dark roast coffee on hand. I like Sam Adams too!!

I’m with you, Greenthumb, I hate to be inconvenienced – and dragging hoses here and there is more than a little inconvenience for me. I like things simple and to simply work.

Again thanks – hope that many if not all of you can incorporate this idea into your garden.

Harold

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1899 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-09-2010 11:30 PM

Harold, maybe you should look at the size of my vegetable gardens before you offer….but come on up anyway. : ) The raspberries and blueberries will be ripening soon and we almost always have a bottle or two of Sam Adams in the ‘fridge, or perhaps a few bottles from the nearby Wachestts Brewery; good dark roast coffee is the best kind to drink. Maybe you also have some practical ideas how to keep the littlest goat from leaping the four foot fence…

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile

jroot

5063 posts in 2267 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 06-10-2010 04:05 AM

Next GT party, ... Robin’s place. LOL

Seriously, my sister wants me to come and visit her in Lenox, Mass. How far away is that from your lovely home, Robin?

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2637 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-10-2010 11:29 AM

another reason to get my passport :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1899 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-10-2010 01:22 PM

Sounds like a wonderful plan. I offer up my little farm for the next GT party. Let me know when ‘yall can come and I will give you directions, stock the refrigerator and bake a pie.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View cookie51's profile

cookie51

12 posts in 1660 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 05-21-2011 03:57 AM

Your water system is such a great idea. Me and my husband was trying to think of a way of water our plants. this is a great way. You are so smart.

View Harold and Pam's profile

Harold and Pam

253 posts in 1711 days
hardiness zone 10b

posted 05-21-2011 04:47 PM

cookie51 – glad you like this. Hope it helps give you and your hubby an idea of how to solve your water issues. Look forward to seeing what you do.

-- Pam grows 'em - I cook 'em...... Melbourne, Fl

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