Saturday, July 01, 2006


During the last year I have learned a lot about installing and maintaining drip watering systems. For instance, did you know that corners and tees from Home Depot do not fit hose from Lowes, despite the fact that they say they are the same size? I mapped out the initial system for the front yard using all the recommended tricks. I carefully laid out hose in a circle around the outer edge and linked it into a closed loop to equalize the pressure. I used Ls and Ts to fit all the corners neatly. I installed the timer. Then I triumphantly turned it on. Fountains streamed up from every T and L. That was my first expensive lesson. Rebuilding the entire thing from parts from one store was, well, a bit of an effort. Much muttering was involved. The second lesson came when I neglected to plan ahead for winterizing the system. Once corners are installed they can only be cut off. The result is a system that gets several inches shorter each year. Additionally, The brass multi-spigot thing that allows use of both drip and hose froze and cracked right in half (luckily the spigot itself didn't blow). Next, my mail carrier (who always cuts across the yard) tripped over the exposed drip hose, and left it all dragged out of place. I burried all parts in her path and installed flagstones all along the mail delivery route, to remind her not to stray. The most recent, and soon to be most expensive lesson occured Saturday. Now anyone who has installed much drip probably knows that the easiest way to force the fitting into the 1/4" hose is to chew on the end of the hose to soften it (blowing off any clinging mulch first). I am here to tell you that that is NOT recommended if you have any fillings. On the plus side, I did need to find a new dentist.

Tomorrow I start installing drip in the backyard.

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