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How To Grow Vegetables

Plant Irrigation Systems

If you love growing vegetables but are away from home a lot even for just a few days at a time then maybe you need to look at the benefits of a garden irrigation system. You may think they are expensive, and whilst some are, there are a lot of low cost plant irrigation systems available. Also what is the cost of coming home after two or three days away on business to find all of your tomatoes have died due to lack of water. Not everyone has a neighbour or a friend to ask.

At their simplest plant irrigation systems are typically gravity fed whereby a header tank full of water is located above the plant and water is fed to the plant by one of two means, either via an adjustable dripper, or water fed into a capillary sponge at the base of the plant. In the latter case the plant draws up the water from the sponge using capillary action as and when it needs water.

The capillary action watering systems are excellent for seedlings and I use one for feeding all of my seedlings once they have germinated.

The adjustable dripper varieties commonly allow you to water multiple plants be they flowers or vegetables such as tomatoes. Depending on the size of the water reservoir these irrigation systems can water your plants from 1 to 7 days.

The very latest automatic irrigation systems feature sophisticated timers that connect direct to your outside tap and switch on your irrigation system automatically. They allow you to preset the times that they come on at as well as how long they water for. This means that they can be setup to cater for your exact watering requirements for any season. The latest versions even feature timers that have an intelligent rainwater setting, which detects if rain has fallen, and if so how much, and the timer then compensates accordingly and reduces the amount of water it feeds your plants.

A basic automated irrigation system will feature narrow bore plastic tubing which can easily be cut to size and connected to a mixture of adjustable drippers, micro nozzles and mini-sprays, thus making them suitable for irrigating everything in your vegetable garden.

These automatic irrigation systems are easy to fit and other than the timer feature no moving parts and hence they are a ‘set and forget’ solution for watering your garden and trust me once you have fitted one you will wonder how you went without one.

By Richard Allen -

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