It is raining, but I don’t care!

My irrigation system is fully functioning!  Wahoo!

A sight to behold my most wonderful Gardena water system in action!
A sight to behold my most wonderful Gardena water system in action!

As we already know I am a doer.  I learn and figure things out by doing.  So when confronted with huge manuals to go with the water computer and the water distributor, it kind of freaked me out a little.  Since we got a more modern telly that can do all sorts of things except make a cuppa tea – that’s what Hubby the Un-Gardener is for, well I get a little bewildered as it isn’t as straight forward as turning on the on switch.  You have to change all the settings to get to where you want to be.  So I confess, when I want to watch TV I get the kids to turn it on.  I’ve got better things to do than read weighty manuals.   So I put the instructions to the water equipment in a safe place until I was ready to take the time to read and understand it.  I basically put it off.

I needn’t have been so worried.  The reason they were so huge is they were in loads of different languages!  Duh!  I should have checked.  And not only that, it was so simple to understand that even my technologically addled brain could figure it out easily.  I’m a gardener not a techy whiz so at times I do struggle with all these modern fandangled things.

cucumbers make fabulous paper weights!
cucumbers make fabulous paper weights!

The need to have a working system was pushed to the top of the ever expanding to do list as not only am I becoming increasingly busy and the boffins are shouting “the drought is coming, the drought is coming”  whipping up a bit of horticultural hysteria.  It probably won’t happen now because they have made such a song and dance about it.  A rain dance – ha!  Did you see what I did there…   Anyway another reason I need it working is I am off on a big trip in three weeks and need a foolproof system so Hubby the Un-Gardener can keep my garden hydrated in my absence. I am going to America all by myself to go to the Garden Bloggers Conference in Atlanta.  I’m super excited I am going to learn so much cool stuff!

So with the trip no longer being “next year” or “next month” and has even moved on from being “in February”  to being in ‘3 weeks!”  I had to get my A into G and sort it out.  I had my trolley, the beds were hooked up and now I needed to plug it in.

irrigation sectors - ok not strictly 6 beds in a sector - some of the little beds have been hooked other and the flower garden may need two input hoses
irrigation sectors – ok not strictly 6 beds in a sector – some of the little beds have been hooked other and the flower garden may need two input hoses and the little ones by the greenhouse – well – they’;re on there own!

I had all these wonderful sectors planned out on paper, but of course they didn’t work in reality so I ended up with some unexpected sectors.  I discovered this by tying string to trolley and parking it in central locations around the garden to find where is the best points to have it and have the hoses connected to the beds with the shortest length of hose possible.  So I have new sectors now where each group of 6 can reach the trolley in 5 metres of hose or less.  I had a friend move countries and she left me her hose.  I like to use what I have, so I chopped it up into 5 metre lengths and hooked it up.


One thing I had noticed though when I was still wandering about with the hose every 15 minutes was the soaker hoses needed less pressure and would pop the connection somewhere along the system.  I have reinforced most of these with cable ties, and I put a tap valve thingy into the 5 metre hose.  So if it is going into a soaker hose it can been turned down, but if it is going to a sprinkler it can be on full.

This is a very technical process  - I call it the string thing.
This is a very technical process – I call it the String Thing.

I decided in the increasing busyness I would set the timer to come on at 8am, which would mean at some point prior to that I would have to get up and move the trolley to a new sector, connect all the new beds and turn the hose on. Besides watering the garden in the morning is the best time to do it.  It avoids the evaporation in the heat of the day and I heard someone say once “watering at night was like sending your plants to bed with wet pyjamas”.  I wish I knew who said that – it is so cool.

So I got up this morning all excited and plugged it all in, turned it all on and waited for the digital clock to roll over to 8:00am.  And nothing happened.  I raced inside and got the manual and scanned for anything than might remotely help.  Then I noticed the hose delivering the water from the tap was a bit slack…  I followed it back and despite the wee sign on the tap saying don’t turn it off, Tim the Helper had turned it off out of habit after feeding the chickens.

Do I need to take the tap handle doofery off?
Do I need to take the tap handle doofery off?

And so I turned it back on and the sprinklers in the herb garden whizzed into life and then the heavens opened.  But it has stopped raining now so my plants are getting a drink on a hot sunny day whether they need it or not!   My system isn’t a technically correct irrigation system and those expert their field would roll their eyes in mortification at what I have cobbled together.  But it works and that is all I need it to do.

Come again soon – I feel a preserving session coming on.

Sarah  the Gardener  : o )

18 thoughts on “It is raining, but I don’t care!

  1. Oh my goodness Sarah, I am so excited for you after reading this post. You’re going to enjoy Atlanta and I know your hubby will follow your directions and never turn the knob off to your wonderful watering system. What a sight to behold for your lovely garden.. Bravo my dear.. This lady freezing in Canada is very proud of her fellow gardener..

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~~

    1. Hi Laura. I am so looking forward to travelling to America. I’ve never been before, it will be such an adventure. The conference is going to be fabulous.
      Hubby the Un-Gardener will have strict instructions. I’m sure he’ll be fine.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Have fun in America. Does this system require moving around and reconnecting at different stations? If so, fingers crossed hubby remembers to do them all.

    1. Hi Fran. I am excited and terrified at the same time. I haven’t travelled by myself like this since last century when I was young and carefree and life hadn’t taught me to worry about stuff yet. Great excuse to go shopping though to get winter clothes.
      The trolley needs to be disconnected and wheeled to the next spot and plugged into 6 new beds each day. I am going to have to leave very detailed yet simple instructions… or pray for rain! (the farmers won’t mind).
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. HI Sarah. I didn’t turn the system on today. we had about 9mm of rain yesterday and today looks just as gloomy. Can’t complain though – especially if it is enough to hold off the drought. The conference is going to be awesome! Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. “Horticultural hysteria”…I love that! It’s such a treat reading your posts, Sarah. I always leave here smiling and better educated. A two for one. I don’t know how to work the TV either and I too rely on hubby or the teens to make it go.

    As for manuals in multiple languages, I tear out all the pages I don’t need and feel calm descend. I also confess to resorting to YouTube videos these days for all sorts of instructional videos. Sometimes it’s better to see things in action. That said, I’m glad your system is easy peasy. It sure looks impressive. On the subject of rain, do you have a catchment system as well?

    1. Hi Alys. We are very fortunate to have a 30,000 litre tank that catches rain water and an artesian bore that accesses an aquifer, So we don’t have to worry about cost or supply – without either would dramatically alter what I do in my garden. We are very blessed. Cheers Sarah : o )

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