Friday, January 11, 2013

Efficient Garden Watering

Before and after weeper hose watering
One of the hardest things for me as a gardener is to get my garden watering just right so that my plants survive the heat and retain the soil nutrients. So I began a watering experiment.

Keeping the foliage free of water spray during the evening watering is important to avoid fungal infections in plants. Not to mention sun burnt plants during the day. So getting the water to the plant roots is incredibly important to keep the garden alive during summer with a minimum of water.

My watering experiment focused on watering the main flower garden; non-vegetable, non-lawn areas.

In other words:

Trial Included:

My parents on the farm installed dripper irrigation in their house garden.
While I explored the soaker hose, weeper hose, buckets, watering cans and handheld hose.

I did not include standard garden sprinkler, pop-ups or misters as they would definitely have wet the foliage.

Australian Soaker/Sprinkler Hoses are flat plastic with holes on one side only that spray out. As a result, I turned the Soaker Hose upside-down to water around the base of the plants, in essence to act like a Weeper Hose. The Soaker became very brittle and hard to snake through the garden. With the holes further apart than desired, getting the moisture in the right spots was difficult.

Most Ineffective Method:

Bucket Watering
The water did not penetrate to an acceptable level and took considerable time and effort to transport.

Any method that required constant attendance proved to be the worst. Most of these methods were best for the application of liquid fertiliser on an occasional basis, only.

The rate of evaporation and run-off was very high, even with the watering can and handheld hose method.

Most Efficient Method:

Weeper Hose
The weeper hose method was the best by far. The efficiency at a low level was amazing and delivered water to a very deep level like a dripper system.

The reason why the weeper hose was better than the drippers was due to the fact that ants cannot get into the hose. Dripper systems are well known for getting blocked, most especially due to the ants moving in, looking for water.

The snaking ability of the weeper hose was amazing. It was long enough to weave in and out of the garden bed and there was no 'wrong' side.


Weeper Hoses are more efficient if slightly buried under mulch to reduce evaporation. This also acts as a deterant against theft.


Mum, Dad, I'm buying you a weeper hose next. No more bucket and handheld hose for you! Your shoulders can rest easy. No more bucket watering when the drippers are clogged.

1 comment:

  1. This was a nice experiment, Janine! Watering and irrigation system is a common problem for most gardeners and farmers because we have to make sure that our plants get the right amount of water without sacrificing our water bill. And it's a good thing you already found the best that fits your garden needs. -Juliane Knoll @