Saturday, January 08, 2005

Australian Native Plant Watering System

Today we are setting up a wetpot garden watering system to water some Australian natives plants. We will be using the inground wetpots.

Inground wetpots are buried below the soil surface beside the plants you are wanting to water.

One of the benefits of the wetpot watering system is that it can be setup very quickly and easily in any location in your garden. Other watering systems require digging trenches and laying pipes to connect to your mains water and adding back flow prevention valves etc. With wetpots its simply a mater placing one of our 30 litre or 60 litre storage containers in the area that you are wanting to water. This storage container can be filled once a week or as required with a garden hose.

The garden we are setting up today is separated from the rest of the garden by a circular driveway which means that if we wanted to install a regular irrigation system we would need to dig up our drive way in order to lay the pipe to connect to the mains water supply. We can avoid all this hard work with the self contained wetpot watering system. Once our Pandanas and other native ground covers have established we can remove the system and use it somewhere else in the garden to establish native trees.

First, we select a location for our water storage container. We have used a small brown ceramic urn in this garden because we are only watering a couple of plants so we won't be using much water. The ceramic urn also makes a nice feature on the rock in our front yard.

Next, we place our wetpots beside the locations that we have existing plants or where we plan to plant our ground covers. We push the plastic tee fittings into the top of each wetpot which will be used to connect our pipe to. We then measure out the required amount of 4 mm multi-flex pipe required to join the wetpots together. The pipe can be cut with a pair of scissors.

We then connect the pipe to the tees in the top of each wetpot and join the pipe to the water storage tank. By dipping the pipe in a cup of hot water it makes it much easier to push the pipe over the tee fittings.

Here we have placed news paper under our plant so that we can give it a chance to wrap its roots around the wetpot before the surrounding tree roots find the wetpot and compete with our plant for the water. Once our plant has established its roots will take all of the water from the wetpot and it won't matter if the newspaper biodegrades as the surrounding trees won't seek out the wetpot.

Next we are place a dripper on the end of our pipe. When the system is complete we fill the water storage container with water and wait for the air to be bleed out of the system via the dripper.

After a few 5- 10 minutes all the wetpots will be full of water and a steady stream of water will flow from our dripper so we can screw the cap back on to seal the system. When ever we let our water storage run out of water its important to repeat this process to remove any air that may have got into the system.

Now that our system is installed we can cover it over with soil and mulch. Now its just a matter of checking on our water storage container from time to time and topping it up with a garden hose.

Joel Bruce
Co-Founder Watering Systems

"Where there is water there is life"


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