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Drip Irrigation for a Potager

January 15, 2013

Potager gardens have many advantages, but they do present a challenge when it comes time to irrigate. Aside from the wasteful effects of sprinklers that fling water through the air, my garden beds are divided by paths so setting up a hose-end sprinkler isn’t really an option.

Individual beds divided by pathways leads to watering challenges.

Individual beds divided by pathways leads to watering challenges.

I looked into drip irrigation systems and planned two zones, the left and right sides, and further divided those into separately controlled systems for each planting bed. This allows me to water each area for different amounts of time and more or less frequently depending on the needs of the plants in each bed. The image below shows an inaccurate draft of the initial plan and was used as a guide when buying the equipment. I ordered everything online from They are very helpful! The plan below was adapted to include valves for each bed.

valves for left and right zones

valves for left and right zones

draft of irrigation plan

draft of irrigation plan

I used 1/2 inch black tubing (solid like a hose) for the main runs and 1/4 inch drip line (valves embedded in tubing and sized to allow a certain amount of water out). The valves are placed in the 1/2 black tubing at control points and the 1/4 inch tubing is inserted into the 1/2 tubes as needed.

Each watering zone is controlled by a valve.

valve to control flow

valve to control flow

A punch is used to insert the 1/4 inch drip tubing into the 1/2 inch solid hose at any point. The solid hose can cross pathways (just cover it with mulch to hide it from view) and carry water to the beds.

sold hose crossing path

solid hose crossing path

1/4 inch drip tubing irrigating a bed

1/4 inch drip tubing irrigating a bed

Installation is simple and only requires a few tools: scissors to cut the tubing; a punch for inserting dripline; and little thing to insert the caps or pointy ends on the dripline.

Bed-specific watering reduces waste and leads to beautiful harvests.

Bed-specific watering reduces waste and leads to beautiful harvests.


Butterfly Tree

November 7, 2012

Our cypress tree is covered with butterflies! There must be more than fifty flying around and stopping to soak up some rays!



Mostly Caterpillars

November 2, 2012




Sunny days are here again!

June 17, 2010

Thankfully, blossom end rot seems to be a thing of the past. I’m actually not even sure that these are from the same plant as the sickly specimen I posted earlier (someday soon I’ll take pictures of the wilderness area that is the tomato patch) but they are beautiful and super tasty so that is all that really matters.

I think I might have to change the title to Mostly Bugs as I have encountered more than I care to and often stumble upon these little vignettes that poignantly illustrate the circle of life.

And then there are the mystery creatures like this prehistoric looking caterpillar found living on the lemon tree.

Watery wonders

June 9, 2010

My usual morning routine includes a brisk walk around the neighborhood with the beast. He usually terrorizes a few cats, birds, and squirrels and I remark how I really should have my coffee before our stroll. Upon our return to the old homestead we usually take a turn around the garden to see what’s happened during the night. This morning was no different. The pond was pretty full from the rain and everything looked as it should.

So we went inside for coffee and to prepare for the workday ahead of us. Perhaps I dawdled longer than I should have choosing my outfit and savoring my coffee. I finally left the house sans camera and only thinking of the meetings ahead of me when I spotted a FLOWER in the pond. The first of its kind since buying the plant in March. It had bloomed in less than 45 minutes and was a beautiful shell pink. I took a quick pic with my phone knowing I wouldn’t be home until after it closed again. Enjoy!

Mostly Mulch

March 25, 2010

Have you ever seen seven cubic yards of mulch? I hadn’t either and so I thought this would be a good amount to order and have delivered. It sat in the driveway for over a month. It wasn’t that we weren’t working on moving it; it is just that much mulch. The poor boyfriend threw out his back shoveling it and only later did we learn the difference between a long-handled transfer shovel and the short garden digging shovel we were using. The beds and paths are finally defined and the stock-tank is filled with water awaiting plants. Overall, the garden is quite peaceful and a HUGE improvement over the cardboard and weeds. That beautiful sculpture in the middle of pond was a Christmas present and it spins and bounces in even a gentleĀ breeze.