All about watering your garden

For plants to thrive, it is vital for them to receive adequate water. How much water or how often you water your plants is highly dependent on the type of plant, the weather and type of soil. Soil that drains easily will require more watering since they dry out faster.On the other hand, soil that retains moisture is not very demanding since the plant will be able to utilise the moisture for a while longer until the next watering session. If it is raining, then you do not need to water your plants. However, during the dry season, watering your plants needs to be a priority and may be more frequent than usual if the evaporation rates are high. Mulching is one way you can help retain moisture in the soil resulting in infrequent watering and healthy growth of plants.

What is reticulation?

In gardening, reticulation refers to the network of pipes used in irrigating plants. How these pipes are designed depends on the required watering pattern as well as different points where reticulation is required. Reticulation needs to be done in a way that ensures all the plants receive the adequate water needed for a healthy growth. The design of the area will determine how the network of pipes will be installed and how many sprinklers will be required to cover the entire area. It is important to understand the space you have, especially if it is a large area. It is easy to underestimate the watering needs of your garden and lawn if the area is big. Knowing the exact reticulation needs of the space will enable you to make an informed decision that will consequently be great for your garden.

Why is an automatic watering system useful for you?

  • Having an automated watering system means you do not have to be present every time your plants are due for watering. You can therefore go on with your business, especially if you need to be away for a couple of days, without worrying that your plants are not getting any water.
  • If you have a large area that needs watering, this system will save you time and energy. It will get the watering done quickly and efficiently without you having to put in the time and energy to do it yourself.
  • If the automated reticulation system is specifically designed to water the plants, such as the use of drip irrigation, where water is directed to the roots of the plant, weed growth is controlled.
  • The automated reticulation systems release water in small amounts over a longer time frame. This results in the faster growth of plants.
  • When watering plants by hand, there is always the risk of pouring excess water which results in loss of nutrients when the water runs off. An automated system ensures you do not lose water but more importantly, the nutrients in the soil are preserved.

If you would like to have your reticulation designed, installed or repaired in Perth. (Joondalup, Beckenham, Baldivis) or Sydney area, contact us.

How close do sprinklers need to be to each other?

When installing sprinklers, it is important to ensure the water overlaps during the sprinkling process. The shape of the space needing sprinkling will determine how close or where the sprinklers will be placed. It is also important to consider your water pressure when setting up the sprinklers. Although many sprinklers have a radius adjustment option, if the water pressure is low, there are areas which are likely to remain dry since neither sprinkler will be able to reach these areas.

Guidelines on how to set up sprinklers for head to head coverage

Step 1: Plan and design before you installing the sprinklers

Before setting up the reticulation system, it is important to figure out how many sprinklers you will need to cover the whole area. You do not want to set up more sprinklers than you need because that would be a waste of money and water. Failure to plan may also mean you investing in fewer sprinklers. This will result in some areas of your garden being neglected. You need to look at the area, design and potential placement areas before you start setting up the system. You also need to consider that Perth has dry and hot summers where water restrictions are common. You need to plan your reticulation bearing in mind the months when there are restrictions on water usage. This way your garden still receives adequate water while at the same time you will be meeting the guidelines set by the local authority.

Step 2: Start digging trenches

Once you have decided where the sprinklers need to be placed, it is time to prepare the tubing process. For this, you need to dig trenches where the tubes will be placed. These need to be done bearing in mind the source of water and the placement areas for the sprinklers. They also need to be deep enough to ensure they are not damaged when one is digging or weeding the area. To play it safe, it is important for you to know exactly where the pipes pass so that you can be extra careful when working on these areas. If you employ someone to work on your garden, he needs to be present during the reticulation process so that he can plan his work with the knowledge of where the piping is in the garden.

How close do sprinklers need to be to each other?

When installing sprinklers, it is important to ensure the water overlaps during the sprinkling process. The shape of the space needing sprinkling will determine how close or where the sprinklers will be placed. It is also important to consider your water pressure when setting up the sprinklers. Although many sprinklers have a radius adjustment option, if the water pressure is low, there are areas which are likely to remain dry since neither sprinkler will be able to reach these areas.

 

 

Guidelines on how to set up sprinklers for head to head coverage

Step 1: Plan and design before you installing the sprinklers

Before setting up the reticulation system, it is important to figure out how many sprinklers you will need to cover the whole area. You do not want to set up more sprinklers than you need because that would be a waste of money and water. Failure to plan may also mean you investing in fewer sprinklers. This will result in some areas of your garden being neglected. You need to look at the area, design and potential placement areas before you start setting up the system. You also need to consider that Perth has dry and hot summers where water restrictions are common. You need to plan your reticulation bearing in mind the months when there are restrictions on water usage. This way your garden still receives adequate water while at the same time you will be meeting the guidelines set by the local authority.

Step 2: Start digging trenches

Once you have decided where the sprinklers need to be placed, it is time to prepare the tubing process. For this, you need to dig trenches where the tubes will be placed. These need to be done bearing in mind the source of water and the placement areas for the sprinklers. They also need to be deep enough to ensure they are not damaged when one is digging or weeding the area. To play it safe, it is important for you to know exactly where the pipes pass so that you can be extra careful when working on these areas. If you employ someone to work on your garden, he needs to be present during the reticulation process so that he can plan his work with the knowledge of where the piping is in the garden.

Step 3: Have the electrician come by to install the irrigation controller

The irrigation controller is the device that is crucial in the automation process for sprinklers and drip irrigation. It is used to set up frequency of irrigation, the start time and the watering duration. Some irrigation controllers have terminal sensors for changes in temperature and soil moisture. To ensure your reticulation system is working as expected, it is important to have an electrician set up the irrigation controller. You also need his input on the best controller to use especially if you are away a lot and need to be certain your garden will still be watered in your absence.

Step 4: Test and setup schedule

Once everything has been done, it is time to test the set up. This way, you will know that everything is working perfectly. If there is need to make any adjustments, this is the best time to do it. If everything is working perfectly, you will be able to rest easy when away knowing your lawn and garden are well taken care of. When setting up a schedule, it is also important to consider the water needs and acceptable schedule in your area. It would be unacceptable for you to water your garden every day of the week when there is hardly enough water to satisfy the household needs of the residents in your locality. In Perth, spraying twice a week is allowed.

How to maintain your reticulation

Regular maintenance of the reticulation is important and necessary if the system is to operate efficiently. Over time, the reticulation system goes through wear and tear. There are always possibilities of the system clogging or pipes breaking. Regular cleaning and replacement of components will keep your reticulation working perfectly over a long time. This will also save you money because neglecting the system may eventually result in a system breakdown that will be costly to replace. A faulty reticulation system may also result in the loss or wastage of water. Some of the ways of maintaining reticulation include;

  • Cleaning out clogged sprinkler heads
  • Replacement of old or damaged sprinkler heads and pipes
  • Ensuring the water pressure is sufficient. If it is not, you need a contractor to adjust it since low water pressure means your lawn or garden is not getting watered as it should be. Extremely high-water pressure may cause damage to sprinkler heads.

Some things to remember:

  • When mowing your lawn, it is important to look out for the sprinklers. This is because the lawn mower could easily hit them and cause them to break.
  • Winterization of the irrigation system is important in the months of June to August. This is because when temperatures fall, water in the pipes will likely freeze causing damage to the irrigation system. Some of the important steps needed in the winterization process are;
  1. shutting off and draining the system. After draining, these components need to be stored indoors to ensure they do not freeze.
  2. If the timer uses batteries, you need to remove them. This is because the batteries are likely to corrode and cause damage to the timer.
  3. All manual valves need to be opened and end fittings removed. These fittings could easily crack if water is left in them during winter.
  4. When draining the lines, it is important to elevate them to ensure they are completely drained.
  5. The lines can also be blown out using compressed air. This is an effective time saving measure to drain the lines and keep them safe during winter.

 

  • When digging, it is important to always remember the lines running through your garden. Avoid digging too deep or deep enough to hit them since they could easily get damaged.

 

5 types of grass in Australia

Kikuyu grass

This is a fast-growing grass which requires little maintenance for it to achieve a healthy growth. It also repairs pretty fast when it has been damaged. It is however important to note that unlike many grass types, the kikuyu grass needs frequent mowing to keep it under control as it is very invasive.

Buffalo grass

This grass has undergone changes over the years. It used to be coarse with sharp blades. Today’s buffalo grass is softer and more resilient. Compared to other grass types, buffalo grass is more tolerant of shade. It is also less invasive compared to other grass types. The recommended mowing height for this grass is 3-6 inches.

Couch grass

This is one of the most popular grass found in most lawns in Australia. This is because of the improved color, softness, drought tolerance and its ability to grow just about anywhere. When damaged, this grass repairs quite easily. It is highly intolerant of shading and grows perfectly when fully exposed to sunny conditions.

Zoysia grass

There are different types of Zoysia grass but the most common one grown in Australia is Empire Zoysia. This grass is highly adaptable to different conditions and is not demanding when it comes to maintenance. Its ability to resist weeds, diseases and pests as well as its shade tolerance properties has made this grass type a favorite for many.  It is also an easy to maintain grass type as it does not require much watering, mowing or fertilizing for it to remain healthy.

Tall Fescue

This grass type does pretty well when grown in shade. It is often blended with other grass types because it fits in irrespective of the grass type it has been blended with. When it goes for a long time without water, it goes dormant but easily re-establishes itself when watering is resumed. It is however important to note that when exposed to extremely harsh conditions, the recovery process is not fast neither is it easy.

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Make an appointment for our gardener to come to your home to discuss your needs. We service Perth NOR. You can also call us at 1300 1212 55 or e-mail us at hello@thehappygardeners.com.au

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