We hope this blog finds you safe and well in this time of crisis. While the current government "stay-at-home" orders most Americans should be following prevent travel beyond your house, you don’t have to stay inside your home.
Looking out my window, I see many clouds that have silver linings. To me, this is a sure sign it’s time to venture out into the backyard or back 40 and begin the spring gardening season. After all, gardens are all about hope.
Although quarantining may limit our freedom of movement, it is one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of coronavirus, influenza and other infection diseases. In fact, during the terrible Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920, towns and institutions that completely isolated themselves escaped the flu. Gunnison, Colo., for instance, guarded its roads and did not let outsiders in. As a result, its citizens were spared from dealing with this deadly virus that killed tens of millions of people around the world. So, staying at home is a worthwhile sacrifice to limit the spread of infectious diseases like coronavirus.
And while your travel may be limited to shopping for necessities like groceries and prescription drugs during these unusual times, you can make the most of your time at home by caring for your garden. In addition to providing beauty to your landscape and healthy, nutritious home-grown produce if you choose to grow fruits and veggies, getting out in the garden and working will boost your physical and emotional health. Just being outside in the fresh air doing something constructive will boost your spirits.
Good planning is essential for good gardening. The timing couldn’t be better for sketching out a new garden bed or section of your yard for planting.
Maybe you have ordered some vegetable plant starts online or picked up some seed, seedlings or plants from a local nursery. If you are looking for flowers or flowering shrubs and don’t want to leave your home, check out the extensive selection from the western climes of California at AnniesAnnuals.com for uniquely beautiful flowering plants well-suited to many areas in the U.S.
If xeric drought-tolerant plants are what you want, HighCountryGardens.com in Santa Fe is our top pick. For certified organic and biodynamic veggie seed, plants and supplies, I recommend TerritorialSeed.com, located in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range of Oregon. My choice for the best selection of heirloom flower and vegetable seed from all over the world is Baker Creek Seed Company at RareSeeds.com. All of these sources will add beauty, fragrance and wonder to your home as well as providing healthy food for your table.
Homeowners and renters who have a flower or vegetable garden can start by weeding, adding some rich compost or bagged fertilizer and turning the soil. The next step is laying out your drip irrigation system.
Visit our Gallery of Plans that will show you many diagrams of gardens and landscapes with clear, specific details on how to lay out a drip system, including a list of necessary parts. It will be a roadmap to success for your 2020 irrigation endeavor.
We also suggest checking out our section of How-To Videos for the confidence to begin setting up your drip irrigation system.
Have a specific question about installing your system? See the FAQ section for answers. You may also call a direct contact phone number: 800-522-3747. Experienced customer service personnel are available weekdays to help you or take an order.
Planning your drip system can be simple. For those who have never done it and don’t want to be overly challenged, DripWorks has drip-irrigation kits sized to fit your needs. These include backyard garden bed kits, rose and shrub kits and deck and container kits for quick and easy setup on your patio or deck. We also have individual plant kits that let you punch in emitters where needed. For row-crop gardeners, drip tape kits for long rows and large raised beds should be easy to set up.
If you are capable and determined to set up your drip system by yourself, first remember why you are setting up a system. The main reason might be to save water. The other reason could be to grow the most beautiful flower garden and nutrient-dense vegetable garden ever.
Battery timers are an optional but highly recommended beginning for each system. An automatic timer will allow you to "set and forget" when the water goes on and for how long it will run. You’ll be free to take a vacation and not worry about your plants. Being a slave to your garden will become a thing of the past.
A screen filter will keep out any small particles that may plug drip emitters. This gets installed next. Then comes installation of a pressure regulator, which will ensure your system runs at a reasonable water pressure.
You’re now ready to attach and lay out the mainline tubing where you want it and punch in drip emitters or mini sprayers near the plants. One option is to install tubing with emitters factory-installed inside the tubing. Two excellent choices are 1/4" Soaker Dripline or 1/2" Emitter Tubing. Each will disperse water slowly and evenly. Aqua-Traxx Drip Tape is the economical, perfect tape for even water distribution over long, straight rows.
Fertilizer Injectors get set at the beginning of your drip system and meter out organic or synthetic fertilizer whenever the system is running. Those who garden in small backyards should choose the EZ-FLO Injector. It has a low price point and is easy to install.
Thanks to its ease of operation, the MixRite Injector is perfect for large landscapes and farms. It comes in a number of different mix ratios, with the highest ratio meant for those feeding their plants organic fertilizer.
With the challenge presented to all of us by the coronavirus pandemic, this is the perfect time to dive into our yard and garden projects. We all have an opportunity to make 2020 the year when we have the time to produce a lot of our own vegetables and grow large flower beds to lift our spirits and those of all around us. Visit DripWorks.com to learn how we can help you reach this goal.