Choosing watering equipment

You won’t need a lot of expensive equipment for the average-sized garden. The simplest irrigation system is a watering can, but you will be surprised at how quickly a couple of gallons of water can disappear into parched soil, necessitating several trips to and from the garden tap. A watering can is best for localised watering of newly planted or specimen items; too little water is often worse than no water at all as it discourages deep and healthy root growth.

A better solution is to use a hosepipe, ideally fitted with an on/off control at the business end so you can turn the water supply on and off as you work your way round the garden. But hand watering can be time-consuming – it may take several hours to water a large garden properly.

Better still, you can connect your hosepipe to a sprinkler – either a static rotary type or one of the more sophisticated oscillating or pulsating types, some of which will also travel across lawns. The advantage of even the simplest type of sprinkler over hand watering is the volume of water it can deliver unattended, but there is the drawback of having to extend and rearrange the hose run as you water different parts of the garden.

The perfect answer is a permanent in-ground watering system which can be turned on and off as required to deliver precisely the right amount of water exactly where it is required. Such systems are a common sight on gold courses and in some public parks, but there is no reason why you should not install an irrigation system in your garden. For more information please read our article on drip irrigation.

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