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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dancing with the Hoses

I've just come back from a water fight with the garden hose. And I am cranky. Who else hates garden hoses? 

We have a whopping big water tank that has never run dry since it was installed 5 or so years ago. And I use it with a hand held hose for most of my gardening. Trouble is, it's out front and a long way for the water to travel so it only comes out in a bit of a trickle. It takes a long time to water things in my garden. But I am not going to get a pump for the tank. I just can't bring myself to use electricity to get water.

Monkey Man was always telling me I'd wreck the super long hose from this tank if I didn't pay more attention to the kinks and if I didn't stop yanking on it. And I have. Wrecked it that is. Anyway, I find myself constantly cursing and stomping and re-tracking my steps to figure out where the blasted hose has bent and why my water is no longer flowing.

Anyway, deep breath. Every now and then when things are looking dry I use mains water to give things a good drink. Like today. After I got fed up with stomping and cursing about untangling and unkinking my tank hose I resorted to the mains water.

Last summer I wasted money on one of those tough, curly hoses in the hope that it would be neater and stop making kinks. And that is attached to the mains tap - 'cos it doesn't bloody work on the water tank one 'cos that is too long. More deep breaths. Anyway, this hose just keeps getting caught up in the trees and rocks and is coming off at the trigger and spraying everywhere. So I was simultaneously pulling the trigger, pushing the rubber hosey bit into the connection, attempting to plug the spray that was escaping with my thumb and dancing about to escape the shower. I soldiered on but came inside sopping and my hippy hemp pants were stuck to me. I suppose they needed a wash anyway. But whew I really need to take a deep breath 'cos I am cranky. Actually, if only I had set up a a camera and videoed my antics with the hoses and set it up to some slapstick Charlie Chaplinesque music I would be a youtube hit.

Watering should be one of those peaceful, meditative garden actions that gives pleasure.

I really need to set up a drip irrigation system like I have been planning to do for many a year. But they seem way too simple! I wonder if my tank is too far away for the water to trickle to my veggies. And I fear all the clogs I am bound to get. How do you stop the clogging?  What do you do? Who's got suggestions to help bring back the peace to my watering before summer comes along? 

12 comments:

  1. I share your hose despair..

    Gavin at TGOG has posts about running drip irrigation by gravity:
    http://www.greeningofgavin.com/2009/11/low-pressure-drip-irrigation-part-3.html

    I like that he can mix in liquid fertiliser.

    Some drippers systems work better at very low pressure and since you're starting from scratch you can factor this in to what you buy.

    You could do as he has done and have a small 100L tank as a header nearer to the drip line. The small header tank on a stand will improve the pressure. You may be able to get away with a small electric pump running for short periods if you are using it to transfer from the big tank in the front to the small tank in the back.

    If you're lucky you could do the transfer by gravity as slow transfer won't be a problem. If the water level in the big tank is above the water level in the small tank it should balance. So a small tank on a stand should still be lower than the big tank (not all below it, half way will still give you transfer until the big tank empties to that level).

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  2. Oooh thanks Cameron. I will look into this. We actually have a small tank in the back that was collecting water from the shed and that might be just the thing.

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  3. Big breath needed I think VG.
    Good advice above, I can't give any. We pump from our dam, and water from big wide wopping hoses that don't tangle even if you tried. I feel your angst though. Hope you work it out. cheers Wendy

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  4. Who knows I just came in from watering my garden, and had to back track a bit because of the kinks.

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  5. VG have you thought about trying one of the grey water hoses that you can buy at the hardware stores. That is what we use. They are thicker that a regular hose and longer too. Our is purple and because we are in the country with a big yar we have 2 joined together. You can get the hoses for reasonably little cost and then you just buy a fitting that goes from the small tap to the big hose and on the other end a fitting that goes from the big hose size back to a regular nozzle. I run mine up the side of the house and leave it there permanently, then I wind it up out the back. I have thrown many a tantrum over a kinked hose and now I find that if I prepare first then turn the tap on things go much smoother.

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  6. Oh I feel your pain! I also hate it when I buy a cheap hose and it kinks straight away - the first time I use it, and then continually at the same spot. I have run those black soaker hoses throughout the veggie garden, and they have been there now for about 4 years. If they get a bigger hole (mostly from me piercing them accidentally with a garden fork lol) I just tape that section with electrical tape. I haven't had them get clogged and they are covered with mulch most of the time.

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  7. Me too me too !!!!

    I handwater too cos our tank is way away...and our drip thing isn't working well enough. SIGH. I feel your pain !!!!

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  8. I also hate hoses. I have some drip irrigation for the fruit trees and perennial fruit and veg and find them really good when in summer I can hook them up and leave it to deep water every couple of weeks. They haven't blocked yet, but they're only 2 and a bit years old.

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  9. I use a hose, it kinks and I hate it. My water tank has a pump too which doesn't help. The nozzle continually spurts off the end of the hose and I end up spending most of my water time with a finger over the end of the hose attempting replicate the spray of the gun thingy that has just shot off the end - very very annoying - when you resolve this issue Please please let me know!!!!!

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  10. Hi, good post this is very precise. Thanks for sharing.

    Wash Hose

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  11. Use the Tuff Guard Perfect Garden Hose...http://tuffguardhose.com it's awesome! I've been using it for about a year and I love it...Elise

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  12. Thanks author for your nice site and great shared to water tank, cheers author for your wonderful tropic

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