I hate to admit this, but I've been planning this little project for... umm... errrr... well, over 10 years now. And, full disclosure here, I haven't actually finished the thing to the glorious extent that I had originally planned, but I did manage to get something set up for the biggest of my garden plots.
I basically just took an old leaking garden hose, put a cap on the end of it, laid it out around the garden and poked holes at the base of each plant.
|Yes, I know I could use more mulch, but it is what it is...|
|Ideally you want the hole on the under side of the hose, but you can see it better this way.|
It took a bit of futzing to get it right. At first I tried pin holes... complete no go... couldn't get any meaningful drips. Then I tried screws or nails... um... very hard to get those little suckers jammed into the hose. Finally I used a drill bit chucked into a hand drill. I didn't actually use the handle to turn the thing (would have needed an extra hand or two for that approach) but the drill essentially gave me something more substantial to hold onto so I could get the leverage to jam the drill bit into the hose.
Only problem was that the drill got wet in the process of poking holes, and I was too lazy to clean it all up afterwards, so the thing rusted and froze. But a bit of WD40, as well as some cursing and banging managed to get it back in working condition.
This isn't a precision system, and I've had to keep enlarging the holes because when it gets really hot the rubber (or plastic or whatever the hose is made from) tends to swell and close up the holes. So I think I may want to enlarge the holes even bigger if I can find a better tool. I'm thinking some sort of ice pick or something pointy with a good handle. Any suggestions?
I've been leaving it on for several hours a day and the plants seem to be doing much better. There are finally green tomatoes starting to form, a few summer squash have come in, and there are small peppers and cucumbers set on.
I've got a few more dead hoses in the garage, so maybe I'll get my act together to make something for the rest of the plots sometime in the next 10 years or so... but I'm not gonna hold my breath on that one!
So how about you? Anybody else have any creative ideas for keeping your garden alive in this hot dry weather?