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Garden drip irrigation system

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Watering made easy

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Stuart Spaulding, tech services manager, The Drip Store

When hot, dry weather settles in, I spend a lot of time watering my gardens. They're pretty small, so I don't worry much, but my dad relies heavily on regular moisture. Dad uses drip irrigation on his 10 acres of strawberries. And my sister Molly uses it for her 950 cherry trees. Drip irrigation is the slow application of water directly to the plant's root zone using "drippers". It maintains a constant moisture level in the soil and there's less water lost to the sun and the wind.

Stuart Spaulding is the tech services manager for a drip irrigation company and says it hooks up similar to a sprinkler system.

"You put in a control valve of some kind, and these can be electrical, automated or manual," Spaulding says. "After the valve on a drip system, you usually put in a couple components, which make up the head assembly. It consists of a filter, followed by a pressure regulator that usually screws into the valve."

It can be connected to an outdoor spigot, but if you're covering a large area, your point of connection will be a PVC pipe on a water main. Most people like to have their systems on a timer so they don't have to remember to turn it on and off.

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