Using Irrigation Equipment In My Greenhouse
Rik explains the many options that you have for irrigation, so you can decide which is best for you and your garden.
There is a huge amount of irrigation gear now available for use in a greenhouse, poly tunnel and in your garden and the options are staggering. Here at Harvst, we have been examining this equipment in detail for quite some time and have a good handle on what is available, as well as the relative benefits to each.
So lets start at the beginning, how does irrigation help?
The aim of this type of equipment is quite simple, it reduces the burden on the gardener by doing the watering for them in some shape or manner. So out with the watering can and in with the hose and nozzles, drippers and soaker hose. Once you have decided to go this route the choice can be bewildering and life gets a bit more complex and tends to put people off.
So lets break this down a bit…
The simplest irrigation system is actually a garden hose and what you can put on the end. If you are my mother, you get an old hose and then hammer a nail through it at intervals, hey presto: you have a rudimentary soaker hose, connect to the tap and, voila!, plants that are watered.
What do you need for something a little more sophisticated?
If you want to skip the first step, you’ll need some kind of water source (a tap or a water butt), some means of getting the water to where you need it (usually a hose) and then some means of dispensing the water to your plants. We won’t dwell on the first two but if you need water storage then our friends at Celtic Sustainables have great, environmentally friendly options, or you can find hoses readily available at your local DIY shop.
Lets focus on dispensing.
Normally if you are irrigating a greenhouse you will have a variety of plants at a variety of stages of growth pretty much all year around and want to water each appropriately. Here at Harvst, we use 360 degree sprayers and directional misters inside the Harvst Yard and Terrace ‘Year round’ and ‘Eco’ greenhouses. These suit the application making sure that we get wide coverage for all sorts of plants. The nozzles screw into 13mm hose fitted to the shelves and lid and you can fit others if you like. As you become more accustomed to your plants and their needs, you might want to change these. That’s easy! Just unscrew the nozzle and put something else in its place, it really is a 2 minute job.
Dispensers are normally split into Sprayers, Drippers and Misters. Our great friends at Easy Garden Irrigation are the masters of all things garden irrigation. They have a wide variety of every conceivable dispenser for garden irrigation.
Misters are normally used for smaller plants and seedlings to both give the water to the roots of the plants moisture and to keep the humidity levels high.
Drippers are normally for larger plant, like tomatoes or chilies and you can directly give the water directly in at the roots and keep moisture off the leaves. That’s great for reducing diseases like the dreaded tomato blight.
Lastly sprayers which, well, spray! All come in a variety shapes and sizes and usually are interchangeable and can be directional (360 degree, 180 degree and so on). Its worth taking your time to browse and find the nozzle that best suits your application.
You can of course use a soaker hose. This is simply a perforated hose that you lay on or under your compost or soil. The pressure from the water coming in forces its way out through the hose and into the ground around your plants. That way, with a bit of foliage cover, the moisture goes where you want it to, into the roots and stops it being evaporated.
Whatever your style of gardening there is choice of irrigation help to suit you leaving you more time to focus on planting, raising your plants and sitting in your garden leaving the watering to a system like Harvst.