Irrigating by the Drop, Not the Bucket


Although there is a chance that a wet spring will bring our regional water levels up to normal, we are currently lagging behind. Perhaps now is the time to switch to a drip irrigation system for coming growing season?

Some people arrange a few simple soaker hoses, others invest in more advanced tubing and set up a timer. Whichever way you go, stick with one brand so you can rely on elements fitting together.

When you shop, ask about durability of the various brands so you can balance initial cost against replacement costs down the line. Some systems are more fragile to swings in temperature and may need to be covered with mulch, while others can sit out in the open air for years without showing signs of wear. Many local gardeners seem to be partial to Dramm, which comes with a lifetime guarantee, but other popular brands include Apex, Netafim, and Raindrip.

There are numerous places to buy these supplies around town—from Bi-Mart and Home Depot/Lowe’s to Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply and the Urban Farm Store—but one online retailer recommended by friends is DripWorks. DripWorks also has a comprehensive set of resources online, including how-to videos, planning guides, a glossary, calculators, and more.

If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, you may be able to convert an existing sprinkler head with an adapter. (There are also many good general tips in that video from Lowe’s and Cascade Water Alliance.)