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Garden Irrigation to Take Your Garden to the Next Level Garden Irrigation to Take Your Garden to the Next Level

Garden Irrigation to Take Your Garden to the Next Level

There’s a lot that goes into building a garden and the main question is: what items are needed for a garden? Of course, you need the basics including soil, fertilizer, pots, seeds, trowel, and your handy yellow bucket (we can hook you up). But, beyond the basics, creating a garden that will flourish means ensuring your plants have an adequate supply of water. Especially in the heat that we get here. If you’re ready to realize your country garden dreams or ready to take your existing plot to the next level, you’ll need some garden supplies that are readily available at your local McCoy’s.

Rain Collection and Irrigation: All About Watering


All plants need water, even plants native to drier climates, and they need the right amount of water. Over-watering and under-watering can lead to consequences like root rot or a parched plant. Whether your plot spans half an acre or you have a few raised garden beds, these tips for setting up watering systems for a thriving garden are just what you need.

PVC Sprinkler and Other Irrigation Systems

Even if you have an in-ground lawn sprinkler system, it probably isn’t going to work for your garden. Your best bet is to install a separate irrigation system to keep your plants thriving and happy. A drip or soaker irrigation system are both relatively easy to install. These systems use a network of hoses and valves laid throughout your garden bed to water either on top of the soil or just under mulch.

Irrigation cuts time spent watering by hand, helps to reduce water waste, and eliminates the heavy soil erosion and nutrient loss that can happen when a traditional sprayer hose or watering can is used. Which one you chose will depend on how large your garden is. A larger garden may need more than one type depending on what you are growing or complexity of your layout.

Drip irrigation can mean a broad selection of irrigation hoses placed throughout your garden or water hoses that drip water slowly or spray strategically to target areas that you want to water, like the roots of your Meyer lemon for example. Soaker hoses (also sometimes considered drip irrigation) irrigate a larger area at a time through many small holes down the length of the hose and are great for extensive garden bed areas. Other nozzle types for an irrigation system include micro-spray sprinklers and basin bubblers.

Drip irrigation kits like this one can make installation easy with a backflow preventer, filter to avoid clogs, pressure regulator (pressure will depend on how full the barrel is, if using a rain barrel), sprinklers (or micro-misters), stakes, and tubing.

For a soaker system for a larger coverage area, you will need:

  • A garden hose attached to a spigot
  • A manifold to direct the flow of water to the number of hoses you have
  • Soaker hoses and stakes if needed to secure the hose
  • A hose timer for strategic watering and washers to help attach everything

Your garden hose will be attached to the manifold and the hose timer. From there, the soaker hoses will attach to the other end of the manifold and be placed throughout your beds. When setting up your irrigation system, be sure to know where your hoses are placed so you don’t impede other lawn maintenance such as mowing. A mowed hose won’t water your garden correctly and could cause other issues such as pooling and an extremely high water bill.

Other sprinkler systems using PVC pipe can be an easy way to water your garden. For a quick sprinkler you will need:

Drill one-inch holes four to six inches apart down the length of the pipe and glue (with PVC glue) the end cap on one end and the pipe adapter to the other. Your homemade sprinkler will then attach to your hose.

Rain Barrel Irrigation

Rain is a hot commodity in the south and western United States, so why not save it? Installing a rain barrel can help you save rainwater to give your thirsty plants a drink. Rain barrels can be easily set up in your backyard under a gutter downspout or in a spot where water tends to drain off from above after a rain. You can then hand water your garden by dipping in your watering can or make things easier by adding a spigot and attaching a hose or a small drip irrigation system or soaker hoses.

Rain barrels made for this purpose usually come with spigots and easily collect the water. However, you can convert a large trash can by drilling a hole in the middle of the lid and turning it upside down on top of the trash can. The size hole you drill will be determined by the flow of water at the collection site. A good rule of thumb is one to two inches in diameter. You can even attach a spigot after that near the bottom of the trash can. Make sure you use the collected rainwater regularly to avoid standing water that can attract mosquitoes. Also be sure to check with your local and state regulations regarding rainwater collection and usage.

If you have a copper roof or any treatment to help with algae, don’t use collected rainwater runoff on edible garden produce. Don’t use any collected rainwater for drinking water (pets, too) or for washing clothes or dishes as the water has not been treated.

The Best Garden in the Neighborhood


While we don’t sell plants, that doesn’t mean we don’t love gardens. From soaker hoses to rain barrels, we have everything you need to keep your garden flourishing. Just getting started? Check out our plan for a DIY raised garden bed.