Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sprinkler Envy

Mine is not so much a 'keeping up with the Jonses' dilemma as it is trying to keep pace with every Tom, Dick and Harry who've moved into the neighborhood.
It's official.
I'm the only person in the 'hood
who hasn't installed an in-ground sprinkler system.

I'm green with envy at the freedom an automated watering system provides. While my neighbors are out riding their bikes, I'm schlepping hoses all over the yard. So, why haven't I conformed? The answer lies somewhere on that continuum between 'Can't Afford It' and 'Really Can't Afford It.'

The installation is about $3,000 - that's $3,000 more than I have. Plus my neighbor divulged the cost of his monthly water bill. Are you ready for this? It's $600 a month! (Mine peaks at about $90 in August.) Granted he's got a gorgeous yard, but think of the clothes you could buy with that monthly budget!

* I still want an automated sprinkler system but I wonder if we could set them to be less automated? Time them to sprinkle every 5 days vs. 2 and hit the manual override button when it's really and truly necessary.

High Plains Desert Watering - Fun Facts to Know & Tell

Q: What's the best time to water your lawn?
A: One hour after you watered the last time.

Sound crazy? Water sticks to water. Desert soil is hard-packed and baked by the sun. Most of the initial rainfall runs off the hard pack, much like it runs off pavement. (Hence the flash flooding that often occurs in Utah.) Once the soil becomes damp it acts like a sponge, soaking up the rain and holding it in the soil for many days.

Plants and lawns are 'trainable.' Heavy watering, less often, encourages deep root growth so paupers like me - who can't afford an irrigation system - don't have to water so often.


Matthew said...

That turtle is way cooler than any sprinkler system. I think monocultures like lawns are boring anyways.

Anonymous said...

The turtle is pretty neat!

You can, rather than a pricey automated system, do what we have done. We buy lots of soaker hoses and connectors, run them through our flower beds, connect them up to a multi-faucet connector attached to the main faucets (one on each side of the house), and stick timers on them.

Works very nicely.

(My husband also did a whole bunch of surgery with regular hoses and buried the regular hoses, so we have soaker hoses emerging from the ground right inside each bed.)

Gail said...

Automatic systems are very nice, we had them in our Mojave Desert landscape and they are especially nice when one wants to go on vacation. If you are a DIYer you sure can do it yourself and save alot of money. I have not decided what I will do here in my Wy garden, that is still in the future.
I love your turtle, he is just to cute.

Wunx~ said...

Ah Kate, your turtle is wonderful and surely much better for your garden than a mundane in-ground system which bring monster water bills and not give tender, individual care to each area. Of course, now that I've seen the turtle, you have to worry about me sneaking up the canyon in the middle of the night and liberating him.