Friday, August 31, 2012

Our New Watering System

In my last blog I talked about how we water most of our gardens using rain barrels ( filled with water piped from our roof) and watering cans.  I have been suggesting to Jerry (he would say whining!) for the last year or so that we need to come up with another method in the future.  We are not getting any younger and with injuries to our wrists and arms in the last years it makes sense to limit the amount of work we have to do.  I have been sending him blogs and websites of how others are managing watering systems with solar panels, pumps etc but he has always had a reason why a system was not practical for our purposes.
One day, last week I see there is a long extension cord from the house down past our gardens.  I figured he was working on piping to the rain barrels but went down to investigate.  Miracle of miracles, he has a small submersible pump that is attached to a hose and he is going to submerge it into one of the barrels.  INSTANT WATER! 

 So easy!  Attach hose to pump, lower into water, plug pump in, start watering garden.  I was SOOOOOOOO happy!  I asked him when he got the pump and his response – it was in our basement ALL THESE YEARS!  He had purchased it when we were building 6 years ago for some one time use.  WHAT!  Last year while he was recovering from hernia surgery and I gave myself a frozen shoulder trying to water in the drought there was a PUMP sitting in our basement!  #*&^. 

For a moment my happiness was gone, but then I stood there watering for a bit and all was forgotten -  it was sooooo nice.  You have time to look at all your plants, look at the property, to check out the little details that you don’t see when you are sweating and running back and forth with watering cans.

Once the one area was watered we moved hose and pump over to the next set of rain barrels. The watering of all the gardens was done in record time.  To make it more efficient we have decided to get hoses that we can leave at each rain barrel station (we have three) and then it is just a matter of moving the pump around. 
The one drawback is our watering spout on the hose gets clogged quickly from the sediment in the bottom of the barrels.  We fixed this by just taking off the shower spout and watering with a stream of water.  We could also just add a brick or something for the pump to sit on in the barrel and then it is not pulling in sediment from the bottom.

We also won't be getting that great arm workout from pulling full watering cans from the rain barrels but with all the jobs to do around the property I have a feeling that I still won't be having to join a gym.

And because we almost always are watering when the sun is out, we are using electricity produced from our solar panels to power the pump. YES!  Crossing “watering system update” off the to do list!