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The days are growing longer, which means spring is on it’s way. But don’t wait until you see your neighbours garden flourish in September before you do anything about yours. August is the best time to start planning and even planting as the garden will appreciate the increasing sun exposure with the remaining Winter rain. But as the months get warmer, it can be hard to stay on top of your watering, so we have prepared some tips on how to make the most of your garden irrigation at each stage so it’s fool-proof come Summer.
We recommend planning your irrigation as you plan your garden. Understand that different plants will require different watering methods and durations. Have a look at the tags on the plants if you're not sure, or ask a nursery employee. Also check what type of soil you have, sandy soil will require more watering than a heavier clay base.
Once you have designed your garden, we advise planting before installing your system. That way you don’t run the risk of putting a hole through your pipes with a shovel. Another reason is that things can change, and suddenly that drip line will be in the wrong spot, or riser will be the wrong height. In saying that, if you are planning a new lawn, we recommend installing your drip line or pop-ups first.
Set-up or test your irrigation system at the start of the season, even if you don’t plan on using it yet. You don’t want to be caught out with a faulty system during a hot week, after putting all that effort into your plants. Irrigation professionals will also be harder to come by as the temperature rises, so get in touch early when they have an open schedule. You don’t want them rushing your system. If you're not sure how to find a professional or what to look for, read our guide here.
The most important factor in having a lasting beautiful garden, is mastering the transition from the early spring into summer and beyond. As rainfall will still frequent the early months, there is less reliance on manual or automatic watering. But as you move into spring, the frequency of hot days increases, and it’s essential that you’re prepared for that random week of 30+ degrees in the middle of October. As you move through Spring, it’s important that you asses your automatic system each week. Slowly increase the frequency and duration of each zone, being careful not to overwater as you go. If you know there is a hot day coming up, schedule an early morning water to keep your garden going through the day.
Finally, this year will continue to be hot and dry as a result of consolidated El Nino patterns. It’s expected that these conditions will to continue well into 2016. For those not privy to El Nino, it's an increase in global temperatures which greatly affects Australian conditions. Multiple years of El Nino is when we see a drought. Having a well serviced and effective automatic watering system is the best way to combat these conditions. Set and forget is best for your garden and your peace of mind.
Rob Wilson - SunshowerOnline