I have been wanting to put in a drip irrigation system in my garden for years and it is mildly ironic that I finally found a system that I could install myself in the same spring where I need a drip irrigation system like I need another hole in my head.
See, the problem was in the past that… well, I live in a not rich neighborhood. How does this relate to drip irrigation?Â Because according to Home Depot and Lowe’s, people who live in not rich neighborhoods don’t buy drip irrigation systems. Of course that is not how they put it. If you ask an associate at their stores in my (apparently) ‘hood, my local stores are “urbanâ€ stores, and therefore do not carry the same products as “suburbanâ€ stores.
I don’t know about you folks, but when I think “urbanâ€, I kind of think of, I don’t know, tall buildings, apartment buildings or lots of multi family homes, teeny, tiny 10’X30’Â yards — if there are yards at all. My neighborhood looks a lot like their supposed “suburbanâ€ neighborhoods, only the average income is several tens of thousands less and the median skin tone several shades darker. If I am living in an urban neighborhood, then I need to have a serious conversation with my local government about the overwhelming lack of crime and graffiti — not to mention trendy art galleries, theaters and coffee shops. But I digress, as I am wont to do.
Whatever the reasoning, they don’t sell drip irrigation supplies in my “urbanâ€ area and going out to the “suburbanâ€ areas was just going to be a hassle (after all, I don’t have the latest census data that would tell me for sure that I was going to a suburban store rather than an urban store, as you can’t tell that by looks). I had looked online at buying it — but it looked so complicated. I didn’t know what I needed or if I could use my feeble construction skills to assemble it.
Then a few weeks ago it just so happened that I was in one of those “suburbanâ€ neighborhoods to watch a movie and stopped into the hardware store nearby to pick up supplies for my other hobby. As I was buzzing down the aisles, I spotted something on the end cap out of the corner of my eye as I was whipping past. I came to a hard halt and put my cart in reverse. It was a whole display of drip irrigation supplies. It still looked complicated, but at least there were boxes marked “starter kitsâ€ and I could eyeball if this was a job I could do (great), a job the spousal unit would have to do (requires payment in steaks and sex) or something thatÂ I would have to hire a professional for (not gonna happen).
Then, as if the gardening gods were crying out that I must have this, a strange but helpful man appeared at my side. “New to drip irrigation, eh?â€Â I nodded and then was immediately deluged by a massive amount of information on drip irrigation systems. Everything I needed to know to get started and do so cheaply. BTW, he was not an employee of the store. He was just someone THAT excited by drip irrigation. While helpful to me, I do wonder what a dinner party at his house might be like.
A half hour later, with my head spinning as it tried to process all of my new found drip irrigation knowledge, I went on my merry way confident that I would have a drip irrigation system and that it would not require lots of steak and sex to get it installed.
And now I am kicking myself that I did not do this sooner. IT IS SO EASY. You know the Tinker Toys you played with as a kid? Just like that, only for water. Too awesome!Â No more powdery mildew because I had to water from overhead. No more leaving the sprinkler on all night and flooding my garden because I forgot I turned it on. No more forgetting that I have not watered in a week. Done. It’s all on a timer and it all goes straight to the roots of my plants.
Now, I have time for the important things that you do in an urban neighborhood, like chase deer away from your plants and mow your lawn.