My friend James Middleton at Aussiegreenthumb is a legendary gardener and a fount of information when it comes to anything in our backyard.
This month he is running a series of blogs entitled 30 Days to a Better Garden. He’s only up to day 5 so its not too late to catch up and follow the whole series.
If you use microsprays in your garden beds then they will get blocked.
Its inevitable as they have very small openings and it only takes a little grit or dirt to clog them up.
The fix is easy. Just unscrew the nozzle, get a needleor piece of wire and use the needle to clean the jet out. If you push it through the hole then you will remove the blockage and can then keep using the nozzle.
Alternatively you can just buy a new nozzle for around $1.00!
When it comes to watering your garden you have several choices:
a) Microsprays – these are the most commonly used product as they generate a lot of water can be targeted at individual plants and are also cheap. Their negative is that they tend to mist and a lot of their spray gets lost. They also get blocked easily.
b) Shrub Sprays – these are larger rigid risers that have a similar spray pattern to regular pop-ups so they can cover areas 3-4 metres with no problem. They are good for garden beds over 1.2m in width where microsprays would not give adequate coverage. Their negatives are that they are a little more expensive and because they are also spaced further apart if a shrub happens to grow up and block the spray then they become ineffective. (The picture is only of the head as the risers can any length)
c) Subsurface Irrigation / Miniscape – If installed correctly and run for the correct length of time approx (60 mins) this is a highly efficient method of watering. The slow release dripline is spaced at either 15ml or 30ml intervals and waters the base of the plant. There is no wastage due to wind. The negatives of this system is that it is more costly and it is also a bit more difficult to work around if you plan on digging in the garden. I have installed this several times and can see the benefits, but personally I like to see the water being distributed.
d) Adjustable Staked Drippers – This is a good middle ground between the water efficient miniscape and the less waterwise microsprays/risers. With this system individual drippers are placed either next to a plant or between plants and they then drip/spray to a very localised area. The drippers can be adjusted to spray a radius of up to 800ml or they can be turned right down to a mere trickle. They are more expensive than the microsprays but I’d suggest they are an excellent compromise between water volume, visibility and expense.
At the end of the day you need to be satisfied that what you choose is going to do the job for you, but these are some of the most common options.