>Ah, gardening geekdom. Simple pleasures, such as getting water to the plants, can be so much fun. The process starts here at the rain barrel, with a short (10′) hose attached.
This hose feeds through the chicken wire fence (that’s the overflow hose in the background).
Feeding it through rather than draping it over the fence allow gravity to help provide pressure and bring the water where it’s needed.
The connection from 10′ hose to soaker hose wasn’t quite secure at first, letting a little too much water leak into the lettuce bed. I fixed it. This might not matter with a standard faucet, but with a barrel, the system can’t afford to lose any of its meager pressure and still expect to get the water where it needs to go.
I connected the two hoses securely, and then the water was ready to reach its goal: the soil around the plants. These tomatoes sure look like they need it.
The soaker hose is a porous hose made partially from recycle rubber. It has tiny holes that allow the water directly into the soil without letting significant amounts evaporate like a sprinkler does. When I’ve gone to the trouble of harvesting rainwater, I don’t want it going into the air as water vapor. Ultimately, I’ll move the soaker hose around until it shares its moisture with all the thirsty plants.
A few strategic tools, a little physics, a little ecology, and the garden is watered. Yes, it’s fun to be a gardener who teaches science!