Friday, April 20, 2012

Pergola Irrigation

Once our pergola was up in the back yard, it didn't take me long to realize that I needed to create some sort of irrigation system to regularly water the grapes in the pots.  One day without water in our 100+ degree weather could seriously harm or kill the plants, and with our busy lives, I was afraid that would happen too easily.  So I came up with a plan.  I wasn't sure that the water pressure would be strong enough, but I wanted to try connecting a long, 1/4 inch irrigation tubing to our existing irrigation lines, up the side of the pergola, along the tops, and down to each pot.   

I used green irrigation tubing from my local plant nursery, and picked up some cable nail clips from the hardware store, like this:
  They are just the right size to hold the tubing in place.  I connected the tubing to the nearest existing irrigation line we had, ran it across a short section of the patio, and connected the line all the way up to the top of the post using cable clips.  At the top of that corner, I split the line into two lines by connecting an irrigation piece to it, ran one line over to and down one post, and one off to another post.  From that 3rd post, I split it again to have one line go down that post, and one line go across the top toward and then down the remaining post.  Near the post bottoms, where the pots are, I connected a short piece of tubing with a bubbler on the end to go directly into the pots. 
Here's a photo showing the irrigation line going across near the top of the pergola.  For the bubblers, I used adjustable flow ones, so that I can adjust the amount of water coming out to water the pots.  Depending on rain and heat, sometimes I need to increase or decrease the water.  I turned on the irrigation system after rigging it up, and voila!  We have water for the pots.

Around the grape vines in the pots, I've added mesclun lettuce, spinach, strawberries, and some colorful flowers.  It adds a lot of color to our patio.

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