Friday, 1 June 2012

Rainwater Irrigation System

When it was raining every day during spring and we were simultaneously being told that drought conditions meant countrywide hosepipe bans would be required, my mind turned to the undeniable logic of rain collection and water-buts.
We have a workshop/shed at the top of our garden and I set about fitting gutters to the eves to collect the rain water. Fitting the gutters was actually far easier that I imagined it would be and was almost fun, despite the weather.
Finding water buts in stock was less easy, it seemed everyone had reached the same conclusion but eventually I found and purchased a large capacity one that would fit behind the shed. I channelled the water into the but and it was duly filled to the brim, within a week.
The next part of my project was running a hosepipe down from the reservoir, to irrigate our raised-bed vegetable plot; this is gravity assisted because the garden is on a slope.
I then learned about semi-porous hoses that can be used for watering gardens. I bought one of these, embedded it around the raised bed and then added it to the end of my device.
The end result was very satisfactory indeed; when the tap on the but is turned on, the water gradually beads out of the buried hose, thus watering the parched veg. Interestingly, my activities seem to have had an effect on the children and they have been creating ingenious contraptions of their own for watering hard to reach plants.
Now all I need to do is patent the Porous Irrigation Soaker System and think of a good marketing acronym. Well, perhaps not, but hopefully, this means that if we go away on holiday, I can just turn the tap on a small amount and my peas, spinach and garlic will all still be alive on our return…


  1. I agree with you. Drought is an unpredictable circumstance. That's why it is really essential to be ready to face this challenging period. Storing rain water and preparing the necessary tools such as hoses can provide you the necessary irrigation that you will need in case drought comes. Looking at these pictures, it seems that your family is well prepared to face a dip in the water supply.

  2. I had all our gutters fixed and cleared, I was fed up with it pouring on my head as I cycled to work. When we did this, I had the bulk of rainwater diverted into buts but they still empty out quite fast when the weather is hot for a couple of weeks and you have veg and flowers to water.