I don't remember where on Google I found, and then read about, this, but with all things recycled, especially such items as car tyres my ears perk up (or should that be my eyes pop out LOL) I cannot abide the habit of sending tyres to landfill - for any reason! And, if they can be recycled, I'm thrilled to bits.
So when I spotted this, I had to find out if it was available in South Africa.
And, happily, it is!
It is called porous pipe - a drip irrigation system par excellence.
|The drops of water are visible as they start|
oozing out of the pipe (note the damage to my
garden fork - caused by the rocky soil :) )
We laid out 16 mtrs (17½ yards), connected it to our existing (solid) black irrigation pipe and turned on the water. (It could also be connected to a normal hosepipe with a clip-on attachment.) Half an hour of watering later, the ground within a 30cm (1 foot) radius either side of the pipe was beautifully damp - underground - near the roots of the plants / seedlings. Exactly where they need it :) Invariably, on a hot or windy day, water which lands on the surface is wasted through evapouration - a criminal waste of this precious, life sustaining resource. This pipe delivers the water below ground - it can be felt from about 3 - 6cms (¾ - 1½ inches) deep. Naturally, the depth that the pipe is laid determines how deep the water will penetrate.
|Half an hour of watering (on the|
surface of the ground) produced this
I have used this pipe both ways. Inside the shadecloth veggie patch I have left it on top of the soil - so that hopefully the seeds (lettuce / rocket / carrot) will get enough water for their germination. Being inside, and protected somewhat from the wind and sun, hopefully the evapouration wont be that pronounced.
And on the outside I have buried it below the ground - for the Borage plants, and the Aubergine and bean seedlings, as well as the (buried) bean seeds.
|Some examples of how you could lay out the porous pipe -|
the only limit is your imagination :)
For my readers who are in Europe it also goes under the name of Porous Pipe and Leaky Pipe. For further information on how this pipe works please go to this or this link. I can't seem to find an outlet in the US of A. But, in both Europe and the US it may also be available at your local garden centre.
I managed to get hold of it through our local importer / distributor, Tina (click on her name to contact her via e-mail), who is situated in George.
Given that this is made from recycled tyres, and thus has a l-o-n-g lifespan, as well as being tough enough to withstand being pronged by a fork (or even nibbled by a mongoose), I reckon everyone who is able should ditch their conventional sprinklers and use this for their garden bed watering requirements, for we are all aware of the ever increasing shortage of fresh water world-wide. Every drop that can be saved is a drop which is available for use on another day :) And the cost of the pipe will definitely be recouped by the saving in water / replacing of the perishable old type (green) garden hose in it's lifetime.
We will definitely be using it for all the new plants which go into the ground on our farm...
(Note: I am not benefiting in any way for naming / promoting any products I mention on my blog. I mention these products I find, and give links [where possible], because I have personally tried them out, and found them to be worthy of sharing :) )