Dec 312007

Brass quick couplers

If you mess about a lot with hoses, you can save a lot of time with quick couplers. I’ve only used these brass ones with zero problems, and there are plastic versions which may be just durable. In my case, where I’m more or less hand irrigating a couple of acres, dragging around and joining 100′ hoses, and attaching a variety of sprinklers and shut-off valves, they’re a luxury. I do wonder if I’m significantly reducing water flow by having several inline, haven’t figured that part out yet, but there’s no obvious noticeable difference. The couplers also come in handy for changing nozzles on a single hose, like in the greenhouse, where I regularly use a gun-type nozzle, water breaker, fan head and watering wand. In this application, an inline mini shutoff valve placed between the hose and the female fitting completes the convenience. They come in pairs, but you probably need way more male fittings. I get mine at Lee Valley (click the link), where you can get singles. I’ve seen the same ones at hardware stores. Get extra step washers as well!

Dec 242007

Ro-Drip drip tape A 7,000′ reel just like this has been sitting in the drive shed for a while now, waiting to be tested. Ro-Drip, from John Deere, is one brand of drip tape. I can’t speak to how it compares with other drip tape, but I have heard it highly recommended. In any case, drip irrigation has serious advantages over other methods—watering with a hose, soaker hoses, sprinklers—for any size garden. It is super-efficient, the usual figure being 70% better water use than sprinklers. It also operates at low pressure, from under 10psi to around 20 max, so it can even be gravity fed from a raised container, a barrel or something much larger. It can be used on the surface, or buried. Continue reading »