How To Hide Drip Irrigation Lines Without Forgetting Where They Run
Drip irrigation is a fantastic way to provide constant water without resorting to showering leaves with moisture that will evaporate before it can reach the roots of the plants. The one drawback to drip irrigation is that it can look awkward having all these little hoses snaking about your garden. The hoses also present a trip hazard, so burying the hoses in mulch is a good idea. However, that can then lead to you forgetting where the main body of the hose is -- that part running between the outdoor faucet and the area where the plants are -- because burying it means it's out of sight and out of mind. You do have a few strategies at your disposal.
If you use the drip irrigation for containers only, you'll obviously see the hoses poke out of the mulch just before they reach those containers. In this situation, place all the containers together. Run the hoses along one path until they reach the cluster of containers so that if you need to dig, you have to remember only one pathway for the hoses.
Markers, Flags, and Maps
Another option is to mark the paths of the drip irrigation with specific markers. These can be utilitarian flags, or they can be garden decorations that match a theme. For example, you might have small statuettes of animals placed along the pathways of the hoses. Another option is to keep a map of the hoses along with your garden plans. It helps to have diagrams of what's planted where so you have a central reference for species and care requirements -- and you can draw the drip irrigation hose pathways on there, too.
Finally, you can also use consistent patterns. Say you have three areas that use drip irrigation. Starting at the outdoor faucet, run the hoses all along the fences on your property until they reach the area where the irrigation is needed. Then run the hoses out at a 90-degree angle (again, this is just an example) toward the patch that needs the irrigation. You'll know that if you have to dig, those hoses will be against the fence except right at the points that the water is needed.
You can also have an irrigation company help you out with installation if you're unsure of the best way to keep track of the hoses. Instead of messing up a mulch bed in search of irrigation hoses, find a way to keep track of where they are easily to save trouble in the future. Talk to a company like Hydrotech Irrigation Co for more information.