If you are going to grow plants that require more water than is provided by the rainfall or to grow plants indoors and in the greenhouse, you need to irrigate these plants. Simple equipment such as hoses and sprinklers makes watering routine easier and faster.
For small areas outside or indoors and in the greenhouse you can use a watering can. This is the most practical tool for small spaces. Choose a lightweight can that will not be too heavy to carry when filled with water. When you buy a watering can make sure that the opening of the can is wide enough to make filling easy and the can itself feels comfortable and well balanced. You can choose a can that has a strainer at the base of the spout. This will help to prevent the rose from becoming clogged by debris in the water.
For watering small plants and mist-spray plants and also for applying pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers you can use sprayers. Most suitable for general use are compression types, pumped up before use. For misting house plants or for applying pesticides to a few plants you can use small trigger-pump sprayers.
This collects rainwater from the house or greenhouse roof. The rainwater is invaluable during dry periods and for acid-loving plants. The butt should have a tap and a lid to keep out debris which pollutes the water and might block the tap. For easier access raise the butt on blocks so a watering can will fit easy under the tap.
For distant parts of the garden and for areas that require copious watering you should use a hosepipe. Most of them are made from PVC and vary in the way they are finished or reinforced. This will affect their durability, flexibility and resistance to kinking. Some are available on a wall-mounted, retractable reel for tidy storage. All types of hose are made in various fixed lengths with connectors and nozzles pre-fitted or as accessories.
They are useful for irrigating lawns or rows of plants. They are plastic or rubber hoses with small perforations along their entire length. You can use it either way: with the holes facing upwards to produce fine spray over a rectangular area or with the holes placed towards or under the soil to direct the water to the base of plants. The first method is mainly used for watering the lawn and the second method is an excellent way to irrigate vegetables and other plants grown in rows. Variations on seep hoses are the porous hoses and they are mainly used for newly planted beds and borders and for vegetable gardens.
The garden sprinkler automatically delivers a fine spray of water over a specific area. It saves time and effort as it works while unattended. The sprinkler is usually attached to a garden hose or a static water-pipe. There are different types of sprinklers to suit different situations: static sprinkler, rotating sprinkler, pulse-jet sprinkler and oscillating sprinkler. A traveling sprinkler is useful for large, level areas. A special type of sprinkler is the underground sprinkler system. These are permanent systems ideal for irrigating lawns and rock gardens.
Trickle or drip feed systems
These are suitable for plants that benefit from individual watering. The water drip or is sprayed gently beside the plant. A trickle system works well in a shrub border, along a hedge or for rows of vegetables. It is also useful on smaller scale for plants in containers, growing bags and windowboxes. Regular cleaning is needed to prevent the tubes and drip heads from becoming blocked with algae and debris.