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Spring: time for the serious gardener to start thinking about irrigation.

Spring: time for the serious gardener to start thinking about irrigation.

So, it’s February already. Christmas over, the snow’s on it’s way soon (hopefully) and any day now the first signs of Spring will appear. Its time to think about planning your garden irrigation scheme for this year.

“What???” I hear you say.

“Irrigation system… it rained most of last year… what do I need an irrigation system for?… Waste of money… it’s drainage I need!”

Low water levels in reservoirs mean UK gardeners are on drought alert.

Low water levels in reservoirs mean UK gardeners are on drought alert.

It may be true. But 2012 was the first year that many of the water companies issued drought restrictions across the UK. Why? Because it was dry, the reservoirs were empty and ground reserves were low.

Cast your mind back before the floods, and it was in fact a very dry spring. The time when your plants and lawns awake to warmer sunshine and start their growing cycle. With no moisture in the ground they don’t grow as well, and suffer for the rest of the year.

All that effort to grow a vegetable crop, only to be lost to drought.

All that effort to grow a vegetable crop, only to be lost to drought.

So, you may need a garden irrigation system after all, and now, when it is still to wet to start your spring garden maintenance, is the time to do a bit of irrigation research. Assess for yourself if an irrigation system could improve your garden and make your life easier.

Springtime planning means you and your garden are ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Springtime planning means your garden’s ready for whatever the weather will bring.

First: don’t be put off because you think it’s too expensive. The images we see on telly of automatic garden and golf course sprinklers in America and warmer climes can be really expensive systems. Here in Blighty, we have a different climate (don’t we know it). UK systems can be specifically targeted to water areas of need (expensive shrubs and trees rather than grass, for example). This reduces the cost making it more realistic. Also, golf course systems use very expensive products.Irrigation products for gardens are inexpensive in comparison. Another thing: forget the irrigation equipment in the fancy packaging at your home or garden centre. Whilst it serves a purpose for some; suprisingly professional irrigation equipment is MUCH cheaper. Some is identical but at fraction of the cost. One example I remember, sold in a well know home and garden store at 5 units for £4.99. Buy Irrigation sells EXACTLY the same product (minus packaging) at just over £1.00 for 5!

Second: don’t think garden irrigation is complicated and technical, it doesn’t need to be. Sure, you should get advice from a seasoned irrigation expert (like us!) to avoid wasting heaps of money. But once you have the facts and knowledge on what products to use, purchase them (from us hopefully) and install them yourself, its not difficult and we’ll ensure you are using the correct items and installing them correctly. After all, we have a reputation to uphold. And, if installing a system is too much for you; employ a specialist contractor for the more technical aspects of the installation (we can often help with this too).

Third: don’t assume an irrigation system uses masses of costly water. If you usually wander around your garden with a hose pipe or portable sprinkler in spring and summer, it’s likely you’ll be using more water than a well-designed irrigation system. Using drip irrigation, or low volume watering products, could actually REDUCE your water bills because it’s much more efficient. Using an automatic controller to water at night minimises any sunshine evaporation losses. Rainwater harvesting, or even your own private water supply, could give you water that will cost virtually nothing apart from set up and running a small pump.

Drip irrigation: an economical part of your garden insurance policy.

Drip irrigation: an economical part of your garden insurance policy.

Finally: don’t always look at the cheapest price for the system. Remember a proper system will be designed to last for many years. After all, it is only used for a small, but necessary, time every year. Most irrigation companies use the same (or very similar) products. Because buyirrigation.co.uk buy in volume, we are competitively priced, but beware a vastly lower price for a job that should be of the same standard. It almost certainly won’t be and corners will have been cut.

If you love your garden, are planning a horticultural project, or thinking about buying expensive specimen plants, shrubs or trees, talk to us about your irrigation insurance policy.

Follow our blog for more articles in the next few weeks, giving tips and advice on drip irrigation, irrigating specialist trees and shrubs and how to have a healthy, green lawn.

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