For just over a year I have watered with soaker hoses - the rubberized hoses that have weep holes all over. I got them on special and they must have been quite old then as they have rapidly deteriorated, and one section had a lot of areas that had been repaired with electrical tape. Then it began to kink and break, so I knew something had to be done. I found some deep irrigation spikes on the clearance rack in Bunnings, our big hardware store down in Cairns, and snapped them up.
I didn't have a very clear plan of what I was going to do, but figured that since I got the spikes regularly 10.00 a box for 2.00 a box, I was well on the way to creating a thrifty long lasting irrigation system. While digging out the heleconias I had removed all the remaining weed mat (something I will never use again!) and also the broken pieces of soaker hose. Thinking I needed to buy some irrigation pipe at some stage to join all the spikes together I sat down to work out what else was needed to get the system working. Lo and behold I discovered it would work with some of the excess hoses my neighbour had given me! Wow!
I poked holes in the ground and measured the distance to the next spike and then hubby would attach it and pass it back to me, and soon we had the hose snaking around and the spikes buried deep next to the bigger plants. Watering right at the roots, just exactly what I needed! This system is designed to flow from a water tank - would I love one of those! - but I attach the hose to a joining T and it flows off in all directions and seems to be working perfectly. I buried the hose under the paths where needed and once I add a layer of mulch you wont see the hose, so it will all seem to be working like magic!
The soaker hose off to the the left of the tree still seems to be functioning OK, so it will be interesting to see the difference in watering systems on either side, since they will both be watered for the same amount of time.