Re: [gardeners] tulips and hemlocks

penny x stamm (
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 01:04:19 -0400

To Penny in Halifax:

We have Natafim soakers in all the shrubbery beds, on a clock
with an additional gimmick that cuts it off when it rains. We used
to use the black hoses which ooze water, but first of all, the
pressure at the beginning of each hose is way more than the 
pressure at the end of it, so the water was never distributed
evenly; and secondly, after about 3 years, we kept getting giant
guysers -- holes -- which needed repairing, and every single
repair narrowed down the hose interior and lessened the water
available!  Therefore, we investigated and chose the Netafim
which seems very sturdy, and maintains an even water pressure
from one end to the other. It comes in 12" emitters, 18", 24", 30", 
and blank (for getting from one bed to another without wasting water). 
I chose the 12" type. Water generally reaches about one foot to the
left and the right of a line.  Some of our lines have never been buried,
even in the winter, because stubborn hubby Jimmie was not quite
satisfied with the distribution, and we had to be able to see and watch 
it from above. They generally recommend burying the lines about 3"
down from the surface -- it allows a superior distribution pattern. 

All you need to install this system is:  a blow torch for warming the
ends of the lines when connecting or turning a corner; a plastic pipe
cutter knife; a bunch of right angles, pass-throughs, line close-offs, 
etc., etc.; a bundle or two of giant hair-pins for hold-downs; a diagram
of the area to be watered; and usually, a clock to run it all. Make sure
the blow torch is a modern type, with an instant button igniter. And
small "bubblers" can be put in line, when really much more water is 
needed at certain spots (we have none). Also, if your house water 
pressure runs higher than 45psi, you will beed a pressure regulator
to cut it down. 

We put in all the lines and work except for the clock and the valves to
create a self-serve system of  12 zones, connected to the internal water
supply system in the house. Therefore by law we were required to install 
an anti-siphon device. If you attach the setup to an outside water
you won't get separate zones, and there is an ultimate limit to the
of feet which can be on any one line and still serve enough water. You 
would have to construct a certain number of different hose layouts, and 
attach them one at a time to the faucet. The clock and valves are 
cetainly the better way to go! 

When we blow the Toro lawn lines in November, we also blow the
Netafim lines. 

The Netafim is very strong BUT digging with a shovel in the area will
cut a line in half in an instant. 
With the hemlocks: there are ten 25-footers backing up the
Japanese garden in a semi-circle. Behind them are the neighbors'  
60 ft tall pines, maples, cedars and birches. The hemlocks when
invaded by spider mites drop their needles but do not die. The tips
of the branches will grow as usual next spring, bringing fresh needles 
but ONLY to the tips. That's why it will take a number of years for the
new growth to cover the trees and hide the now hollow interiors. 

Penny in NY

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]