Irrigating Stephen's Border
Moosey's Country Garden only receives about 650 mm of rain per year. Due to the erratic distribution of this rainfall throughout the year this is much too little for adequate plant growth especially in the summer.
To keep plants and grass in reasonable form during mid summer, irrigation really is a necessity.
Luckily we have a main county water race running right through the garden and an irrigation water right to draw water for a pond and irrigation. So the Moosey Pond is functional as well as ornamental.
This drawing shows how the fixed irrigation scheme is arranged throughout the garden. There are around 40 sprinklers, a mixture of pop ups in the lawns and impact sprinklers on riser pipes, in two separate systems, so each can be run separately.
Pumps and Sprinklers
The pump can deliver about 4 to 5 litres (1 gal) per second at 325 kPa (50 psi) from the pond so the sprinklers have to be matched to the pump capacity by adjusting the number of sprinklers connected and their nozzle sizes to get the correct flow rate. Too high a flow rate and the pump is overloaded and rattles and complains - too low a flow rate and we waste electricity running the pump for longer than we need to.
Watering by Hand
In addition to the fixed irrigation system there is also a much smaller system supplied by a small pump with a time-switch which the head gardener uses for hand watering all those awkward places that the fixed irrigation system doesn't reach or for when a plant has gone for a trip in the wheelbarrow during the height of summer.
There are about 7 feed points strategically located around the garden (including inside the glass-house) where ordinary garden hoses are connected for use by the head gardener.
The amount of water we put on is quite large - in one night probably as much as a typical city household would use in a year.
Supervising the watering of Frisbee Lawn
Irrigating the Paddocks
In most years we also have to irrigate the paddocks for the sheep or to grow forage - these cover an area much larger than Mooseys Country Garden.
A main supply pipe runs up the eastern boundary and at strategic intervals there are hydrants where a flexible pipe can be plugged in and connected to moveable aluminium pipes equipped with interlocking fittings and sprinklers which are laid in a line across the paddock.