I have to tell you a secret. I was a bit afraid to install the irrigation for garden beds by myself. I’m not sure why exactly, but I was afraid of messing it up entirely.
I hand-dug the 27 foot trench over the course of Gabriel’s morning naps one weekend. My partner-in-crime Sophia elected to lay around on the wicker couch on the porch, complaining of how much work it was. To lay around. While I used the digging tool (a long metal tool with a flat end and a pointy end) to drive through what used to be a driveway. And she kept asking for snacks – that she was too exhausted to go inside and get for herself. From the bowl on the counter where she is always grabbing fruit. You can guess how much empathy I had for her…
But finally, it was dug. I sketched and measured out exactly what pipe fittings I would need – and how much PVC pipe. One afternoon while the kids were still in school, I cut measured again, connected the fittings, & laid all the PVC out where it was supposed to go. It looked good, so I glued it all together. I just had to wait 24 hours to test the seals.
I work up early the next morning to test the irrigation line before the kids were up. I turned it and, turned aorund to look – and NOTHING HAPPENED. Nothing. No water. I opened up the underground irrigation box, and saw a sea of dirt where the pipes were buried. I uncovered the pipes, wondering if the ground squirrels had messed up the power line – but the irrigation box up above worked, so that couldn’t have been it. I messed around with the entire system for 10 minutes until I realized something important.
The water had been shut-off to the irrigation system! That was why there was no water. I turned the main value on – and tried the irrigation line again! Success! Water came shooting out the pipes (like they were supposed to) and there were no leaks! Hurray! Sophia had come outside for the waterworks and was suitably impressed. She wanted to know if we were going to have croissants for breakfast and what were we going to do today? I told yes on the croissants (she got the last one) and that we were going to fill in the trench! All week long I had been after the kids to stay away from the trench, so they wouldn’t fall in. Or rather, so Gabriel wouldn’t fall in. And after that we were going to do some more digging! Sophia was less thrilled about that part of the morning. Luckily, Dad arrived home mid-morning and the kids were excited to see someone who was not covered in dirt.