Growing your own herb garden can be a rewarding experience. Plant the herbs that you love using and you’ll never have to buy them from a supermarket again. And if you use drip irrigation in your herb garden, there will be very little that you need to do to maintain it. Let’s learn how growing your own herb garden and watering it via drip irrigation is one of the best eco-friendly, urban farming initiatives you can do.
What is drip irrigation?
Drip irrigation is an alternative hydration method for your garden. Water is applied to your garden in the same manner as conventional irrigation systems, but instead of water distribution via sprinklers, dripper pipes are used to wet the garden. The main difference is that the water is not applied from above, but from ground level.
Why use drip irrigation?
There are many advantages of using a drip irrigation system. With the water being applied at ground level, it is able to directly penetrate root systems and this saves a huge amount of water. The problem with spraying water from above is that a lot of the water is wasted due to wind, transpiration and evaporation. Having an irrigation system that is not influenced by wind and sun means that water is not taken off course and the water is then successfully soaked into the soil. Using drip irrigation for your herb garden will save you as much as 50% on the amount of water you need to feed your herbs.
How does drip irrigation work?
Aquatec Solutions are stockists of the smart Netafim drip irrigation system, which intelligently ensures that the right amount of water is applied to the right areas at the right time. Netafim Techline pipes are placed on ground level in a grid layout to promote accurate and widespread water dissemination. The water moves through the pipes at a low flow rate and is released into the root zones slowly to enable the soil to effectively absorb all of the water. This is perfect for your herb garden as you do not want to flood your herb’s roots.
The advanced technology behind the self-cleaning Netafim Techline piping system has been an ongoing development for the past five decades. It is definitely not just a pipe with lots of holes in it. Each opening in a pipe has a pressure-compensating dripper, which is uniquely welded into place at predetermined intervals. These inline drippers are particularly designed to only allow a certain amount of water through at a time, while the flow continues to pass down the pipe in a controlled manner. All of this helps to conserve the precious commodity of water as you grow your urban herb garden. Contact Aquatec Solutions to start planning your own drip irrigation system.
Where should I plant my herbs and install drip irrigation?
Now that you are aware of the advantage of using a drip irrigation system for a herb garden, where should you plant your herbs and install the piping? Herbs are relatively easy to grow. All they require is a sheltered location with some sun (at least four hours per day) and a bit of fertiliser, as well as balanced watering and well-drained soil, which is why drip irrigation works wonders. You can grow herbs in pots, but ideally plants always do best in the ground where their roots have some space to stretch. Perhaps you have a flower bed near your kitchen door or by the braai area where it would be easy to grab some herbs to add to your cooking. Imagine the taste of organic herbs freshly picked from your own herb garden. Having a dedicated area for your herb garden will not only make harvesting easier, but it will also release a superb scent on very sunny days. Can you smell it now?
Which herbs should I plant?
Many herbs can be grown all year round, so you will almost never need to buy expensive herbs from a supermarket. You might need to plant biennial (annual) herbs regularly in spring and summer to get a consistent supply. These herbs grow quickly and include coriander, parsley, basil, dill, lemon grass, rocket and marjoram. Alternatively, perennial herbs grow slower and include rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, chives and fennel. Visit Flutter By Nursery to purchase your herbs and get some more guidance on how to ensure your herb garden flourishes.
How do I care for my herb garden?
Herb gardens require little maintenance, even less so when you have installed drip irrigation, as you don’t need to spend hours walking around your herb garden with a watering can. Let your drip irrigation system handle all the watering. All you need to do is a bit of clever pruning in spring and you’ll have a flourishing herb garden all year round.