This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

July 14, 2013

Garden misting system in the desert

There are two watering systems here at The Tropical Paradise. One is a low-pressure "drip system" that waters through spray heads that are discreetly placed towards the back of the planting areas, and the other is a misting system, which you can see in operation in the photo. They are both ordinary, inexpensive, systems that I got at Home Depot.

If you have ever visited an outdoor patio at a restaurant in Phoenix, or Palm Springs, you have seen overhead misting systems. When they are working correctly (and not just dripping on you) they are wonderful as they actually reduce the ambient temperature. This is great for people and plants. And the plants especially appreciate the added humidity in the air.

But instead of overhead, my misting system line runs underground. I've never heard of anyone else doing this, so I can't recommend that you visit your local Home Depot and tell them that you want to install an underground misting system. Just tell them that you want a patio misting system, that's enough.

The line is really just barely below the surface. I use rocks to hold it down mostly. Instead of having the misting heads right on the fittings, I use copper risers that are about three inches tall. They start out shiny but dull down very quickly until they are all but invisible. I know, I've accidentally kicked a few! So I put protective rocks around them. They obviously have to be tall enough to not get buried, but you really don't want them to attract visual attention. And that's why I really, really, don't want anyone to walk up into the garden. You should never walk into someone's garden, by the way, nor should you walk across someone's dining room table.

The misting system is regulated by a simple battery-operated timer. I have it set now to come on for fifteen minutes every twelve hours.

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