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

November 28, 2014

Watering a tropical garden in Phoenix, Arizona

One of the reasons tropical gardens fail in the Phoenix, Arizona area is that water isn't consistently delivered to the plants. The Sonoran Desert is no place to plant anything but cactus if you plan on watering with a hose. But if you've visited gardens like mine, and hadn't seen the watering system, well, that's the point.

My garden has tiny sprayer heads that are mostly hidden behind rocks. I took this photo from an angle so that you could see it better. From the front, not much shows. It's an ordinary low-pressure drip system, which has a 1/2-inch main line that runs all the way around the garden, and 1/4-inch spaghetti tubing. It's set to come on automatically with an expensive battery-operated timer. In fact, the whole system was built on the cheap.

It's the day after Thanksgiving, 2014, and Phoenix is recording record highs. It doesn't usually get this hot in November, so I'm doing some extra watering. I have turned the system on manually, and letting it run while I write this, for about twenty minutes. Normally, the water comes on at this time of year only once a week, but like I say, it has been unusually hot. Some of the annuals will not make it, I'm afraid.

The secret to using an automatic watering system is to watch it anyway. It's not there to set and forget, it's there for consistency.

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