We have been changing the flow of water from the mountains to the sea for many thousands of years now.  Here is a system farmers used in southern Spain, likely Roman and Moorish in origin and practice.  It is an open ditch along the road that diverted water from the rivers to feed to the farms up and down the hill.  A series of closing gates ensured that each farmer got their allotted share.

The water would flow through town and pop up in a series of fountains, then continue its way to the next town, the sea, or underground.

Instead of gravity fed systems and open air ditches, we use electric pumps, metal and plastic tubes to move water where we want to.  Here are some basic notes about irrigation:

FLOW is how much water you have coming out of your pipes, measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM) or  in Gallons Per Hour (GPH).

Pressure is how hard water is pushing through the pipes, measured in Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI).  Drippy showerhead, can’t get clean – low pressure!  Bummer.

There is endless variation on how to deliver the water to the plants.

Some plants needs a lot of water consistently, like lawns, vegetables, and fruits.   Other plants get by with a summer rain shower or a few months of winter rain, and still look healthy and good all year round.

It is important to know how water and pipes work, and to be able to troubleshoot problems as they arise.  Anything that interacts all day long with nature and people will have problems.

The golden rule of gardening:  Right plant in the right place!!

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