Drip Irrigation and Beneficial Fauna

One of the things I struggle with as a gardener is allowing beneficial insects and arachnids to share the garden, even though I’m afraid of them. We’ve got a reasonable population of little black spiders (I can never remember what they’re called) that are stalking hunters rather than web builders. I’ve watched one stalk and then drag off a daddy longlegs that was at least 3 times her size last summer.  That’s a serious little hunter.  Today, while clearing out a patch of weeds that had grown around our water spout so I could get the drip lines going again, I spotted one that looks like the same species, only the damn thing is roughly the size of a walnut. I’ve never seen one anywhere near that big before. Do we have tarantulas in Portland? It might have been a small tarantula.

So, on one hand, I recognize that this enormous spider will need to eat a whole lot of bugs, and that’s great for the garden. On the other hand, it’s a huge spider. I think we need to take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Okay, I’m going to leave the spider alone as long as I don’t see it in a place where it looks like it might jump on me.

I did finally manage to get the drip irrigation system up and running again, though!  I really can’t recommend drip irrigation enough.  Even if you’re starting from scratch, it only takes part of an afternoon to set up, and then you don’t have to worry about watering.  I’ve even got a super awesome wireless sensor that tells the timer if the garden is already wet enough, so it doesn’t turn on the water if it’s raining.  That’s pretty important in the Pacific Northwest.  It rains a lot here.  No, really, a lot.

It's really as easy as laying the main tubing along whatever area you want to water, punching holes with a little tool, and then popping in the smaller lines that go to the plants.  Super easy.

It’s really as easy as laying the main tubing along whatever area you want to water, punching holes with a little tool, and then popping in the smaller lines that go to the plants. Super easy.

2014-05-25 10.16.34

 

And, of course, all gardening chores are more fun if you’ve got a fluffy, adorable garden buddy.

This is Angus.  You wish he was your dog.

This is Angus. You wish he was your dog.

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