The Art & Engineering of Watering a Meadow

The basics of taking care of a new plant in your garden are pretty straightforward, right? Yes, however when you add 2,000 new plants to your existing landscape, the initial care is the most important. 2,000 seems light a lot of plants, and that’s because it is. When comprehending the scale of such a large planting, it can be overwhelming. How will we every water all of these evenly? The answer? 2 timers, 900 feet of hose, some measuring, some estimations, and 6 sprinklers. At first, we tried to just use one timer with two-zones to get the job done. Unfortunately, the water pressure at this engineering firm was not high enough to supply 3 sprinklers at the end of 300 feet of hose, which is not surprising! A second timer was added, on the other side of the building requiring 300 feet of additional hose to reach the other side of the new plantings. With some math, trial and error, and visual inspection we were able to get water to all 2000 new plants equally, fully autonomous – requiring minimal inspection to ensure their survival and establishment. A hard task, that is well worth sitting back and watching your meadow grow successfully. We gained some hydro-engineering skills plumbing and setting up this system!

This meadow includes Asclepius tuberosa (butterfly weed). It is a favorite of the monarch butterfly, it is not uncommon to see 5 caterpillars and a few butterflies on each plant! Our supplier of the plants is New England Wetland Plants, who specialize in native plants to our region. The local pollinators and their predators such as birds and other wildlife are attracted to meadows like this, giving the space a feeling closer to nature than Death Valley in a large asphalt parking lot.

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