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At about the time I had the trees, berries and grapes planted, I did a bunch of reading to figure out how much I should water everything.  I came up with the following document as a guide: Water Schedule.pdf.

Although very helpful, it got really old having to water all 4 plants separately using one soaker hose.  So, next up was installing sprinklers.  I knew I wanted to go with a drip system since they are the most efficient use of water and also good for achieving a deep soak which is best for root development.  My dad had just installed a new drip sprinkler system and had used Home Depot’s drip kits and it looked like an easy to use system.  I did a bit of comparing and decided I preferred Lowe’s competing kit, but the differences between the two are pretty minimal.

Thankfully, our house already had a sprinkler system installed in the front and they ran the pipe around the back along with extra wires for adding zones.  This project would have been several times more challenging if this hadn’t been done, so I was really thankful.

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As I mentioned in my last post, my wife and I have plans for growing a good amount of food in our Austin, TX backyard.  One of the things that bothers me most about new suburban neighborhoods is the general lack of mature trees and the “barren wasteland” look of the backyards.  So one of my first home improvement priorities after moving into my wife’s house was to get some plants started back there.  The builder had planted a single (somewhat gnarly-looking) live oak, but other than that, it was just a lot of boring Bermuda.

I love a nicely landscaped backyard.  I have no interest in sitting on the back patio to look out on some dead grass surrounded by a privacy fence, but an interesting arrangement of plant life can make it far more visually interesting, relaxing, and even cooler in temperature.  This isn’t as important to my wife, but one thing we both agree on is that plants that produce food are both attractive and practical, so that’s a common ground which has been my focus in planning the backyard.

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