With no current restrictions on sprinkler or watering times in Brisbane, it’s time to put some thought into maintaining your garden.

Drip irrigation is ideal for vegetable gardens because it is a more effective way of watering the garden and delivering water to the plant and nowhere else. That means fewer weeds between plants and lower water bills.

When summers are long and dry, it’s the best way to keep your food garden happy in the heat. A drip system can also be put on a battery-operated timer to water on schedule while you’re at work.

But drip irrigation systems can fail, and regular maintenance is needed, especially after they have been out of use. Failure to do so can result in clogged emitters that remain unnoticed until the plant it serves wilts, turns yellow or dies.

Here are some important maintenance tasks to make sure you can count on optimal operation all season long:

• Install fresh batteries in your hose timer

• Check out all hose washers and replace as needed

• Take apart the filter and clean thoroughly

• Open the end caps and flush out all the lines

• Inspect all drip emitters, bubblers and spray heads. Emitters that aren’t working properly can be cleaned, or replace them with new ones

• Inspect all tubing for cracks.

It’s very hard to correct any of these problems after you’ve planted your garden.

Get them done now so you can be sure your seedlings and plants will receive the water they need all summer long.

Brisbane City Council also suggests you apply the following actions to have a water smart and sustainable garden:

• Wash your car on the lawn

• Use fertilisers sparingly and lightly water into the garden after application. Do not use pesticides if rain is expected

Compost your garden waste. Dumping it in creeks or bushland can spread weeds and increase nutrients that promote algal growth in waterways

• Create depressions and gullies in your garden to collect and absorb rainfall

• Pick up your pet’s droppings, seal them in a bag and deposit them in a waste bin

• Use ground-cover plants and mulch to prevent top soils washing away and reduce erosion.

What do you do to keep your garden health and water-wise? Let us know your tips!