Using catch cups (video transcript)

This is a transcript of our irrigation video on catch cups

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Making sure your irrigation system is watering your garden evenly is an important step in conserving our most precious resource water. Here’s some tips on how you can better understand the amount of water your garden uses.

Precipitation rate is the rate at which a sprinkler system or in nature rainfall allows water to land over a given area, and is most commonly expressed or measured as millimetres per hour.

In Perth and the southwest of WA, 10mm falling over the garden and lawn twice a week in summer is generally all you need to sustain your garden and keep it healthy. This means that water is being applied to the soil soaking to a depth of 10 mm, which is where most of your garden plant feeding and drinking roots are found.

But how do you know how much water is falling on your garden? An easy way to work out the precipitation rate of your irrigation system is to use catch-cups. These are measuring cups that are placed evenly throughout your garden, and are designed to catch and measure the amount of water falling in the area over a given period of time.

From the amount of water collected in each cup after 10 minutes, you can then calculate how many millimetres of water would have been collected in an hour. From here you can roughly determine how long it takes your system to apply the standard drink of 10mm.

For more information about catch cups and waterwise gardening check out this web site, visit