By Carolyn Weber. If you're building models in dry regions like the West and Southwest, it can take forever for grass, plants, and trees to grow. But Netafim (www.netafim-usa.com) could be the answer. Created on a kibbutz in Israel in 1967 and now available worldwide, Netafim products include a low-flow subterranean drip irrigation system. Techline Dripperline consists of tubing that users can weave through a garden, run along the edge of a driveway, or have installed a couple of inches below the sod.
Because the product waters from underneath, no aeration is necessary, and it doesn't lose water to the street or to evaporation. Typical sprinkler systems are 50 percent to 60 percent efficient, but the Techline system is 85 percent to 90 percent efficient, says the manufacturer.
"We will grow a plant to maturity 50 percent to 70 percent faster with drip irrigation than an overhead irrigation system," claims Mike Stoll, market segment leader for the landscape and turf division based in Fresno, Calif. "And when municipalities go through water restrictions, we can usually get a pass because we're already doing our part for water conservation."
Until now, Netafim was used primarily in commercial applications, but builder Bill Watson was among the first in his market to apply it to residential landscaping. "We had it installed for our Parade of Homes house and after three weeks we had green grass and everyone else still had dirt," says the president of Tesoro Homes in Englewood, Colo. Watson plans to use the system in his upcoming subdivision at Tallyn's Reach.
The list price is about 35 cents per linear foot, and the manufacturer suggests installation by a professional irrigation or landscape contractor.