The Monson Community Garden delivers water directly to each plot by means of an irrigation assembly, emplaced at the start of each season, removed at the close, and stored over the winter.

The assembly consists of four segments of plain ⅝-in. garden hose connected with Y-shutoff valves to provide a faucet at the corner of every four plots, with a final, straight shutoff valve at the end.

Each of the three Y-valves has been modified by removing one lever so that branch remains open, since we don’t want anyone inadvertently cutting off the water to everyone downstream! The removed levers are stored in the door of the shed as spares, since the ones remaining on the Y-valves will break with time.

At each watering location, the valve is secured to the plot-corner post with cable ties to keep it clean and easily visible.

Daily Use
  1. At the main water point (northwest corner, near porta-potty), be sure that both the main valve and the branch valve for the irrigation system are open.

  2. At the corner of your plot, connect your hose and open the Y-valve.

  3. Water your plot as needed.

    Tip Avoid watering foliage from above; water at ground level or use a soak hose.
    Important Please don’t leave water running unattended.
  4. When you finish watering, close the valve and disconnect your hose.

  5. If no one else needs it, please close the main valve at the main water point.

Fall Breakdown and Winter Storage
  1. Disconnect the system from the main water point.

  2. Pull the inlet hose up to free it from the shallow trench in which it is buried.

  3. At each junction, cut the cable ties and disconnect only the inlet of each Y-valve.

    Important Be sure to disconnect the four separate sections. Leaving them connected as one long assembly makes it difficult to roll without kinking the hose, which will quickly wear it out in cold fall weather.
  4. This yields four subassemblies which, when rolled up, happen to fit nicely into a recycling bin:

    1. 75-ft. hose, nothing attached.

    2. Y-valve with open outlet connected to 50-ft. hose.

    3. Y-valve with open outlet connected to 37½-ft. hose.

    4. Y-valve with open outlet connected to 50-ft. hose with straight shutoff valve at other end of hose.

Spring Installation
  1. Using the hand-held tiller and a shovel, dig a shallow, smoothly-curved trench between the water point and the garden’s top center post. This will keep the hose out of the way of the lawnmower.

  2. Separate the subassemblies, identifying each one (they’re not interchangeable).

  3. Inspect hose washers in all female connectors and replace if needed.

  4. Be sure you have at least eight cable ties.

  5. Lay the 75-ft. hose in the trench, past the uphill side of the garden’s top center post, and down the garden’s center line to the 25-ft. post (one whole plot length). Pass all posts on the uphill (east) side.

  6. Join the hose to the inlet of the first 50-ft. subassembly and secure the junction to the 25-ft. post with two cable ties.

    Important Be sure the ties wrap around the rigid parts of the hose and junction, not the hose itself, or it may kink and restrict water flow.
  7. Lay the rest of the 50-ft. subassembly down the center line to the 75-ft post (three plot lengths).

  8. Join the hose to the inlet of the 37½-ft. subassembly and secure the junction to the 75-ft. post with two cable ties.

  9. Lay the rest of the 37½-ft. subassembly down the center line to the 112½-ft. post (4½ plot lengths).

  10. Join the hose to the inlet of the last 50-ft. subassembly and secure the junction to the 112½-ft. post with two cable ties.

  11. Lay the rest of the 50-ft. subassembly down the center line to the 162½-ft post (6½ plot lengths) and secure the terminal straight shutoff valve there with two cable ties.

  12. Making sure each valve is closed, return to the main water point and open the valves there, then walk down the hose line and check each point for unobstructed flow and no leaks.

  13. Close the trench and tamp it flat.


All the components were originally purchased at Ocean State Job Lot in Palmer, which almost always has reasonable-quality garden hoses at low cost. The 37½-ft. hose is just a 50-ft. hose cut to size, with a female hose-repair coupling secured to the hose by a stainless-steel hose clamp.

Other than the cable ties, the only consumable supplies are hose washers.