How about a misting system?

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)July 7, 2012

Just thinking about this low tech (or it can get sophisticated) way of lowering temps in the garden.

Has anyone tried a misting system? What experience have you had. Don't want to drown the hosta or host a slug convention, but done properly, I think a mister could do a lot to lower temps in specific areas of the garden. I had a misting system based on a five gallon bucket and some emitters, but my DH found it and used the bucket for other purposes and threw out the tubing. It was a few years old, of course, one of those ideas I never got around to implementing on the carport at MoccasinLanding. In that case, keeping the parrots cool was the objective. But, I gave up the idea when one of the birds developed a fungus from so much humidity, and had to be moved into the house air conditioning.

One thing I'll experiment with is bringing a hosta pot into the house where it is around 80 degrees. I do not keep a cold house, just lower the outside temp a bit and suck out the moisture to be comfy.

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I can tell you that a misting system is only good for maybe keeping the surface wet... as far as doing anything for the temperature of the area I wouldn't be able to comment...the mist tends to evaporate very quickly in hot temperatures anyways... I can't really explain why you don't want to do a misting system... but I'm pretty sure you don't lol... it would probably bring on southern blight I would think...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:46PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Gesila is a big fan and has used it extensively with her hosta.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I think it's certainly worth trying. In Japan and China Hostas get between 60 and 70 inches of rain a year and most of that rain occurs in the summer time. That's how species of Hosta can grow in full sun in those regions. Granted Tokyo is at 35 degrees latitude and you are at about 30.5, but the mist should help a lot.

In some cases in the wild Hostas have been known to grow in trees, epiphytically. That's how much moisture they are exposed to in their native habitat. I don't suggest trying that, but there are pics of this on the Library.


Here is a link that might be useful: Species Update - H. kikutii var. kikutii

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Mocc, I have been working on something similar except I am using emmiters at each plant, similiar to drip irrigation, but each plant will have its own emmiter for soaking the roots. It is not real expensive in the grand scheme of things, I buy from a company called Dripworks and I am pretty sure they sell misters, sprayers etc.. You can keep it simple and turn it on and off or you can put it on an automated timer..

Here is a link that might be useful: Drip Works

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Jon 6a SE MA

I have a Mister sprinkler, drip system that I bought at Lowes. It has a timer that can be set for every day or any interval up to a week I bought it mostly for the window boxes and hanging baskets which are a pain to keep watered in hot weather.

The timer, kit with tubing, sprinklers, emitters fittings along with extra tubing and parts cost about $150. I have it set to go off at 4 AM each morning for 1/2 hour (1/2 gallon per hour emitters). It works great. I only have one hosta in a 'Mister' area and that is with a sprinkler. Sprinklers are more waste and not as good as drip emitters so I only have a few basically because they are cool to watch every now and then by pushing the manual button for a while.

This is my third year. The system is easily drained each year and the timer (battery) comes in the cellar each winter. Simple to expand, use and seems very reliable. When it rains as it has a lot I simply shut off the faucet and the timer continues to open and close, but there is no water being used.


This post was edited by jonnyb023 on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 11:36

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:19AM
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First off, I know that they use real misting systems to lower the temps at some high sky outdoor venues, which is where I first read about it. Up high enough and fine enough, the people below have no awareness of a mist, but they enjoy the benefit of the cooling. They also sell tiny personal misting systems, a water bottle with a battery operated fan that blows the mist to cool an individual. For a while, BoatUS store sold them in the summertime.

One thing I am doing in the Back40 now is putting the water hose nozzle on MIST, in the hottest end of the garden. The drop in temp is easily discernable. For the part of the Back40 beneath a low tree cover (like the bananas or the two big camellia sasanquas) I loft the water on spray high above and let it fall like rain. This doesn't occur every day, of course, but when it is required, the temps come down 10 to 15 degrees at least, in a very short time. As a side benefit, the wild birds come to the trees for refreshment while the tree leaves are getting wet. Many of my hosta are now in umbrella shade, not tree shade, so they do not get soaked by the lofting of the water in the area. But, they do benefit from the cooling.

Interesting that slugs in the area of the mulched garden surface are few and far between. Around the edges near grassed areas, along the fences, I put out the Natria or Sluggo pellets, not harmful to dogs or birds, and they must be doing their job.

There are other places in the US with temps going higher than ours here in south Alabama. With lower humidity? Probably. Do not know what a misting system in LOW humidity would do to cool the garden, but here in our humid environment, it does wonders. Evaporative cooling would seem to me easier to achieve in a low humidity space. If it keeps the hosta from going heat dormant, and keeps them happier in my garden, it is worthwhile to do the misting.

So far we are not on water restriction. For those who have such restrictions, I would suggest trying the old "ollas" watering bottle that you put in a pot or in the ground near the plant's roots. Bury the bottle down far enough that it seeps into the soil, not evaporate into the air. I put a jar lid on top of mine, but old wine corks would work to keep out the soil and critters.
I suppose watering in this fashion will keep tree roots from clustering around the hosta. An article I read somewhere about this mentioned that the hosta roots massed near the olla. It would get first choice of any moisture supplied by the jug, well before a tree could.

However, the olla is not a misting system. Sorry if I got off track.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Perhaps you could adapt something like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Patio Mister

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Jon 6a SE MA


You could use some sched 80 PVC plastic pipe, tap some 10-24 threads into the pipe and screw in (and probably seal with RTV silicone) the threaded Patio Mister nozzles ($14.99 for 6) and have a cheap effective mister that would cover a large area. Plumb it up to a hose. use 90 degree or 45 degree elbows to make it go, wherever. Et, voila! A heavy duty flexible mister for cheap money.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 3:31PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

...or you could buy their pre-assembled kit 20 ft long with nozzles and mounting hardware saving a lot over building it yourself and coming up with a neat ltltle package for $30.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Ci, just spent the better part of two hours looking at the MistCooling site you linked above. Between you and Jonny, I've got some ideas for keeping my hosta (and myself and DH and the doggies) cool for the summer.

Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

I'm going to alert the Alabama Highway Patrol that they may have sudden fog rolling of Mocc's property this summer!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Oh, Jonny, the old air base is 2 miles or less from us, and that is where Airbus EADS is due to build all its single aisle 280s ....I might get more attention from the FAA than from the Alabama Straight Toopers. :)

Just outside New Orleans on the West Pearl River, I saw one of the swamp houses with a twirling lawn sprinkler sitting on the raised seam metal roof, cooling with the use of river water. I thought that was what "swamp coolers" were. I think that's what folks out west call them.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:51PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

Evaporation is a great way to cool. There are some commercial installations where they place spray systems on flat roofs with timers.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:36AM
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