The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
A collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Videos: Garden Well Pump & Watering Training

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for turning on the garden well pump, watering, and turning it off. Please follow all the steps, which extend the life of the hoses and pump assembly as well as promoting healthier plants.

Why are there so many steps to this? Why do you have to keep walking to the pump and then back into the garden to turn the hoses on and off? It’s about draining all the water out of the hoses after each use. The first few years, we blew through hoses every year. Since following Chris’s protocol, we haven’t had to replace a hose.

If you have any questions or want an in-person tutorial, please see Chris. You can have as many trainings as you want!

The first step is to turn on the big blue well pump handle. Pull it all the way up until it won’t go any farther. Open the valve on the spigot attached to the hose that runs into the garden. Once inside the garden, the hose stops at a a Y-juncture in the center walkway between Plot 3 and Plot 5, where the two garden hoses are attached.

This is the Y-juncture in the center walkway between Plot 3 and Plot 5 where you can open the valve to one or both hoses within the garden.

Here’s how to do the actual watering.
Turning off the pump: Pull the big, blue handle all the way down. Only then, open a valve to a spigot that is NOT connected to a hose. Stand back! This will release a lot of the water in the hoses. While that valve is open (big, blue handle is still off), go back into the garden.
Leave the switches at the Y-juncture in the ON position. Walk to a hose nozzle, turn it on, and wait for the water down at the pump handle to drain. Repeat with the second hose nozzle if it has been in use. Only by having the system all the way open will the water backed up in the hose drain downhill and out the open spigot.
Now it’s time to turn off the two switches at the Y-juncture.
Walk out of the garden and back down to the well pump to finish turning off the system. Once everything is drained and off, the process is complete.