Answer: I would either re-engineer the drip system so it works, or plant a groundcover, or cover the bare soil with weed block and bark or stones. If you decide against reinstalling the drip system and still need to water by hand, dig little watering basins around each plant. This way you can pour water into the basins so the water will trickle down and wet the roots of the plants instead of running down the sides of the mounds. Depending upon the exposure to sun or shade, a good groundcovering plant for sun is Ajuga (carpet bugle) and for shade you can use Vinca minor (periwinkle). Or, you can simply cover all the bare soil with weed barrier and top it off with bark or stones.
Best wishes with your garden!
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