j3707
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Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Garden and fruit tree irrigation

I really need to get an irrigation system set up for next Spring...too much time devoted to watering the various boxes, garden and trees!

Advice please 8)

Any particular set ups or suppliers to recommend?
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I am surprised no one has jumped on this. topic. Maybe it is because there are so many options. I wonder what your source of water is?
If you are going to use city culinary water, it can get expensive.

Here we are fortunate to have irrigation water gravity fed in a pipeline. I used 1 inch pvc pipe and pop up rainbirds. Underground piping. I have six areas with 5 or six rainbirds on each run. I just have to turn a valve on to irrigate. (one area at a time)

In a flower garden, I tried some small sprinklers (drip) and 14 inch plastic hose to hook them up, but there is just enough stray junk in the water that it keeps plugging them up. These would work fine for a small area with clean water.

You could get a timer to turn them on and off, but I just decided to use manual valves.

I bought a lot of my stuff at a farm supply house. Some pipe fittings at the local hardware store. You would just have to look around your area for the availability and price.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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https://www.dripworksusa.com/

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Here is why I said running an irrigation system on culinary water is out of the question: The rainbirds I am using are sized so that they put out 5 gallons a minute. I usually let the ones in the orchard run 12 hours once a week. That puts a little over 1.5 inches of water on the whole area.
Six rainbirds x 5 gallons a minute x 12 hours x 60 minutes per hour = 21600 gallons per run x 4 weeks =86400 gallons a month. How would you like to see that on your culinary water bill?

Like I said, we are fortunate to have irrigation water that is not metered. This is also why my first question was about your water source. If you have a source of water that is not metered, then you are fortunate. If not, you may want to design something with drip emitters, and a timer.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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gardenexplorer
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Location: Marietta, Ga

garden watering

I'm getting ready to do a terraced garden down a slope. I would like to do some type of irrigation system starting the water at the top terrace and expecting it to flow down through the remaining three terraces. My plan is to do four 5'x 10' terraced gardens, one below the next. I have a rain barrel reservoir of over 600 gallons of water that can gravity feed the gardens.

I plan to dig each garden 5’ into the slope and box the remaining 5’ using the excavated dirt to level the garden. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to control the water flow at the top terrace and expect the water to flow down into the remaining terraces.

Sometimes I wonder if being and ex-engineer I’m not over thinking the project.[/img]
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DoubleDogFarm
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You may find this interesting.
https://www.riverlink.org/documents/CH-3-1BermsandSwales.pdf

Here are a few pictures of my orchard.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=181680#181680

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=165288#165288

Eric

CharlieBear
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It is possible, but generally you have to angle to piping to get it going. I wish I could think of the man's name in Germany who got it to work on a fairly steep slope, check the library for permaculture books, it would be in that clasification.
Note if you put a butt on each level and run a hose between the two it will transfer the water down the slope, but you would have to experiment a little to get the butts at the correct levels.
Utah is right drip irragation consumes much more water than you think and anything else would use that much more. If you are not on a well, you may quickly discover that 6oo gallons doesn't go very far at all.

j3707
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Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

jal_ut wrote:Here is why I said running an irrigation system on culinary water is out of the question: The rainbirds I am using are sized so that they put out 5 gallons a minute. I usually let the ones in the orchard run 12 hours once a week. That puts a little over 1.5 inches of water on the whole area.
Six rainbirds x 5 gallons a minute x 12 hours x 60 minutes per hour = 21600 gallons per run x 4 weeks =86400 gallons a month. How would you like to see that on your culinary water bill?

Like I said, we are fortunate to have irrigation water that is not metered. This is also why my first question was about your water source. If you have a source of water that is not metered, then you are fortunate. If not, you may want to design something with drip emitters, and a timer.
Yep - I'm on city water. I'm nowhere near your usage levels (!), but drip irrigation and timers is what I figured.

I'll be starting out with pressurized city water, but may eventually add a gravity fed zone further out from the house.

Thanks for the link DD.
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

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gardenexplorer
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Location: Marietta, Ga

Rethinking the terrace approach

(You may find this interesting.
https://www.riverlink.org/documents/CH-3-1BermsandSwales.pdf )

Thanks for the reference link. It’s given me a whole new look at the project. I was planning to do level terraces but I’ve got to rethink the possibility of a berm and swale solution. Depending on how well the plants will do on a slope I could just do a berm and swale every 10’. The berm would eliminate most if not all of the erosion if high enough and the swale would act as a reservoir to allow the water to absorbed into the slope below. In drought conditions like we’ve experienced this summer the rain barrel reservoir might work by releasing water at the top of the slope and letting it find it’s way down the slope. I’ll have to do some calculations to see how far 50 gallons of water at a time will go. I’ve got about 650 gallons of rain water retention.
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