clutchrider
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

Drip Irrigation, Hose it Down, Soaker?

I'm looking for the best approach. Last year I simply used a shower head on my hose and sprayed the garden over each night. Not exactly scientific. This year I'm exploring options. My water outlet is in the middle of the house and to get to the garden will most likely require me to run a hose over the driveway to the system.

What is the best route? Do I water in the morning, afternoon, night? Use a soaker hose instead or pickup a Drip Starter Kit. And if I do, am I ok just hooking it up and running it at only certain times of the day?

Sorry irrigation is new to me so I want to be sure the garden is getting proper water and not too much or too little.

southerncomfort
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:37 pm
Location: Georgia - Zone 7b

I am exploring drip myself. I have a high pressure pump from a water hole so I have plenty of water ... I just like to conserve.

While using a sprinkler, I would water early in the morning so can be absorbed before sun bears down to hard. Plants will be dry at night to avoid fungus.

Our extension office recommendation is 1 inch of water per week. That will get it to the roots and encourage deeper root growth.

clutchrider
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm
Location: CT Shoreline

Thanks for the intel. An update on what I just did during my lunch. I went to the local industrial park and found a place John Deere Landscapes. Great little warehouse spot and talked to a very knowledgeable fellow. After explaining my desire and my novice level of information on the topic he directed me to a great and easy setup that will last for years and cost me under $100. The breakdown.

-Hose Adapter
-3/4" Male Adapter
-End Cap Barb (with release valve for drainage/overflow)
-250ft. Dripline

The dripline is pretty impressive. It's meant for gardens and mulch areas and can be laid on top of the ground or buried just beneath the surface. Flow rate is 1 gallon per hour and controlled by these little self adjuster things that lie inside the hose and ensure even pressure throughout the system. Then the drip holes every so many inches.

He said I could just lay it around the garden about 8-10" apart and that the line should cover more than enough of my needs. All total I spent $76. Not bad considering I was looking at smaller starter kits that ran $60 or more and did not cover the right amount of area.

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TheWaterbug
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Location: Los Angeles

I put in a drip system with a few timers last year, and I'll never go back to sprinklers or any kind of hand watering. My row crops were on inline dripper hoses, and the tomatoes, pumpkins, et al. were on individual drippers. I was really happy with it.

I set the timers to run in the early morning.

Avoiding sprinklers also helped cut down on the weeds, since I put water only where I wanted to. We get almost no natural rain during the growing season, so anywhere I don't water gets no weeds!

The one thing I haven't figured out is how to fertilize with the drippers. Anyone know of a good inline fertilizing system that I can I just put in series with the hose when I need to feed?
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

GEOSAN
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:40 pm
Location: nepa z5a

dri irregation

You might want to consider a pressure regulation device , 25#, as well as an inline filter so as not to blowout your connections or block your emitters. Drip Deot has some good information on drip irregation.
George

Brant
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Dripper

Drip irrigation is the way to go! Get some drip line and a timer and it will never cross your mind again. I love it because I am usually traveling on the weekends and with my setup it is not different than if I were there. I have used drip lines for three years now without any problems.
Brant from Phoenix

SOB
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Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 6:44 pm
Location: Radnor, OH

I am also a novice to irrigation and had a few concerns with drip irrigation. My main concern is how the garden changes every year - meaning the tomatoes, onions, etc. aren't always in the same place. With drip irrigation it sounds like you need to set it up differently every year so that there is a single emitter by your tomato, multiple emitters along your row of onions, etc. Is this this case? If so how easy is it to redo the setup every year? Would it be better to lay down soaker hoses and wet the entire garden?

Not sure if it changes anything but I plan on laying straw on top of the garden and whatever irrigation system I install.

Brant
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

dripping

I don't use separate emitters for my tomatoes and peppers, I just lay it out so that the whole garden gets wet (about 2 ft between lines). You might have to change it up year to year if you change the layout of your garden, but it will be one of the lower levels of effort required - compared to starting seeds, transplanting, and amending soil it is basically effortless. All you have to do unroll the line and plug the end.

I actually replace mine every year anyway to discourage mineral deposit buildup. A 100 ft section is only $15 at Home Depot and that was more than enough for my garden.

Mulch and hay will help keep it hydrated better, but eventually weeds will start growing, and when they do it will be harder to control them than if the soil is exposed. Just depends on your preference I guess. I always mulched in the past, but this year I am trying it without mulch and so far I like it better.
Brant from Phoenix

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soil
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Location: N. California

i prefer overhead irrigation because its effects benefit my farming style best.

in my experiences drip irrigation attracts gophers and causes leeching along with sometimes poor root systems.

another benefit of overhead is very few pipes, tubes, emitters, sprayers, timers, and all that crap to deal with.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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TheWaterbug
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Location: Los Angeles

soil wrote:in my experiences drip irrigation attracts gophers and causes leeching along with sometimes poor root systems.
[url=https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/TheGopherGotToIt_web.jpg]Gophers!!!!!!![/url] [url=https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/GopherFodder_web.jpg]Grrrr[/url].
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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