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Green Thumb
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:32 pm
Location: Greenwood, Indiana

Watering plan for my garden

I am trying to come up with a watering plan for my garden. I have used all types of above ground sprinklers. I have not gotten good watering coverage especially in the late season due to my plants growing to tall.

I am thinking about a soaker hose or some drip tape. Anyone use these? how did they work as far as even watering.

Am I thinking too far ahead?

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I elevate the sprinklers above the leaf canopy.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Posts: 11432
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I use overhead sprinklers and micro sprinklers in the garden. It works for short plants and I also extend the height of the sprinkler when I need to. For really tall plants, like corn. I switch to a distribution head. It fits my half inch riser and the head connects to soaker tubes or mircro sprinklers that are spread out.

I have some sections just with soaker tubing. I have to make a choice since soakers and sprinklers are not happy campers. Soakers clog so they need to be replaced more often. I keep the lines long because they are easier to manage. I still manage to cut them when I am weeding or trimming. Soakers use water more efficiently but need to be left on longer to get good coverage. Soakers are pre drilled, if you plant in rows it is fine. I do not plant in rows so my plants end up bunched up around where the holes are.

If you use soakers and other types of sprinklers, micro sprinklers, misters, bubblers or emitters, try to get a system that uses the same parts.

Netafim has a good soaker system that is pressure compensated, but the parts of netafim only work with netafim.

Dig, drip mist, Roberts and raindrip soakers can be plugged into the mainlines and replaced with other types of emitters later if you change your mind.

If you do use soakers you will need a filter to slow the clogging.

I use spike type micros sprinklers they spray a few inches off the ground and depending on water pressure and size can reach 6 inches to three feet. I put them on long distribution tubing so I can change their range and they go on about the same time as standard sprinklers.
They are not good for plants prone to fungal disease because they will hit the lower leaves of the plants. For the fungal prone soakers are best.

I have used for my straight planting beds, a regular garden soaker sprinkler hose. It usually comes in 50 ft lengths. I turn the holes toward the ground and put the hose in the middle of the planting bed. The other end is on a y connector and that is attached to a faucet timer. The other side of the y is for the regular hose.

My neighbor was even thriftier. He took an old garden hose; capped the end and drilled holes along the hose, connected it to his faucet and just turned the water on manually. (He did not have an anti siphon device and he really should have one to protect the water supply.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:29 am
Location: Milton

because of the cost of converting the whole garden at once, we just slowly converted to a drip/soaker style of irrigation. Our problem with overhead watering was that our garden doesn't get enough direct sunlight, and the water promoted disease on some types of plants. Once we got our garden converted fully to ground level/root irrigation, our disease problems have basically gone away. You have two different kinds, the plastic 6/8 mil hose and a rubber hose. The plastic is much cheaper even if you factor in buying all the fittings. However, the plastic only lasts a few years, and even less if you actually bury it. Since we knew we were going to have a garden for years to come, we decided the best bang for our buck was to slowly acquire the rubber type soaker/drip hose. Usually the best deal comes at Wal-mart, where you can get 50' for just under ten bucks. It comes with a 7 year manufacturer warranty. If you lay the hose one way, it sprays water upwards onto the bottom of the plants and if you turn it around the other, it soaks the ground, getting water quickly to the roots and using the least amount of water possible. My garden is big and we needed several hundred feet to cover most all of the garden. We just bought a hundred feet or so several times a year and after 3 or 4 years we had the footage to irrigate the whole garden using this method. In my opinion it is by far the best way to water. You don't lose much water to evaporation, you cut down on the start and spread of disease, and it helps control weeds since you are minimizing the open space you are watering.

We put our plants in 100' rows so that two of the hoses connected together would do a whole row. We usually have 6 rows, and this isn't counting our corn and bean varieties, which are still watered overhead. Since we water from one regular spiggot, we used to irrigate one section per day for a whole hour to get the amount of water we needed. And we alternated between 3 sprinklers. We also ran our sprinklers on the corn and beans for 30 min every day. With the soaker hose system we hook up 2 of the 100' lines at a time, and they only have to be on for 15 to 20 min and that still gives us more than what an hour of overhead gave us before. So in just a little over an hour, we are watering our whole garden. This would of taken an hour per day over the course of 2 or 3 days with the old method. We could of watered every section for an hour every day, but the spiggot we use is run with the same pump that runs the house, so we don't want to burn the pump up. I just don't think it's made to work like that.

So in a nutshell, by going to the soaker/drip hose, in 1.5 hours per day were irrigating the entire garden. And with the old overhead method, 1.5 hours would water 1/3rd of the garden, plus the beans and corn.

Senior Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: SW Kansas

I have a small garden so I lay down soaker hose after things are established and then cover it with black weed barrier that permits water through. Then I lay straw on top of the weed barrier when temps get hot to cool things down.

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