Irrigation system

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Sunnygardensurrey
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Joined: Wed 01-Dec-2021, 21:25

Hello

I have about 2 long raised beds surrounded by in-ground garden beds. I’m new to setting up an irrigation system. Any suggestions on what type of system I should use and where I should start?

I find it all very overwhelming. Also with little ones, I would think the network of tubing the irrigation drip system would entail would entice the little ones to rip them all out. Haha.
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steve_miller
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I have done it 2 different ways in some of the different places we garden at my place.

In my personal garden that is about 20'x30', I just have a rotating sprinkler head on a stand that is about 5' off the ground. I have it on a timer and run it once or twice a day depending on the weather. Super simple.
Pros: Never forget to water, pretty cheap setup, pretty simple, not a lot to go wrong
Cons: Everything gets watered, including weeds, in paths and beds and outside of garden, if your garden is a square and your sprinkler is covering a circle there is some overwatering outside the garden, visually you have a sprinkler in the middle of the garden.

The other way we do it is with drip tape. Drip tape is a thin walled plastic hose/tube with penetrations at designated spacing (8",12",18" etc). The trip tape is attached to a semi-rigid plastic tube with a special fitting which is then attached to the timer and hose. Sorry if it sounds complicated its really not. We ran so much of it last year for pumpkins and flowers and lavender etc and it worked very well. We buried all the supply lines under the woodchips in the path so there was not tripping hazards. I will probably do the same for my vegetable garden this year.
Pros: only water the plants you want to, water is applied directly to where its needed, looks clean and descrete
Cons: requires more setup and pieces, more expensive, the drip tape is semi disposable (lasts 2-4 years depending on application) and is plastic so there is a waste factor there.


Any additional questions on it ask away, I was scratching my head a bit a first but its quite simple once you do it once. Lots of videos on you tube too.

Steve
MForest
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Sunnygardensurrey wrote: Sat 08-Jan-2022, 17:45 Hello

I have about 2 long raised beds surrounded by in-ground garden beds. I’m new to setting up an irrigation system. Any suggestions on what type of system I should use and where I should start?

I find it all very overwhelming. Also with little ones, I would think the network of tubing the irrigation drip system would entail would entice the little ones to rip them all out. Haha.
I agree with Steve re using the drip tape/hose. We put individual spigots, shrublers, etc several years ago into our several raised beds and two years ago started converting them all to the drip hose. Other advantages we discovered (beyond the pros that Steve mentioned) was that if we buried the hose a couple inches below the surface (with the emitters facing down), there was no evaporation from surface water, no water on leaves and there were no surface weeds that popped up as those seeds got no water! And as long as you are careful when planting next to the emitters/hose, you can’t accidentally chop the spigot hoses when clearing the beds. Just saying…!
Danoost
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We're going to do a segment on irrigation and we'll go quite in depth showing different systems and demonstrating setup.

I generally prefer overhead irrigation since this is the best approach for keeping soil moist for germination.

Drip is good for pumpkins, tomatoes and potatoes but not for carrots, beets and parsnips.

Strongly recommend going with a timer.

For people just setting up, it's important to 'rough' things in at this point. In this example, @Sunnygardensurrey could have installed an underground pipe from the garden tap to the raised beds at the time of construction. From there we can make a connection to a watering system. Of course this can be done afterwards too but that requires digging up pathways, etc. I really dislike hoses that aren't buried that look unsightly and get in the way.
MForest
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Dan is absolutely right about using a timer for irrigation—it sure simplifies the work load for home gardeners. Since we start many of our transplants from seed in the house where it’s warmer much earlier in the season, we aren’t as concerned about surface moisture for germination, hence the buried irrigation hoses. I’m sure looking forward to the upcoming irrigation segments, as we figured we have Irrigation 101 under our belts, but not much more!
Karen MacB
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Joined: Tue 28-Dec-2021, 22:33

I bought a drip irrigation system last year but by the time it arrived my plants were all pretty big, so rather than risk damaging them, I thought I’d start fresh the next season.

I guess it’s probably time to unpack the box and set it all up…or soon, anyway. It seems a little overwhelming, so I’ve been putting it off until later.
TomF
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Well I have been negligent in following this course religiously with life and other courses. One thing I do know is that I NEED Irrigation! My hand watering with a pathetic domestic pressure was not enough. When I started to just use a sprinkler (that only would cover 10 foot radius with my 2 gpm flow) moving it frequently, I saw my garden respond. So first step is getting a plumber in to get me set up with good pressure. (my front yard sucks but back yard is good, garden is in front yard though)

So great comments above. I have watched the Irrigation video and the complexity I perceived is not that bad. You guys have pointed me to a supplier and the scope and you also made me make a garden map at the start. So now I just need to buck up for committing to the supplies and get it done.

Question Dan. Do the sprinkler heads also come with a flow rate so that you can calculate how much water is going down when also having drip tape in the same circuit? Are the smaller drip tape lines lower flow compared to the larger diameter ones? Are the drip tapes measured in litres per minute per meter (or gallons per minute per foot)

Mist vs spray vs drip & Mist vs droplets when things are hot and dry. Good to know about surface water for the macro arthropods joining the party. They are definitely part of the Soil Food Web and we want to ensure the predators stick around. But what about when the plants start to grow taller? would you be better with drip below? What about the volume vs the frequency?? You mention watering a few times a day. Would you maybe do surface watering in the morning and then drip tape(if you were set up with dual systems???) to avoid high water loss through evaporation from mist in heat of day? What about drip after germination instead of overhead? (I guess this would require a dual system again and complexity is not what we want)

Interesting to see Dan, the market gardener, has not time for his personal garden!! Just like the mechanic who drives a beater. I also like Andrews comments on buried vs surface lines. I think I would go for buried across lawn to teh garden edge the free form it in the ever changing garden beds with. Now I practice no till so I should never dig it up but I do still broad fork with a Radius stainless steel fork once a year. I will go see an irrigation specialist too and hopefully next summer I can share my set up.
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