Drip Irrigation?

austintexaszone8May 3, 2010

I'm doing square foot gardening. Everything is going great!

I have been using two black 5 gallon buckets to hold water for 24 hours before hand watering my 4 SFG beds.

I'm going though about 3 gallons every day.

I've was at Harbor Freight and I saw a drip irrigation system for less than $10, next to that a water timer. Man I am tempted by this.

The only issue is that everything I have read, including the SFG book says you need to let your water sit for at least 24 hours to warm up and to purge of chlorine.

How big of a deal is this? Anyone have any experience with using a simple water timer and some DI lines for a veggie patch?

Thanks in advance!

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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Do it all the time.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:54PM
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I wouldn't worry about it.

Last year I used tap water for all of my gardens with zero ill effects. You also have to consider that most folks do this - and water their indoor plants using this method (without holding it overnight).

Rain water definitely is better for plants because it doesn't contain any chemicals, but waiting to water your plants is a step I don't believe is necessary.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:54PM
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Thank you for your replies!

I am a fan bsntech, I can't wait to see the results from all the improvements you have made.

When I own a house I hope to setup a system like yours.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 3:37PM
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Thanks, Austin.

I just started another project today - not looking forward to it really.

The wife wants a place to put flowers and such. So I'm gonna have to excavate a 2-foot wide area of Zoysia grass along our full front yard along the road. Then I'll dig about six - eight inches in front of the area where the grass comes up against the area and make some wooden forms to make a concrete edger - that way I can guarantee the grass won't grow in. Then filling the area up.

We got a peony plant from the family over the weekend and I split it in two - and so we'll have those along with daffodils, tulips, and a few others. The goal is to plant items that don't require much maintenance - and will have a staggered bloom time.

I think all of the projects for the actual veggie garden/rain barrel system is fully done.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:43PM
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I set up a drip irrigation system for my beds around the house a few years ago, and what I found was that I got slack. (Yeah, I'm a lazy slug.) If it was a tad too hot or if I was a tad too tired I said to myself "well, they'll be watered..." Which meant that too many weeds got too good a start, and I missed pest problems. I've decided to keep the system in the front, but as far as the back yard where the veggies and herbs are I've done away with it in favor of hand watering. I've always just used the hose and the water here (which I won't drink without filtering it) has produced lush, happy plants if I'm there to keep the weeds at bay.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:52PM
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I set one up last year on a whim. I have a bunch of different trees and then a vegetable garden along with some containers for tomatoes and corn. It has really been a blessing. It was a Hassle setting up, I buried over 100 ft of 1/2" tubing, but the rest was easy. About the weeds, last year I did have a few more, but this year, I put down some garden cloth to prevent weeds. I live in Florida so my faucet water is always warm, but it is also full of chlorine, etc and is very hard. I try to counteract that by mixing a tbs of vinegar with water and hand water 1x a week. I also put down peat, compost, Fertilize with urea or ammonium sulfate quarterly and top with pine fines. if it has been raining, I set the delay on the timer. I have found that my vegetables and fruits are consistantly larger and they produce more. Let's face it, life gets in the way sometimes, and you won't be able to water as much as you should If you do it manually.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 1:03AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Use a filter to keep the drip fixtures from getting clogged (a filter is part of a standard setup), but otherwise don't worry it. It's the same chlorine that would come out of a sprinkler or hose.

I trenched a water line out to the garden, with a hose bib at the fence, but haven't buried any of the drip mainline.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:18AM
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Thanks you for the info. I'll be watching the blog bsntech!

One thing I did pickup at Harbor Freight (love that store) was a 3-in-1 moisture, ph, light meter. $7! It's been really interesting to see where the water is in my 4 SFG setups. Some sections are roughly the same, while some other sections are vastly different from square to square.

Being that I'm new to this, somewhat anal, and an engineer, I have arranged all my plants in a way to maximize access to the sun and access to companion plants. I have plants with different water requirements around each other. For instance, I have basil, marigold, spinach on the south side of tomatoes. If I setup an irrigation system, how would I manage h20 for deep-infrequent and slow-steady plants that are right next to each other? or is this also not something to worry about?

Thanks again you guys, I'm learning so much from the threads here. I have about 50 tomato juliet flowers with fruit starting to poke out and I am beyond thrilled.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:15AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Pretty much all plants are deep-infrequent. The only exceptions are brand-new transplants and seedlings, which may require a little extra H2O while they're getting established, and desert or water-garden plants, which is not what you have.

Putting short plants to the south of tall ones, and allowing adequate spacing etc., aren't excessively fussy! They're things all gardeners think about, and they can make a big difference in your garden's success. Sounds like you're off to a great start!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:38AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

After trying the fancy drip irrigation purchased from DripWorks, a great place if you want to go that route, I discovered that my layout the next year wouldn't fit the one I had the year before since I alternated crops in the beds.

So now I've saved the fittings to use on a regular hose (I had plenty of the right size) and use soaker hoses instead. I really like them a lot better.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:17AM
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bluebirdie(Z8 SF E Bay)

Dripping system is my preferred irrigation for veggies for years. But I wonder how your spinach will hold up in your summer when your toms and basil need the irrigation most. Maybe you can hand water the spinach for a few more weeks, then use all drips once the spinach season is over.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 4:05PM
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