Oil for mosquito control

daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)March 31, 2011

I'm setting up a gravity fed drip system in a location without city or well water or electricity.

I have 4 55-gallon drums with closed tops. We can use cheese cloth to exclude mosquitos out of these drums. I also have a very large 100-200 gallon container that will be the main source for the irrigation. It has a large open top that will be expensive/difficult to cover.

I was thinking of putting a layer of oil on top of the water in the large tank. What type of oil is best?

Vegetable Oil?

Also since it is possible that all of the water could be drained sending the oil through the drip lines and onto the plants will vegetable on the soil be a problem?

Will the oil even work?

I'd also like to know about how long it will take before the oil degrades.

Thank you for yor help. If you need any more information let me know.

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lehua49

DLF,

There are pond mosquito control products out there (aquarium stores). I believe they contain methoprene. It last for 15-30 days and is in tablet form. I have also read that vegetable or olive oil can work but I believe that starts to get smelly over time. There are also mosquito fish if the container is big enough. The water has to be stagnant for seven days for the mosquito larvae water cycle to begin. If you will empty your tank irrigating before seven days and then refill then you don't need mosquito control or mosquito fish. How big an opening is your 200-gal tank? It that like four fifty-gal drum together. Just thinking out loud. Aloha

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 8:33PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Its hard to tell exactly how big the opening is. I'll measure it today. The Drum would be large enough for fish but if the irrigation empties it in a week that would be the end of the fish. I have enough water storage that all of the water probably will not empty in a week since the 55 gallon drums will be connected in series to the large drum. However, in a dry week the irrigation might empty all of the water storage. Since I only visit the garden 1 a week I can't refill it more often than that. If I add more water storage than maybe fsh will work

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 7:18AM
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twolips(z6AZ)

I would think that the oil would also clog up your irrigation system. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:54AM
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lehua49

DLF,

I agree with 2lips. I would establish a usage rate that uses all your water each week and you fill up the day you visit. If it rains and fills the barrels that's a bonus. If it rains, you may experience a small mosquito problem periodically but nothing significant. I would screen over the pond and and barrels to be sure no mosquitoes. This is a total hypothetical case but if you irrigate 3 time per week at 1 hr per cycle that makes 200 gal/3 hrs = 67 gal/hr. Using 67 drip heads equals 1 gal/hr for each head. This scenario will empty a full pond each week. GL JMHO

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:27PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

I was reading over my orginal post and I realized it was a little confusing. The large drub will be at the top of the hill connected to the 55 gallon drums next to it. I'm hoping to get a roof to collect some of the water to fill the drums. The rest will come from a large pond farther down the hill. The water will be pumped by hand into the large drum. The pond has a healthy population of feeder gold fish that control the mosquitos. However, since the large drum could breed mosquitos by itself I was looking for a cheap option to control mosquitos.

I gather that netting is the best option.

I'm still not sure though if we need any control or not. The irrigation system waters 440 SQF if all of the shutoff valves are opened. The emitters are 1/2 gallon per hour but that is at 20 PSI and the gravity system is much less. The drum is raised maybe a foot above the nearest bed and is about 4.5 ft tall. There is almost 6 ft of drop from the top of the hill 40 ft down to the lowest irrigated bed. Depending on how big the large drum actualy is I have somewhere between 370-460 gallons of storage.

If the plants need 1" of water a week from the irrigation then I'd use 228 gallons of water a week. If you assume that in the hottest part of the SE NY summer I'd need 2" of water a week I'd use 457.6 gallons of water. That would be cutting it close for fish in the drum. I'm hopping to get a few more 55 gallon drums in the future maybe then a fish in the large drum might work.

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:03AM
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lehua49

DLF,

Is this system installed and functioning? What is the dimensions of the large drum. Pumping by hand seems like serious exercise. What are the dimensions of the beds and differences in vertical height from large drum and fish pond?
How many emitters per bed? I am more interested in your systems demand than your storage capacity though and your success in using your system as you have described it. Aloha

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:24PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Hi, Let me try and describe the entire system.

It is not totaly installed yet. I've strted installing it but I still have a fair amount left. before this system I was watering once per week with a watering can. As you can probably imagine the plants did not like that. Particularly since the garden is located on a windy hill. I lost 50% of a large tomato yeild to cracking related problems as the result of uneven watering. A number of other crops were total failures and some like the corn did not have to much of a problem (not suprised given it is a c4 plant).

Now for the system.

On top of the hill, on a 1 ft Dirt mound and maybe cinder blocks is the large storage drum. A pvc bulkhead will be attached to this drum. Attached to the bullkehead is a 200 mesh y filter with a female hose adapter inlet and a male hose outlet. Attached to the filter is a 0 PSI hose end timer with a mesh filter on the inlet. Attached to the timer is a melanor automatic rain shutoff device. Attached to that is a 3/4" female hose adaptor with a 1/2" compression adaptor on the other end. Then there is a .700 OD 1/2" mainline running ~ 40ft across the top of the hill. There are three columns of terraced beds running paralel to the slope of the hill.

The column closet to the start of the system has 4 5X8 beds. The middle column has 4 5X8 beds and the far column has three 5X8 beds.

Each column will have a 1/2" mainline, attached to the 1/2" mailnie running across the hill with a tee connector, running one each side of th bed. The only exception will be the lowest bed in the farthest column which will only have a line on one side ( the far side) of the bed.

Spaced 1ft apart running across the long side of each bed perpindicular to the slope of the hill will be 1/4" drip tubing with inline 1/2 gallon per hour emitters (20PSI). That should be about 40 Emitters per bed. With 11 beds that is 440 emitters.

The fish pond (not sure how large exactly) is about a 10ft vertical drop from the top of the large tank.

Since the drop is about the same for the bottom bed I calculated That I would have 4.3 PSI at those emitters and 2.58 at the top most emitters when the drums are full. when they are almost empty I'll have 2.58 PSI at the bottom beds and about .43 PSI at the top beds.

On a sunny windy week with no rainfall at all I'm guessing the plants will need 2" of water since the normal recomendation it 1-2" of water per week. At .52 gallons of water per square foot with every inch of rain I calculated that over my 11 beds and 440 SQF that would be 228.8 Gallons of water a week per inch of rain. For 2" of rain that would be 457.6 gallons per week.

Summary
440 SQF
11 Beds
10 FT from top of drum to pond surface
12" spacing between emitters 12" spacing between lines 440 emitters?

4.3 max PSI .43 Min PSI each tube is connected to two mainlines.

Thanks for your help

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 9:58AM
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lehua49

DLF,

What no daylilies. A diagram would be very enlightening. The biggest concern I can glean from your treatise is that your mainline feeder system is too small for a very low pressure delivery system. You have tackled a large undertaking. Would you be interested in hearing about an alternate delivery system. In any case you have a great deal of trial an error ahead of you. Q=VA Aloha

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 9:06PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

This plan is based on memory alone so it might not be 100% correct. The fat lines with arrows are 1/2" mainline the thinner lines are 1/4" tubing. The circles are water drums. The brown area is unirrigated bed each square + 1 SQF

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 10:31PM
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