Best way to irrigate rows of closely spaced plants

desirae1983March 17, 2014

Hi all! Haven't come on here for help in awhile but now I'm desperate. I have a drip system installed in my garden. For individual plants like squashes and tomatoes, I have mounds with drip heads off 1/4 inch tubing. This works great for me.

However, the problem is where I have things planted in rows. This includes beets, carrots, radishes, beans, onions, etc. Last year I used microsprayers and felt like it was a huge waste of water because it didn't just direct the into the furrows on the tops of the rows. Also, I had a ton of weeds in between rows. (Granted I did not mulch. This year I have newspaper with straw on either side of and in between the rows). This year, I switched out ALL the microsprayers for soaker hose tubing. BIG MISTAKE!! It's so inconsistent! Some rows put out a good amount of water, others barely put out any. I replaced them a second time with a new roll, and same inconsistency. Switching "good" ones with "bad" ones gives the same results, so I know it's the hose itself, not the pressure or tubing it's coming off of.

My question is: What do you guys recommend as being the best/most efficient way to water these rows of veggies? My next consideration was drip tape with 6" spacing for emitters, however, I'm not sure that would work for the beets, radishes, carrots, where the initial spacing is so much closer than that. The only other thing I can think of is switching back to microsprayers like I had initially.

Thanks guys!

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Here is my $0.02. Go with the t-tape. The important thing is the water plume in the soil moving to roots of the plants. The spacing is not as important as how long you have to irrigate. If your soil is porous (sand) drip is not the best route. The 6" spacing will give you faster movement of water to the plant roots(more flow rate per foot). Trial and error timing of irrigation to make sure the soil is saturated to the right depth for root growth will take some time to perfect. Plants will need different depths as the roots grow, therefore more irrigation time. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 9:52PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I space all my rows (raised) 3 feet apart. I flatten the top to about a 1' wide top for radishes, lettuce, carrots, spinach, beets, and onions.

My drip emitters are 1' apart for the tubing I use for these crops. I run the tubing down the center of the row, using a hoe to create a shallow furrow to contain the tube. I plant down each side of the tubing, on top of the flat-top raised row.

The water spreads out from the tube and waters all the plants nicely. Sometimes i have to do a little dirt work to patch up a levee break, but I do not waste water by watering between rows.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:58PM
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