drip irrigation / zones / toggle/latching valves

vjeko(Croatia, 9)June 21, 2013

Excuse the long message �" hopefully someone has the patience to read and comment/answer ;)

I think I may be complicating
things too much �" can someone help me out ;) - hopefully
I can further reduce number of zones

My initial drip irrigation setup around the house had one zone and it was better than watering by hand for 3 hrs but it just didn't have the control necessary for the water needs of the different plants (at least that is what I thought). I am using
1/2" hose with integrated drippers and 1/2" hose with inserted drippers (drippers are 2l/hr). I am getting a water flow of
approx 1600l / hr at the tap.

Now, I would like to improve the system and automate it including remote control, either with 24V valves or solar/battery powered toggle/latching valves to avoid the wiring. For the solar/battery powered alternative, I was thinking of using some open source electronics like "Open Sprinkler" and Orbit or Rainbird valves.

Trying to group the plants into zones seems difficult to me as different types of plants are mixed all around the house. Here is my attempt at trying to group them �" plan is attached.

Maybe someone could comment on whether I could further reduce the number of zones / what could I further group together ( & what do I need to do regarding number of emitters/tubing etc. to be able to have the plants in one group) ?

Initial thoughts about zone breakdown (electric valves would be at (A) water location).
ZONE 1 �" vegetable garden raised beds + strawberries
ý tubing without drippers to raised beds
4 tails of ý in. Tubing with integrated emitters in raised beds
ý in. Tubing with integrated emitters �" 2 rows 40 cm spacing for strawberries

ZONE 2 �" grapevine �" 1 row of ý in. Tubing with inserted emitters (2 per plant
Spaced 40cm from plant)

ZONE 3 �" ground cover on all 4 sides of house including laurel
Winding ý in. Tubing with integrated emitters 40cm between
wind in tube.

ZONE 4 �" citrus + fruit trees
ý in. Tubing with integrated emitters �" semi loop around base of tree

ZONE 5 �" kiwi
ý in. Tubing with integrated emitters �" 2 rows 40 cm spacing

ZONE 6 - berries
ý in. Tubing with integrated emitters �" 2 rows 40 cm spacing

In case I was using solar/battery powered valves which toggle/latch i.e. once turned on, don't turn off if there's no power
Could I install one 24V valve, filter and pressure regulator (which can always ;) be switched off)
as source of water to the toggle/latching solar/battery operated valves ?
Is the same done for an all 24 V valve system i.e. one filter/regulator going
Into each valve ?

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vjeko(Croatia, 9)

Two things I forgot to ask :
(a)for the vegetable garden, I understand that when planting from seeds, fine spray is better than dripper (will make dripper hose removable) - what components would you suggest for this purpose ?

(b)On the diagram you see "grass" - this is only a narrow path
until the grill area - can some small area micro sprinklers be used ?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 3:50PM
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In my humble opinion, your description is too complex and I would need to know the pressure and flow of your water source, take soil tests of your growing areas and do a profession take-off at the site to give you any meaningful help. You are asking for a professional quality opinion which would take extensive effort and calculations, so I suggest you hire a local landscape/irrigation professional to visit the site and he/she can do the appropriate tests of the water source and soil that would best suit your needs, budget and make your request a success. They would also guarantee their work. JMHO and GL Aloha

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 12:01AM
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vjeko(Croatia, 9)

Unfortunately the money situation is such that I'm stuck doing this on my own.

What difference would the pressure and flow of water have on grouping plants ? I'm no irrigation specialist but my logic tells me that once you have grouped your plants and/or established a drip scenario which
could cover certain plants, then you need to know whether the water supply will allow it without breakdown into more zones - or have I missed something obvious ;) ?

What I'm after is just a comment on whether my grouping of plants (which by default I made into separate zones) could
be reduced i.e. are plants from one or more of those zones compatible in their water cycles to be joined into a bigger group / zone if the water supply allows it ?

I had a few postings in this forum before about my concern about which plants could be grouped but the answers implied that you could water anything if the supply was there.

As far as I understand fruit trees, citrus trees like deep watering - eg once a week. Vegetables every day or once every two days and so on. Which plants would you definitely put on a separate zone just because their watering needs
are not compatible with others (forgetting about water supply for a start) ?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 3:09AM
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You may find more horticultural practices water demands in the specific forums for the plants you have. Once you have that information, this forum can help with setting up your controller or how many zones needed to accomplish that. Yes for planning purposes you need water pressure, water flow rate and soil type to do a design or verify a design but trial and error can work as well as long as your system has capacity and flexibility since the demand of plants change with their life cycle. In summary, I think your are asking for more than this forum can recommend. You need to ask other forums for info and then this forum can make recommend. You need to do most of the research. If others have a different opinion or more information please join in. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 11:02PM
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