Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Need Drip Irrigation Input

Posted by Handsome54 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 31, 11 at 18:23

Kicking around the idea of purchasing drip irrigation for my 30'x 40' vegetable garden & I was hoping GW would chime in. If running T-Tape off the 1/2" mainline, how far apart should the T-Tape (row) lines be spaced. Info says the T-Tape will spread water 2' in diameter (below ground) in the proper soil, so I'm assuming I'd need a line every 2 feet or 20 lines for my 40' wide garden. Also, would these row lines have to be moved each time I till?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

You have to run your own test to determine what will work in your soil.

Where you want to grow, do this:
1. lay down the tape and run for 1 hour.
2/ stop for 1 hour
3. gently move the tape aside and dig a narrow trench across the wetted pattern.

How far sideways did it go?
How deep did it go?

Enough, or not?

If not,run another test, this time with the run-time 2 hours.
Repeat as above; dig; enough or not?.

Repeat with longer run-time, etc., until you get the results you need.

In my beds, I run my system 2 hours which holds everything in good condition for 5 to 7 days, depending upon the intervening weather and the plants' needs.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 31, 11 at 21:45

In sand, a single emitter spreads water a lot less than 2 feet. I would have a mixture of beds with 12" emitters and beds with 18" emitters (what I have). And yes, tilling and driplines do not mix. Basically, you put in a drip system when you are ready to go to no-till. Do not forget a valve at the lowest point to clear the lines in October.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

In the garden where I have driplines, I fork the soil rather than tilling it, but the issues are similar. The garden's organized in beds that are 3-4 feet wide and 20-30 feet long. When I'm ready to prepare one, I pull the dripline up to the top of the bed. It can then be forked (or tilled).

I have found that the line often gets tangled with the plants or covered with soil, especially where there are perennials. This can make it hard to check for leaks or to replace the line. You often also wind up moving it aside in sections for weeding, which then requires pulling the whole row tight again (and making sure the line hasn't ended up on top of or pushing aside any plants). Same thing for harvest.

So I think drip irrigation might be better-suited for plantings that are either widely spaced (like tomatoes and squash) or in straight rows with space between, so that you can run the line 6 inches on either side of the main stems.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

Thanks everyone for your help! With the info I'm reading here, I'm thinking drip irrigation may not be a viable option for my garden......... The problem I'm seeing is not being able to till without first moving the drip lines and in a garden 30' x 40' that would be a major pain.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

It's not really that big a hassle. You can take up 40 lengths of 30' dripline in about half an hour. If you till once or twice a year, it's not a big deal. Good luck whatever you decide!


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

I'd rather move the driplines when I turn the soil in fall, instead of standing there with a hose 4-6x/week.

Dan


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

click in the picture below to see how I setup mine. I have 4 GPH drippers goint to each plant root system. you can see how well plants are responding.

Behl's Garden


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

I am trying drip tape this year and my garden just happens to also be 30x40. I have 13 rows 30 feet long. I also covered the rows with plastic mulch. My soil is sand and I can run the drip all night long with no water running out from under the plastic. I believe this system has saved my garden this season due to the record heat and drought in our area. There is no way I could have kept this garden irrigated without the drip system. I want to till and grow a cover crop this winter so I also need to move the drip system. It was so easy to assemble that I plan to disassemble it for the winter. If you have the space you may be able to just drag the whole setup out of the way and then drag it back into place after tilling. I'm still learning but so far I am very pleased. Good luck.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

  • Posted by cozy 7 NE GA (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 1, 11 at 19:29

Not much input ( except that I am into it whole hawg next year) but a tip .... Watch for irrigation supplies on sale now.

About 3 weeks ago, while buying 500 ft of additional soaker hoses, I found 9 ( all they had left) 3/4 inch solenoid valves at the local Home Depot on closeout for $7 each. They had control transformers ( all the valves run off of 24 VAC) for $7.45.

They had controllers on sale too but I have other plans/PLCs to automate it.

Next year, I'm backing WAY off of my plantings, building a garden knox to keep the vermin out and going to a more controlled ( I hope) garden.

This year is the earliest that I reckon I have ever thought about "next year" but I'm tired. Failures galore here ... but "next year" LOL

Keep your eyes on the sales.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

OP here......

All this gives me food for thought........... Initially I felt drip irrigation might not be for me, now I'm not so sure! This is a project for next year, so I've got plenty of time to decide. Even buying prefab material, I'm only looking at around $175 & I've probably wasted that much in water this summer!


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

Well, it's a done deal! Received my drip kit from DripWorks today ($220, yikes!)....... Ordered an EZ Flo injector also. What fertilizer does everyone use in their injectors? Also, who buries their T-tape?


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

Handsome54 I use an injector I got from Home depot. To measure the amount I took two 35mm film canisters and taped them together and drilled them full of holes. I fill them up with Peter's 20-20-20 and put them in the injector and water as usual. Works like a charm.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

Novel idea thisisme! I'll have to give it a try once I'm up & running! Thanks for the tip!


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

I guess I should have mentioned. I used a 1/16th bit so the fertilizer would release over time instead of all at once. The canisters are always empty when I check them but I'm sure it probably takes 15-20 mins before the canisters are empty.


 o
RE: Need Drip Irrigation Input

If you want to till without moving the tape, bury the lines deep enough that you won't hit them. The underground drip I have seen runs on about 8 psi, so the pressure is pretty low, yet it doesn't have problems.

The other thing I've noticed with underground drip is that it can be difficult to get the water to the surface to germinate shallow seeds. You would want to plant directly over the buried lines, and run the water quite a while to get the water soaked up to the surface to germinate seeds if you don't have natural rainfall to get the job done. Else, on a garden use a sprinkler to get the surface wet and the seeds up.

Also with underground drip, you would water daily to replace the water that is consumed/lost, keeping the soil at the right moisture all the time rather than saturating the soil, then letting it dry out until the soil gets dry and the plants slow down. Having a timer set to run the water for half an hour or so daily--depending on plant water consumption--would be an easy way to keep the soil moist.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here