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Need watering system suggestions

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Need watering system suggestions

Post  CiderSapling on 1/27/2013, 1:17 pm

I've been reading about gravity systems, low flow systems, rain barrels, buckets, pvc, etc! I'm very overwhelmed by everything. So I was hoping some of you might have the experience needed to offer me some advice. Thanks in advance.

We'll be starting our second year as a community garden this Spring. We currently have nine raised beds (varying between 4'x4', 2'x10', and 2'x12') and six households gardening in our lot. We will be adding 3 more raised beds and one more household this Spring. Overall, it was a good year. But the weather (severe heat and drought) made the garden very intensive and limited our success.

We don't have a water source in the garden lot and cannot afford to install one. We managed water last year by dragging a hose across an alleyway which runs off my water. We aren't metered, so there was no additional expense. We tried to help each other out with watering, and at times even ran a large range sprinkler over everything. But everyone is looking for a better watering system. The sprinkler wastes a lot of water, and encourages fungus growth.

The original garden plans utilize water storage systems that can be dipped out of for hand watering. But we have an opportunity to apply for a grant that can help us buy irrigation systems. The question is, what's the best solution for us? The factors include the expense of the system, sustainability, ease of installation and maintenance, and use rates, and space needed for the system. The beds are all spaced 3 ft apart and we are all reluctant to lose too much space in the beds - so simply installing large rain barrels for each row of beds isn't practical for space purpose.

Based on hours of reading, I think the most effective approach would be a bucket drip system. I've seen different versions of a large bucket with drip irrigation. This would be helpful, as the buckets are small enough to install per planter box. Does anyone have experience with using flexible piping for this, instead of PVC? One of my concerns is flow rate. If I fill the bucket and within a minute it's empty again, I haven't really helped myself in how often I have to drag water to the bucket. Maybe it would be helpful to use a soaker hose instead of tubing?

There are a lot of other options out there, I know. What would you suggest?
Thanks.
Beth M
LaSalle Park Community Garden
(zone 6a)
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CiderSapling

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Re: Need watering system suggestions

Post  Lindacol on 1/27/2013, 3:29 pm

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