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Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

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Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/24/2013, 2:36 am

I went to my local big box store intending to replace my bubblers with drip line and the only 1/4" drip line they had was the one with the emitters spaced every 12", which is too far (I think). So I bought porous soaker hose, same stuff I used last year, and got one bed finished (3x12). The lines run the length of the box and are spaced 6" apart. As I suspected might happen, the pressure at the end furthest from the feed is much lower.

I'm wondering if I can run another 1/2" feed line to the other end of the box and plug the soaker hoses into that one too, so it's getting pressure from both ends instead of terminating at the end of each line. In other words, can I do this:

|-----------------|
|-----------------|
|-----------------|

Instead of this (the + being goof plugs that terminate the lines)?

|-----------------+
|-----------------+
|-----------------+

Has anyone tried this?

I will probably try doing this with one of the lines tomorrow morning, but figured I would ask first just in case someone wants to give me a reality check overnight. Smile
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Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Dadoo on 3/24/2013, 3:48 pm

Forking your supply line with soaker hoses in the middle will balance the pressure more evenly.
From personal experience I loop the supply line around the perimeter of each SFG box. I use a 'tee' connector to join the supply line and then add soaker hose vertically or horizontally to supply each square in the bed.
Let us know what happens.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/24/2013, 7:43 pm

Thanks, Dadoo.

This morning I connected one soaker at each end and it worked fine and did help equalize the pressure, so I went ahead and did both boxes. Works great and there's more than enough pressure to irrigate both boxes at the same time (though each can be shut off independently). Smile

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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Turan on 3/25/2013, 11:31 am

So you are making a continuous loop of soaker hose attached to the feed line? You put female connectors on each end of the hose and then put it on a Y that has the feed line hose?

Or are we talking a bout something totally different? :scratch:

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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Dadoo on 3/25/2013, 2:05 pm

I am making a continuous loop of supply line with soaker hose running across the planting squares.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  yolos on 3/25/2013, 7:32 pm

What do you mean by a supply line. Is this a garden hose or one of those black plastic type hoses used for drip irrigation. And is your soaker hose one of those hoses that allows water to gently drip out all along the hose or is the soaker hose one of those hoses that drip every 8 to 12 inches.

Last year I used a soaker hose connected to three beds. but water was running all over the pathways between the beds. I have been thinking about running some other type of hose between the beds in the paths and soaker hoses inside the beds. So I am interested in exactly what you mean.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  SherrieLou on 3/25/2013, 8:01 pm

@Dadoo wrote:I am making a continuous loop of supply line with soaker hose running across the planting squares.
Dadoo,
Could you post a picture to show how you place your lines? Thanks!
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Dadoo on 3/26/2013, 12:10 am

I can when the snow melts from my beds.

The soaker hose is hose that lets water gently drip from the entire hose. I cut it to length and fasten it to the 1/2 inch irrigation tubing with proper fittings.
1/2 inch irrigation tubing delivers the water from the supply spigot to each bed. This is the tubing that I ring each bed with.
There is 1/2 inch plastic irrigation line that has 6,12 or 18 inch drip outlets built in.
Add to the confusion... also available are 1/4 inch versions of soaker, supply and interval drip tubing along with a myriad of drip fittings to chose from if one likes.

When planning to install irrigation into a bed, I try to think of at least 2 doable plans and then go to the local Lowe's to see if the parts exist and are cost effective.
I tend to be that old guy staring at the fittings and tubing for 10 minutes as I try to work out the plan I drew up.
I use an irrigation system on my permanent beds.

Sometimes I use Mel's suggestion of having a pail of sun warmed water available because it the most effective way.
To sum it up: I've had some spectacularly creative ideas for my gardens only to see reality and cost effectiveness grind them into dust... (Which I add to my compost heap BTW).
If this helps good. If not... I apologize.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/26/2013, 12:39 am

I started trying to describe my system and realized how confusing it would be to someone who can't see it, so I'll try to take a video and post it tomorrow. Smile

As Dadoo said there are different sizes of components, and I use a 1/2" feeder line (tube) that runs to the garden from the hose faucet, and then the irrigation in the beds hooks up to the 1/2" feed. The lines across the box doing the actual irrigation are 1/4" porous soaker tubing. This is day 2 with the system now and it's working really well - I'm very happy with the coverage, there are no places that I feel aren't getting some moisture and every plant is at most a couple of inches from a soaker line.

This is, no kidding, the 4th irrigation setup I've done. I started with a PVC grid, then moved to soaker tubing every 12", then this year when I rebuilt my boxes I did bubblers throughout the boxes, and now this. Pretty sure this is the last time I'll have to do it though. Smile

Anyone need some bubblers... ?
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Windsor.Parker on 3/26/2013, 12:48 am

@Coelli wrote:
Anyone need some bubblers... ?
Maybe? SOS
I give up!
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/26/2013, 12:57 am

@Windsor.Parker wrote:
@Coelli wrote:
Anyone need some bubblers... ?
Maybe? SOS
I give up!

I was mostly kidding - you don't want them for your SFG bed. You need too many of them! I needed something like 50 between my two boxes, and then I couldn't run the water to both boxes at once because there wasn't enough pressure. Soaker hoses/tubing work MUCH MUCH better. Less water, better coverage. Smile
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  TejasTerry on 3/26/2013, 10:29 am

I re-designed my drip this year too. I seem to do better with 1/4 inch inline drip, than the bubblers, so took all those out. Lowe's only has inline drip that was spaced at every 12 inches, so I went with that. Then I found out www.dripworks.com has the inline drip that is every 6 inches. So I will probably be ordering that and redoing it yet again !.. They actually have 6", 9", and 12".

Even at every 12 inches, I leave it on for about 75 minutes, and it spreads out pretty far. My plants are doing well with it...

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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/26/2013, 12:11 pm

Here's a video of how I have it all hooked up. I think this system's going to be a keeper. Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArxCtcCbQdA
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Hoggar on 3/26/2013, 12:17 pm

Here is the thread on how my system works.

PVC Watering Grid How to.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/26/2013, 12:19 pm

@Hoggar wrote:Here is the thread on how my system works.

PVC Watering Grid How to.

Hoggar, we loved the idea of the PVC grid but I just could not get even pressure throughout it. Sad I really liked how it looked and how it was supposed to work in principle! It wound up becoming a play sprinkler for my daughter and her friends on hot summer days on the patio. Very Happy
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Turan on 3/26/2013, 12:24 pm

@Coelli wrote:Here's a video of how I have it all hooked up. I think this system's going to be a keeper. Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArxCtcCbQdA

Yup, that makes sense. Very clever.....

I can see how that could work with other applications of soaker hoses as well....

Thanks

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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Hoggar on 3/26/2013, 12:41 pm

I ended up drilling holes instead of using the micro heads I used the smallest drill bit I had then I adjusted the pressure to each grid using brass manifolds Like this.
I connect the timer described in my how to thread to one of these then run short hoses from it to each grid and use the valves to control the pressure. I have however out grown this system and will be building a new control system as I now have 5 beds and several pots this year. I haven't worked out the details yet but once I get my new boxes finished I will figure out the plumbing.
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Irrigation for my Raised beds

Post  grdngrl1960 on 3/27/2013, 12:41 pm

I have been using the square foot gardening method for years and have been struggling with how to adequately water. Last year I found this site Drip Depot. They have kits designed just for this and a ton of great information and videos. I have converted all of my beds to this and it is working great.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  HillbillyBob on 3/27/2013, 1:55 pm

Dripworks.com has every thing you'll need but sprinklerwarehouse.com is much cheaper in cost
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Pepper on 3/27/2013, 2:13 pm

glad you\'re here to the forum grdngrl1960
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/27/2013, 3:15 pm

sprinklerwarehouse.com is where I purchased my irrigation materials. They are actually just down the road from me. I went in and they helped me get everything I needed. I bet if you call they can help you place your order.

I purchased a 100ft roll or both 1/2" main line and 1/4" drip line in 6inch spacing. If anyone is interested I can sell you some it much smaller then 100 ft increments.
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Irrigation for my Raised beds

Post  GreenGene on 3/27/2013, 10:27 pm

I recently completed my table top beds and drip irrigation system with a single line of 1/2 gph emitters on 6" centers per foot. I originally watered for 15 minutes once per day per Dripworks recommendation. But since my beds are on blocks, I noticed that after 7 to 8 minutes, they began draining quite a bit. So I reduced the water-on interval to 8 minutes and now the timer closes the valve just as they begin to drain.

Now that plants have started growing, I noticed that the closer a plant is to an emitter, the better it seems to thrive. Crops with multiple plants/sqft and especially those with 16 plants/sqft (carrot, scallion) are more of a challenge than a sqft containing a single plant with an emitter guaranteed nearby. So, I am currently in the process of beefing up the irrigation system by adding more drip line and micro valves for control with with the intent of getting most plants as close to an emitter as I can. Then, I may be able to reduce the watering interval again, possibly to 5 or 6 minutes or so, but at least twice per day.

This is the math I used. Since each plant effectively has its own emitter, I am expirementing between the 4 and 8 minute watering interval range. Most likely will 'ramp up' to 8min (or more) as things grow in the summer heat.

Garden Irrigation Plant/emitter irrigation
Per hour 328.0gal 0.5gal = 2.000 quarts
Per 15min 82.0gal 0.125gal = 1.000 pint
Per 8min 43.7gal 0.0625gal = 1.000 cup
Per 4min 21.9gal 0.03125gal = 0.500 cup
Per 1min 5.5gal 0.008333333gal = 1.000 oz

Gene
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  No_Such_Reality on 3/27/2013, 10:30 pm

I've had absolutely horrid results with the micro-soaker hoses. If you're in a high heat environment that doesn't get rain regularly, like SoCal, they lead to massive dry spots that spread and the soaker drip basically creates a wet 'tunnel' vertically through the mel's mix to leak right out.

Remember once the peat in the mel's mix gets dry it starts to act like a water repellent.

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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  Coelli on 3/27/2013, 10:37 pm

@No_Such_Reality wrote:I've had absolutely horrid results with the micro-soaker hoses. If you're in a high heat environment that doesn't get rain regularly, like SoCal, they lead to massive dry spots that spread and the soaker drip basically creates a wet 'tunnel' vertically through the mel's mix to leak right out.

Remember once the peat in the mel's mix gets dry it starts to act like a water repellent.

Yes, that's what happened to me last year when I ran the lines every 12". This year, I have them every 6 inches including along the edges of the box and the coverage is much better - no dry spots between lines, and all of the plants are in close proximity to a hose, unlike last year. We'll see what happens, but I'm pretty confident that this will do it even when the weather gets crazy.
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Re: Drip irrigation question - porous soaker hose

Post  No_Such_Reality on 3/27/2013, 10:40 pm

You just need to stay in front of it. I figured I'd need about every 4 inches.

I adapted a PVC setup last year and do periodic flooding now. It seems to work really well.


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