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automatic watering

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automatic watering

Post  bonniesherbals on 7/1/2010, 5:15 pm

I'm thinking that automatic watering might be a really good thing, what kind of hoses are you all using for it I'm guessing that you are using soaker hoses, but what kind and are there connectors so that you can go inbetween the boxes and connect them all?

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Jay Bird on 7/1/2010, 5:31 pm

Take a look at dripirrigation.com lowes and home depot also carry they same product but its a wee cheaper online by volume

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Megan on 7/1/2010, 6:03 pm

YES!

I am using "Mister Landscaper" from Lowes. It was cheap (about $32 for the basic kit), easy to install, and it works well. Very happy with it. It is more of a mister than a sprinkler, really.

The basic kit was enough for me to get from the hose bib and around the outside of two SFGs 8x4 and 9x3. I did buy 6 additional elbows to keep the tubing tight to the boxes in the layout I had, and I also got a "Y" diverter to go between the hose bib and this system to keep my regular hose connected.

The basic kit is called a Micro Sprinkler Starter Kit. There are two of them and the only difference is the color of the stakes and 1/4" vinyl tubing (tan or green). The stakes have a max flow rate of 10 gallons per hour; there is a valve on each stake you can twist to shut it off or regulate it down. It has 50 feet of 1/2" line, 5 stake assemblies, assorted fittings (including a backflow valve) and a number of extra heads that spray in various patterns. Also one 1/2" tee and a 1/2" coupling and two end fittings, plus a punch tool to connect things and some 'goof plugs' to plug holes you make by accident or move a stake to a different location on the line.
Green: MLK-81, Lowes Item #71218
Tan: MLK-82T, Lowes Item #248982

There is a timer sold separately (Lowes item #62056). I didn't get one, but my friend did.

It took me a little while to get my head around all the different parts, but once I did it was very easy. Only tool you need is a pair of scissors to cut the tubing, though I did have to apply elbow grease a few times. You can bury the line or not.

I ended up extending the system:
- the 1/4" tubing on the stakes wasn't quite long enough for what I wanted to do
- add a dripper line for my existing landscaping (1/2" tubing and dripper heads)
- added number of additional drippers for container herbs and veggies (1/4" tubing and dripper stakes)
I went in with a friend on the additional tubing. The drippers -- those take some study and you might need to buy a flow regulator. Some are fixed rate, others are adjustable. I got the adjustable type which go from 1 to 10 gph.

They do sell true drip line that has a dripper every 12", too.

And no, they didn't pay me to say that! (They should!)


Last edited by Megan on 7/1/2010, 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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dripworks

Post  junequilt on 7/1/2010, 6:10 pm

One of our other forum members swears by Dripworks. http://www.dripworksusa.com/

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Weed 'em and Reap on 7/1/2010, 6:11 pm

I am also very interested in this. Can someone post pictures?

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Megan on 7/1/2010, 6:14 pm

I'd be happy to. My main line is mostly buried under the mulch but I'll see what I can do. It is a lot of fun to play with, though... kinda like tinkertoys Smile

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Weed 'em and Reap on 7/1/2010, 6:30 pm

Hey, look what I found!
Videos about the Mister Landscaper! Very informative!
http://www.maxijet.com/video_page/index.html
It'd still be nice to see pictures of them in a real SFG, though. :-)

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Megan on 7/1/2010, 6:45 pm

Try http://www.misterlandscaper.com, too! Working on uploading photos now.

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Megan on 7/1/2010, 7:48 pm

Here's my watering system.

Below are some leftover pieces. Not all are part of the starter kit. Clockwise from the left, sorta: 1/2" line, 1/4" line, various fittings in packages, 1 stake dripper and 2 stake mister/sprinklers, stake extensions. In the middle are some extra sprayer heads, the hole punch and goof plugs.


Closeup of one of the stakes. There is a black collar that is ziptied to the stake label when you buy it. DO NOT LOSE THIS. It does not screw on, it just fits on. I don't think you can get them separately (though I bet their customer service might help you.) You can probably put a sprinkler head in without it, but it's like a washer... the head would be difficult to get off again, I think. (The stakes I have planted in the garden are tan with green 1/4" tubing. This is not standard. I bought some 1/4" line without realizing there were two starter kits.... and the store I bought from had the tan starter package but they only sold extra 1/4" line in green... grrr! So when I lengthened the lines (standard stake line is 27") I used the green.)


Hose attachment. Sunlight is too bright, but there is a tee in the shadow against the foundation.


Stake drippers.


Dripper head (stake is buried)


Wish I could rotate this picture. It shows the 1/2" line going inside a section of hard plastic tubing (bought separately). I did this because the 1/2" line goes across a place I walk on all the time. Also, I forgot to say I also use Earth Staples to anchor 1/2" line in place. You need to buy those separately if you want them.

Also, it is a little hard to see but there is a tee in the 1/4" (green) line that splits it so one dripper runs to the strawberry in the white pot, and another runs to the terra cotta strawberry jar.


The other end of the hard plastic tubing... there is a 90-degree elbow here after the 1/2" tubing emerges, and several Earth Staples. (I dug this up so it could be seen; normally it is all covered by the mulch.) There is also a stake plugged in against the landscaping timber here, with the 1/4" line leading away toward the stake.


Wider view. That stake is set up with a 90-deg corner spray head. (There are a couple versions of those; this one reaches 4-5 feet.)


Other side of same SFG. This stake has an extension on it, and a 320-degree fan spray head on it. It tosses out 5-6 feet.


Stake in the corn with another spinner head. Connection unburied.



Another spinner head in with the cukes, watermelon, amaranth, kohlrabi, and peas.


A second walkway between the SFGs where I used the protective tubing. Unburied.


Dripper heads inserted directly into 1/2" line in my landscaping. @Debs - there's my lavender! Smile


In action.



Three drippers running in this pic below.


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Re: automatic watering

Post  Weed 'em and Reap on 7/1/2010, 8:30 pm

Wow, Megan, you are awesome.
Thank you so much for taking and posting those pictures!
I think I am sold on the Mister Sprinkler. I checked Lowe's website and they have them in stock at the store down the street... now I just have to convince hubby.
:-)
Thanks again! You win the awesome award!

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Megan on 7/1/2010, 8:34 pm

@Weed 'em and Reap wrote:Wow, Megan, you are awesome.
Thank you so much for taking and posting those pictures!
I think I am sold on the Mister Sprinkler. I checked Lowe's website and they have them in stock at the store down the street... now I just have to convince hubby.
:-)
Thanks again! You win the awesome award!

Very Happy Very welcome! If you need help with it, just PM or email me. My friend put theirs in first and it was helpful to both of us to talk about it. I suggest you do what I did... draw your layout on paper first, and figure out how best to minimize the 1/2" line. You get 50 feet with the starter kit. I went through a number of iterations before I got my final install plan. Since my garden is in my front yard, I had to be careful to keep the lines neat and tight up against the boxes and that meant more elbows, etc.... if you have a backyard it might not matter so much to you.

I want to reiterate I got extra 1/4" line to extend the stake lines on everything. A 100-ft box is about $15 if I remember right. I made them all about 4 feet long so I could reach clear across a box if I needed to.

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Soaker watering

Post  barmstr on 9/15/2010, 4:52 pm

In Mell's latest book (pg 141), he said if you use the drip system, use the soaker tubes that works with the drip system. Have a one about every 6 inches. What you have to do is find what works best for you. I use 2 gallon per hour soaker ends and also use some that are variable from one gallon to 10 gallons per hour. Next year, I'm going to try the soaker tubes on one of the boxes.

Do we hear the veggies talking yet?
Bruce

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Squat_Johnson on 9/15/2010, 5:46 pm

I have had good luck with soaker hoses. My three boxes are 4' x 24'. I have a 75' soaker that runs up, back, and up. I have regular water hose that connects from a 4 way splitter at the source. I have them underground, to prevent fungal problems.

It works great after plants are established. When they are little, I spray them with a water hose.

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Re: automatic watering

Post  Megan on 9/15/2010, 7:37 pm

An update: I split cost of that 1/4" line with a friend, and ended up using not a whole lot of it, but what I did use was very helpful. I've toyed with the idea of buying a timer next year, but I think I'll probably pass. I like the "visiting time" that turning on and off gives me, plus I do vary timing quite a bit. (We don't travel, but if we did, I'm sure I'd get a timer.)

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Re: automatic watering

Post  acara on 9/15/2010, 9:55 pm

I use the DIG irrigation system on everything in my yard. The SFG is alll rigged up with 2 GPH drippers, but I use various miisters, sprayers, sprinklers & flag drippers with my other plants.

Here is the SFG Garden (Ran the 1/2" main line internal to the box before I planted):



I also have both of my main feeder lines hooked to automatic timers with zone programing. I can water on different days, at different times and in different locations (4 programable areas per manifold.

Manifold is on left hand side of picture;




It's an absolute godsend for those late days at work when I dont get time to water, and for when I travel on business.

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Re: automatic watering

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