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Watering options

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Watering options

Post  happytheman on 7/23/2010, 11:27 am

Suggestions or pros and cons to using "drip" irrigation hose vs. traditional above ground watering with hose. And if you do use drip which hose? Soaker or one that has 6", 12" hole spacing? And a follow up to that, do you bury it? or simple lay in beside plants / lightly cover with mulch?
Thanks for tips, it's been a very hot summer here where I live with little rain (occasional afternoon thundershowers).

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Re: Watering options

Post  Squat_Johnson on 7/23/2010, 12:04 pm

I use buried soaker hoses, and have had good luck with them. If it's a dry week, I will water twice for 45min-1hr. Plants without deep roots (lettuce) get a manual spray with the hose.

I run them down, up and back down through my 4' x 24' beds. A 75' soaker goes up and back under the three "long pieces" of my square foot grid (if that makes sense). I cut pieces of hose to length and add the replacement male/female ends to feed the soakers.

Last year I just put them under the grid, and let it seep between squares. I decided to bury it this year (3" down).
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Re: Watering options

Post  chocolatepop on 7/23/2010, 12:31 pm

some of my garden has a soaker hose on a time, the rest has actual drip irrigation on a timer. Neither is buried. The soaker hoses were from home depot and the drip irrigation (rainbird i believe) was from menards, but i think they have some stuf at home dept and suck.

I LOVE it.... I mean it cost some of course, but the time saved and I'm hoping to avoide powdery mildew and other similar over headwatering issues.
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Re: Watering options

Post  jenjehle on 7/23/2010, 1:29 pm

I bought a black soaker hose at Menards and it's tore in half! When it bent, it got weak in that spot and just broke apart! Only used it once. I might take it back, if I get the time one of these days.

For now, I just water by hand, with watering can or sprayer hose, down low on the roots only. I never, ever spray from overhead. Esp not after last years Powdery Mildew outbreak from watering overhead, in the evening!! tisk tisk!
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Re: Watering options

Post  Megan on 7/24/2010, 9:06 am

I put in a watering system this spring. It mists around my SFGs, and does a sort of drip in my landscaping beds and containers. I've been really happy with it. *knock on wood* no sign of mildew yet.
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Drip irrigation

Post  SQFTBIX on 7/24/2010, 8:06 pm

Drip irrigation systems can be tricky. It really depends on the system and your bed set up. I have tried several systems but none have worked for my 4 4x4 beds. I prefer hand watering or by the end of a hose when pressed for time. The problem has always been uneven flow through the system. Some parts get too much and some don't get enough. Never have been pleased. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Watering options

Post  happytheman on 7/24/2010, 8:16 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Think I'll experiment with some of them and see what results I get. I like a lot of folks simply drag out the hose and use an extension wand. Then water each plant / section individually. Just looking for other options that could either save water / time or do a better job than I am currently doing with the dry conditions we are experiencing. Right now I tend to water either early in the AM 6-7 or evening prior to dark 7-8.

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Re: Watering options

Post  Megan on 7/24/2010, 8:32 pm

With all the heat, I am watering twice a day... early in the morning right before I go to work, and right after I get home. About 20-30 mins each time, right now with all the heat... before it got bad about 10-15 mins every other day seemed to be fine, if it was dry.
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Re: Watering options

Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/25/2010, 9:23 am

I've not used drip or soaker hoses with the raised SFG. I used to with the in-ground SFG, but always had spotty results -- some parts getting too much and some not enough. For now, I water by a sprinkler wand in the morning, soaking the foliage well, and in the evening with a bucket and dipper to avoid getting the foliage wet. Both times take around 15 minutes (8 beds ranging in size from 4x4 to 4x12) and it's a good time to see what's happening to the plants. The only downside is if I leave for a couple of days I have to hire someone to water for me. I'm seriously considering the weeping kind of soaker hoses for next year, at least on the squash and tomatoes which need more water.

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Re: Watering options

Post  akameswaran on 9/11/2010, 11:55 am

I installed a drip/soaker system for the boxes I use. They are oddly sized at 3x6. I used underground 1/2 tubing with spouts and valves coming up - so I can adjust the relative amount of water at each box.

I started out with the 6" spaced emmitter tubing, but in the end switched to a 1/4 porous soaker style tubing. It mostly drips, but does create a fine mist as well (Which comes in handy when it's 100 at noon) I've also tried the microsprinklers, but they're just too much trouble. I may attach one or two to the end of a tube (where my maters will be) next year, but I'm not sure if that will work well.

The biggest problem I have, is that the sides of the boxes don't quite get enough water, and adding more closely spaced hoses doesn't really help. I mostly keep the system set to do a base level watering, and top off the needy plants by hand every few days.

I haven't had too much uneven spot issues once I switched to the pourous 1/4 tubing, but I may inline pressure regulators after the valves for each box next year. The main reason being now that I've put 3 of my beds to sleep for the year, the water pressure at the remaining boxes is a bit high resulting in more mist and less drip. The main pressure regulator was set to 20 psi since I'm running over 120' of the 1/4 tubing when all boxes are being watered.

Another idea I plan to try next year, is using inline emmitters (since I have a handful hanging around from my earler experiments) for squares that need a little extra water.

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Re: Watering options

Post  vinny09 on 9/11/2010, 2:30 pm

I'm in the Sacramento area (typically zero rain from June to Sept). I installed a drip system for this year. I use 1/2" line to run to each row of 2 boxes (6 total boxes) and then 1/4" drip line w/ 6" spacing b/t emitters across the boxes. I place a 1/4" line every 6 inches. This works perfect for 1/sq plantings b/c I make sure the emitters drip right in the center of each square, and with 6" spacings, there is also water within a 6" radius from the center of the squares. Due to MM's looseness, the emitters only give a 1-2 inch water radius around each one so it doesn't quite completely saturate each square. I think the emitters are 0.5gph at 20psi (I think) and I set the timer for 7 min, which calculates to approximately 1 cup of water (plus or minus a bit). To address difference in flow rates from the closest to the furthest box, I put valves leading up to each row of 2 boxes and reduce the flow going to the near boxes and open up the valve more for the far boxes, hoping to create equal flow rates to every box. So far this season, it's worked for me. I water at least once a day (early am), but on 90+ days, I set it for twice (early PM), maybe even a third time for 100+ days (late PM).

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Re: Watering options

Post  sfg4uKim on 9/30/2010, 9:02 pm

Have y'all seen the new drip irrigation system from SFG? I saw it in action at the SFG teaching symposium last week and it's AWESOME. You just hook it up to your hose and when you turn on the water, 8 "arms" roll open (like those party favors that unroll when you blow into the mouthpiece). It fits perfectly into a 4 x 4 box. They'll have connector hoses soon so you can "daisy-chain" them together.
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Re: Watering options

Post  Megan on 9/30/2010, 9:04 pm

Sounds really neat, Kim. Glad we have someone around who has seen it in action!
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