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integrating furrow irrigation with SFG

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integrating furrow irrigation with SFG

Post  zenguinn23 on 10/27/2011, 10:38 pm

I am in Northern Utah and am considering switching to SFG. My question is, how do I utilize the irrigation water that is provided in our town with SFG?

Last year (2009-2010) I used rows for the plants to be in and shallow ditches between them for the water to run in. This year (2011) I just planted on flat ground and let the irrigation water flood the whole area. This reduced my hands-on irrigation time from 60-90 minutes to make sure water successfully got to the end of each row to about 10 minutes--enough time to pull the gate around the corner and then make sure there were no blockages in the small canals leading to and through my yard.

However, what a weed disaster!!! And plants growing crazy all over the place. It was exhausting to keep up with everything. SFG seems a much better way to go.

I pay $26 a year for 60 minutes of water 2x a week for my own turn. In addition, my yard /garden connects with 3 other neighbors so I get all of their run-off as well, and often no one takes the turns after mine and if I am not there to turn the water away, it can run as long as 8 hours--all free of expense!

I do have a pump that I set in the ditch and pump through old fire hoses so the water gets all the way to the front yard.

So, that is everything...and I have no idea how to go on from here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for your help.

(A very pale green pinky-finger)


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Re: integrating furrow irrigation with SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/28/2011, 3:43 pm


What a unique situation you have and such reasonable irrigation fees.

If you are building SFG boxes aboveground, perhaps you could consider using soaker hoses connected to the pump from the irrigation water.

But, first things first. Have your read ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING yet? This book provides information and instructions for SFG.

You will find that SFG, using Mel's Mix, saves you space, water, and has very little weeding and lots less work.

Hope other members will have suggestions for effectively using your irrigation water.

Again, Welcome and good luck

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Re: integrating furrow irrigation with SFG

Post  boffer on 10/28/2011, 5:02 pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

I'm thinking that 'storage' is going to be the best way to water SFG boxes.

You could use your pump to fill a container(s). Then depending on the set-up, use gravity or a pump to water at will. Remember, SFG uses a lot less water than traditional row gardening.

Another way to store the water would be in in-ground 'ponds' that act as self watering devices for SFG boxes. Here's a good thread to read about it:

You have a fun project ahead; let us know how it goes!

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Re: integrating furrow irrigation with SFG

Post  Squat_Johnson on 10/28/2011, 5:08 pm

Below is from another thread. I have thought about pumping from the pond to a tank a couple feet off the ground, and then into my soaker hoses...

Squat_Johnson wrote:Welcome!. I don't have anything that big, but
will offer what experience I have... I have 3 beds that measure 4' x 24'
, (3) 4' x 8' and a couple smaller 4x4 - my calculator says 432 sq
ft... Not an expert, but clearly obsessed.

Here's what I have made use of that seems to work for me...

have a 4 way on/off hose splitter that feeds all the big boxes. During
the hottest times of the year, I run it for an hour or so couple times a
week for the plants that have established roots. New plants still get
watered with a wand.

I cut up water hoses using the repair male/female ends and run it under mulch.
use soaker hoses that run lengthwise at the 1', 2' and 3' lines (see
below. I put a trellis every other 4' section so I can reach around them
to plant & weed.

am putting in some new boxes using a bottom with hardware cloth. I have
infestations of voles (field mice) that I have to keep out. I spent all
day yesterday digging up a bed and putting it into one with a wire
bottom. There were tunnels all throughout the 10" deep (potato) bed that
you see at the top right.

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Re: integrating furrow irrigation with SFG

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 10/28/2011, 8:05 pm

Good advice so far. Welcome aboard. I have no idea how to handle this one. I just wanted to extend a hello.

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thank you!

Post  zenguinn23 on 10/28/2011, 11:07 pm

So many good ideas already, I am spending the winter plotting and planning and hope to be ready come spring to do something amazing with all of this great advice!. Smile

I have not read the entire book, but hope to this winter. I have read excerpts from time to time over the years. Coming from the NW where everything is just green, it is startling and even uncomfortable for me to see so much plain brown dirt between the rows. It is tradition here to garden that way, and it seems to be wasteful for all of that ground to just sit there being bare--at least until the weeds get a hold of it. I am excited to use SFG with the pathways in between and am already hatching ideas about what to put there. In my mind's eye it is very pretty!

Anything will be an improvement, actually, as the land went wild for about 15 years before we bought it and began to tame it a couple of years ago. Virginia Creeper, Trumpet Vine, Wild Blackberry and of course Morning Glory have been running amok and it is about to do me in to conquer them!!

Anyhow, thank you again for your input, wisdom, encouragement and a friendly welcome! As I get things going (the idea of using a moat or a pond underneath really sounds promising), I'll post photos to go with it.

Take Care,


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