Monday, August 4, 2014

Irrigation Strategies

The Outlaw Gardener, showing us photos from The Alaska Botanical Garden, pointed out irrigation strategies are similar the country over.

A hose and oscillating sprinkler takes care of many watering needs.


I collect sprinklers of all descriptions. My favorites are spot sprinklers that water tiny areas that need water in a certain pattern. The easiest sprinkler as far as my involvement in it is to let farm irrigation sprinkle the Upper Garden as it did today.

Peanut field with cable tow irrigation. There is 
much work involved, but I didn't have to do it.

It just happened that a full circle was big enough to cover both the west end of the field and my Upper Garden. Otherwise the equipment would have been adjusted to water a semi-circle stopping at field edges.

If you want to know how cable tow irrigation using a wheeled cart and soft hose (similar to a fire hose) works here's a link to Clemson Univerity's explanation, much better than I could describe.

Here the water is just getting to the plants I needed watered. See the little white thing on the left near the pear trees? That's one of a number of in-ground faucets that we use to water the garden.

A DIY manifold enables using four faucets from one pipe. Pictured here is a capped outlet, one with a timer, one with a Y connector and one hose, and a cut-off valve controlling a drip irrigation reducer. Some combination of all these work for most of my watering needs.

Purchased manifold with four outlets. The red lever in the hole controls the water.
Each manifold outlet has its own cut-off as well. The standpipe screws off and the green cover covers the capped in-ground faucet for winter.

I still drag many hoses, I just don't drag them far.

Small beds like these just need a pattern sprinkler. Here are my favorites:


The little sprinkler at left sprays a circle,  on the right makes a Square pattern. They are inexpensive but sturdy. Notice the hose on the left was repaired. Long hoses that get accidentally cut make make great short hoses.







DIY sprinkler or soaker pipes, depending on whether you put the side with holes drilled up (sprinkles) or down (dribbles/soaks) . We use conduit, lasts longer in the sun. Various fittings make them work in tandem or with a Y connector, attach in the center so water flow is even.

Water progresses down the road with every circle made.

Here, the machine was half-way. At the end, there was 
1.1 inches of water in the gauge. 
I measure my sprinklers with a tuna-fish can.

Tomorrow it's back to regular sprinklers and hoses where irrigation didn't reach. Today was just a lucky day. 

On Thursday I'll attempt to link to Canadian Garden Joy's meme Thursday Garden Item Review.

4 comments:

  1. The worst park of gardening is dragging hoses and moving the sprinkler.I have underground irrigation in my lawn, but some beds are not reached.And, like you I like the small heads for small places. I have several different shapes. My favorite looks like a Frog and shoots water straight up for about 5' diameter.Perfect size for me.Thanks,B

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  2. Hello Jean girl and thank you for inspiring me to try and stick with my idea .. I just was so tired after yesterday's marathon in my own gardens I wasn't able to post comments and answer back.
    BUT ... I will try harder for next time ! ... and this irrigation post is very good : ) I dream of irrigation that I just turn the tap on and all the gardens are watered!! LOL
    Joy : )
    PS .. I have one of those incredible shrinking hoses you see on TV and it is VERY good!

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  4. Summer watering is definitely our least favorite chore. Even if it rains once or twice a week, the other hot days will cook everything if we don't water them. We use a combination of different types of hoses and sprinklers. One day we must invest in some sort of sprinkler system!

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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