Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Demonstration Drip Irrigation

As promised, I've installed a working drip irrigation system in my garden plot. Feel free to try it out, but please don't let it run too long (less than five minutes) as I don't want the plants overwatered.

My plot is in the southwest quadrant of the garden, just south of the western common space. It's a single-decker, but has a raised portion in the centre for carrots. The small black hoses running among the plants would normally be buried for appearance, but I've left them visible so that everyone can see how the system works. I've also used a variety of water emitters just to show what's available, but will change that as some aren't suitable for what I have planted.

Here are some photos.

To try out the system, turn on the yellow circular switch on the right-hand side above the hose with the metal coil around it. In a completed system, this would be on all the time, but there's a dribble coming from my setup and I haven't fixed it yet, so turn it off when you're done.

Here's the feeder hose running into the ground. From here, it runs to my plot under the gravel.

And here's the feeder hose reappearing at my plot. Notice the green shut-off handle. This is how you turn the water on and off at each plot.

This is a 1/4" soaker hose running through my potatoes. These will eventually be buried as I mound soil, and there will be less water lost to evaporation.

This is a variable-flow mister over my carrot seeds. The flow rate can be increased and decreased depending on need. When the carrots have sprouted, I'll switch this to something similar to the soaker hose.

This is a fixed mister over my radishes, the rate of flow cannot be changed. This will also be changed once the seeds sprout.

This emitter is a small spectrum sprayer that I have among my tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. It sprays several jets and is suitable for larger plants.

Another spectrum sprayer.

A soaker running down the middle of my lettuce. I may change this to an inline dripper instead, a tube that drips water every six inches.

And a reminder to switch off the system on the right side of the faucet splitter when you're done. Also a reminder that this kind of irrigation system avoids hose tangles.

So there you have it. Comments and questions from members should be posted on the APCG Google Group. Let me know what you think.