Ask a Question forum: Rainwater harvesting and gravity drip irrigation.

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Jan 23, 2017 1:02 AM CST
I'm planning to put in 300-600 Gallon rainwater storage IBCs to irrigate my raised bed veg. gardens.
My short research tells me that my choices of drip emitters/tape will be limited because I will only have a small about of head pressure. I can only raise the collectors about 4 ft off he ground due to HOA Nazis folks patrolling the 'hood.
Any knowledge to help speed me up the learning curve would be wonderful.
1. Any idea approx. what pressure I might get from an approx. 4' cube of water that is net. 2 or 3 ft off the ground? My engineering & hydrology is a little rusty.
2. I see there are some low flow/pressure drip system kits for gravity feed.
- are they OK? Pros & cons?
4. I have electricity and plenty of solar capacity to install a pump to get pressure. Should I bite the bullet and do that?

I see has some kits for gravity watering of raised bed. Any experience w/ them or other suppliers?

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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Jan 23, 2017 9:36 PM CST
I think pressure is a factor of height of the water column, and length of pipe. Pressure will drop as the water goes down in the tank.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Jan 24, 2017 2:17 PM CST
I agree with Sally. I think to get dependable flow all the way to the bottom of your rain barrels, you will need the solar pump system.

You also need to be prepared to augment your rainwater system when it doesn't rain. A veg. garden takes watering every day, and if you go a week or so without rain in summer, you'll be sucking those tanks dry with no prospect of re-filling if it doesn't rain. Sadly, that's the fatal flaw of the rainwater system. When you need the water most, it runs out.

I have two 550gal. cisterns and in the spring when it's hot and doesn't rain much I deplete them in about 10 days, watering 9 Earth Boxes and a couple of fruit trees. Luckily we also have a well, although the water is pretty hard, but a little pump automatically puts in 50gal. or so of well water when the cisterns get low.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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