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Avatar for sgreenlaw
May 29, 2018 4:24 PM CST
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I'm looking at installing drip irrigation to our gardens, but there are so many options! We need about 2000 feet of line to cover the beds in both gardens. Right now I'm talking to a rep from Aquatraxx, and he's been using the product on their Hutterite Colony (kind of like Mennonite or Amish) for 10 years and says it's great. It's just a little pricey, and I'm wondering if I need to go that route. However, I would rather spend an extra couple hundred bucks to get a quality product that we're going to use for years.

What kind of irrigation do you use, and how large is your garden, and how long have you used it for? Do you have to repair your lines? How well does it water areas that are not completely flat? How long does it take you to get the water 6'' on either side and 6'' deep? Do you use lines in beds (ours are 3'-4' wide) How many lines do you use per bed?

Thank you so much for your help!!!!!!!! I have only been gardening for 5 years and there is so much to learn! all I know is, watering by hand and sprinker is a lot of work and a lot of money, and I'd like to save on both of those this year!!

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May 29, 2018 9:09 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Welcome! to NGA!

I installed drip irrigation in our 2 acre yard in California 35 years. The house was sitting on a bluff and the yard spread out below - WAY below.

The first thing we did was add a half dozen hose bibs scattered around the property so everything wasn't running off one faucet. Depending upon you water pressure, you can't run 2000 ft of drip line and expect the water to get to the other end. Trenching and laying pipe isn't easy but it was the ONLY way our project was going to work. Our system had 12 systems running off 7 hose bibs. Two hose bibs were stand alones because one was the system that started in the front yard and one system watered the entire orchard.

The one line that started in the front yard, ran down the entire length of the property to the back and lost probably 100 ft in elevation. It watered the whole front yard and a narrow garden all the way down to the bottom. The only way I could keep the pressure up in the entire line was to add turn off valves in the line and turn the pressure down. It took a little experimentation but worked great once I got the valves adjusted. Other than that line, I tried to keep the systems sort of level (not an easy task on a hill).

I bought 1/2 inch drip line in 1000 ft rolls, 1/4 inch drip line in 500 ft. rolls and drip sprinklers, nozels and connectors from the local farm irrigation store. The whole project took probably 5 years and a lot of trips to the store to complete. One thing I learned is that whatever company you start with is probably the company you should stay with, at least for hose and connectors as systems are not created in the same sizes. Don't waste your money on pressure regulators, just turn down the water.

An important factor in choosing a system is get one with cleanable nozzles and sprinklers because you will have to clean them. Lines with built in valves and nozzles will have to be replaced not repaired. Squirrels and coyotes eat the lines because they can hear the water running so lines that you can cut a piece out and replace saves a lot of money.

Run your 1/2 inch lines at least 10 or 15 ft apart and use 1/4 inch tubing to get to far away plants. Use irrigation sprinklers to water large areas and trees, use drip nozzles to water individual shrubs, large vegetable plants and perennials. Use lazer drip to water rows of ... carrots, beets.

No one can tell you how long you will have to water as that will be determined by the drip line and by the soil in your yard. To make your life easier, use irrigation timers to turn water on and off (you can get battery operated ones). You can also get them with 2 timers per unit to run to lines from one hose bib.

Hope this helps. Oh, yes the drip system is still running. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Avatar for Jimsouth
May 23, 2020 6:38 AM CST
NE Pennsylavania
I've used drip irrigation ( gotta love those Israelis; they turned the desert green ) for 7 or 8 years. Now time to revamp the system. Each year more connectors & more pieces of the 1/2 inch poly trunk line. Time to start over; but for a modest vegetable garden ( 1,000 square feet, more or less), the investment is about $100. or even less. Orbit timer, and you need a pressure regulator to maintain 40 psi. Higher pressure is not good for the timer. Something to remember, always use a heat gun to soften the poly tubing when you use connectors. Makes it sooooooooooo much easier; but just enough heat to gently soften the tubing. The feeder lines ( 1/8th or 1/4 inch ) the emitters & connectors are very inexpensive. A 100 foot roll of the 1/2 inch is about $20. A 100 feet of the 1/8th or 1/4 is about $15. I bought 100 adjustable emitters for $12. eBay is good. I'll post a seller. Just check the seller's feedback.
totororuru684 for US $8.69

Order 100X Adjustable Emitter Dripper Micro Drip Irrigation Sprinklers Watering System
Last edited by Jimsouth May 23, 2020 6:47 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for Jimsouth
May 23, 2020 6:57 AM CST
NE Pennsylavania
I use raised beds; or if you want to be snooty, French Intensive cultivation. Didn't have the extra $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for Redwood, Cypress, or Cedar; so I used the cheapest planks I could get. Now the wood is starting to deteriorate, but the beds are still a foot high. I may just reinforce them with cinder block. A productive garden does not have to look like a manicured golf course; just loose soil & the proper nutrients - pH. Nice thing about raised beds is, good drainage. I would not use pressure treated lumber for a vegetable garden; the thought of chemicals creeps me out.
Last edited by Jimsouth May 23, 2020 7:05 AM Icon for preview
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