I am trying to start working on two projects, 1. Drip Irrigation & 2.Start a Garden Journal to get organized
1. Has anyone tried drip irrigation in their yards ? How were the results ? I need all the pointers I could get.
I have read about them from various websites including the irrigation supply websites. I am trying to see one to feel comfortable before I start building one myself.
2. How to stay organized, to remember all the days and ways to fertilize etc...etc..., it is easy to get overwhelmed.
What works for you a Notebook and a pencil, or did you buy one which is already built for you.
Or did you go to a website to work or did you buy a software ?
Any and all ideas, suggestions or help towards easing into the above two tasks which have got me stumped for the moment will be very much appreciated.
Hi disney doc,
Have one right in backyard for vegie garden. Not a large garden but ended up spending a fortune on it. I would rip it out tomorrow if I could afford to. It is thumb making sore to install all those little drippers. And you can't plant just anywhere once you get them all in. By the time my husb. kept going to get more parts we had hundreds spent. They plug up with dirt easily and have to be replaced often. Once you get it all arranged you can't till the soil with say a rototiller cause its usually in the way. If you want to change the location of a plant you have to buy plugs to close original holes in polypipe and make new ones and put new drippers in.
Can you tell I really don't like it. Only other way I can think of saving water is soaker hoses but again they are positioned and plants have to be positioned also to get water. Soaker hoses can be put under mulch which helps save water. If you want to see our drip system set up on timers you are welcome to look it over and form your own opinion. Just D-mail me by clicking on my name. We are going on vacation Aug. 1 for a week but if you want to come before thats fine.
As far as journaling garden chores, planting etc. I have a small book with lined pages I keep track of fertilizing, what was planted and when. What did well and what died. I put the dates in in bright pen and then info. in black. Really helps.
I install low volume systems as part of my profession.
I never use drip system. A drip system's sole purpose to get get plants thru times of drought. They shouldn't be considered a true 'irrigation' option. I replace drip with micro mist systems when ever possible (depends on the budget).
I use what some call a micro mist system, the brand name is Maxi-Jet. The are easy to install and can be made into a more flexible configuration than a drip system.
Most of my sytems are for urban settings - container gardens and small beds.
Bonnie, I am 63 and my hands are no longer strong enough to push emitters into those poly pipes - I use pliers to push them in.
You made my day. I'm soon to be 75 and I put in at least 200 of those round emitters griping all the while. I punched the holes with an ice pick very carefully. From day 1 I was not satisfied with the systems performance. Mine is a rectangular vegie garden in back yard and find it a huge waste of space to have to custer 3 seeds around an emitter. I know the system you are refering to and for beds and borders it is much better. BUT for my use not sure Maxie-jet would be the best alternative. We spent so much $$ on it my husb. won't replace it. Worst part is to take my little Kubota in the garden, drag out large weed clumps and then cultivate prior to planting I have to unhook each layout from timers, drag all the poly pipes out into open space then replace it all prior to planting. You get the picture, its a royal pain. DH wanted to use it to conserve water from our well. I know you don't deal with straight rows of vegies but do you have any suggestions as to watering conservatively just around roots of plants?
Can the Maxi jet system be combined with the present laid Sprinkler system I have already. The aim is to get even water supply to the roots of all the plants in the bed, which the present regular sprinkler system is not able to do.
In other words can I connect the Maxi Jet tubings with an adapter, pressure reducer etc.. to the Sprinklers.
Bonnie- if the pliers aren't comfortable there's a tool made specifically to insert those "*!^%" things. Really saves your hands. Called an Insert Tool, available from DripWorks. There's also a tool (a Punch) to punch the holes- put down that ice pick! The micro hoses would be an option for you for application directly to the root zone working with your present drip system. Just spiral the micro hose. Key is placing the correct distance with the spiral loops for it to truly be effective. All that takes is a little watching and experimentation to get started. Hook up a couple, turn on the system, and watch how the water comes out of the hoses. Adjust spacing as needed. Use that as your model. When you have them all assembled, give it another check run, though.
disneydoc- converting a client's system to low volume is typically a part of every installation. I use a combination of micro-hoses and micro mist. The larger soaker hoses do not work as claimed here because of our soil properties. Our sandy soil texture affords no lateral movement of the water, and that's what's needed for effective function.
The micro mist can be combined with other systems, and Maxi-Jet will retrofit to your sprinklers provided the correct parts.
Micro mist systems are very adaptable if you run a poly line as a supply (black plastic - .70 diameter) and then a long run of flexible 1/4 inch line. I usually make my 1/4 inch line 12-18 inchs, depending on the size of the beds. Then the emitter goes on a stake at the end.
One or two heads per plant is enough for most plants. Depending on water pressure and the number of heads on a poly line a 180* head goes out about 12".
I will take some photos of the parts I use and show you all an assembled line.
those are some incredible garden pictures... gosh that had to be hard to leave behind? What brought ya to FL and what part of CA is that garden in? I lived many moons ago in El Toro (1st husband was stationed at the Marine base El Toro). I don't know if I could have left a garden that grand, it was hard enough leaving what I started in northeren Ohio.
re the organizer you asked about at the top. Not computer based from what I've seen, 3 ring binder style set-up. I haven't used it. It caught my attention because I remembered your request. Saw it in the back page ads of Fine Gardening. www.gardenscribe.com if you want to check it out. Is anyone familiar with it?
They do or did have organizers here on DG. I found it didn't work for me.
I copied the plot plan of my property and when I put in my regular sprinkler in I outlined each separate area in a different color of marking pen. Then I used ball point to label sprinkler head location and kind.
I used another plot plan to record where I planted what. Worked good and easy to make a new one when needed.
Doc, if you plan to do-it-yourself, you can talk to the guys that sell the irrigation stuff to pros. Bring them a sketch of your yard with measurements and these guys can draw-up simple plans for you. They sell retail and they have a show room stocked with all the pieces and parts to put your system together.
Also they sell irrigation pipes in long lengths at a better price than home depot. Even if you don't have a pick-up they can tie pvc pipes to your car. You should have see my civic going down the road with 20' pipes strapped-on. Looking like Sir lance a lot. We did our own installed sprinklers and hose bibs around our half acre. I hate pop-up sprinklers, so we did the (hillbilly) riser heads on top of 1 inch gray PVC space about every 30 feet around the outside perimeter of the yard.
I am using two different journal systems. I've been using http://www.plangarden.com/ for nearly 3 years, it's web-based and includes a lot of features. It's wonderful for laying out a vegetable garden. I've just recently purchased Garden Organizer Deluxe from http://www.primasoft.com/deluxeprg/goodx.htm in hopes of tracking each and every one of my plants. It seems to have a zillion features but I really haven't gotten into it and played with it yet.
My question is exactly whose system is best for vegetable gardens. I would be looking for a system that I can pull up at the end of the year. I've used overhead pulsating sprinklers located on the corners of each of my two 50x50 veggie plots in the past. This year, I switched to soaker hoses (Walmart 50' for about $10) and that resulted in the problem of having to hook up in various locations since water doesn't seem to travel much past about 30'. It did cut down on weeds in a lot of locations but, of course, there's always a weed somewhere. Now I'm looking at drip irrigation and I guess mist systems. Do many of the systems include interchangeable parts?
Yes re the interchangeable parts. Something to keep in mind with the 5/8"-1" diameter soaker hoses is that they're not effective for long runs. General rule is 50', but different factors can really shorten that length.
If you want to hand your irrigation design over to someone else for whatever reason www.DripWorks.com will do a free custom irrigation design for you.