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Irrigation for the Home and Market Gardener

Alan Seiler


Irrigation is a super important part of growing a garden or farm. Come learn the basics of drip and overhead irrigation systems. 


Alan Seiler

Operator of Better Together Farm.


  • January 19, 2018
    4:00 PM


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Well let's go ahead and start here who has some sort of preexisting irrigation system. OK awesome. OK So building an irrigation system so when we think of an irrigation system just obviously the idea is to irrigate ground and and my personal opinion is that well with personal opinion based on experience especially in the Texas Oklahoma area we're where a semi arid climate where we get roughly depending on where you are but roughly probably somewhere between twenty six Come on in twenty six to thirty six inches of rain a year we're semi-arid and irrigation systems are just you don't have a garden if you don't have an irrigation system so if you are thinking about let's say investing in infertility in your garden or putting in an air geisha system if it's a question between one of the other if you're in a semi or climate obviously you invest in an irrigation system first you're going to have much more success because nutrients can only be taken up in solution primarily And so if you don't have a good irrigation system you don't get the nutrients you don't get the nutrients in the plant you don't get the crops so fairly simple let's go next so this is our garden and we have an irrigation we've primarily used if you're a geisha in and variations in overhead and we're going to kind of be going through that here just a few other pictures this was twenty six thousand because we relocated to our new farm but. For most of you guys for those of you that like our wanting to develop a well and build an irrigation system I'm happy to talk with you about that but that is not where this class is going this class is for if you are already buying water already pre-press arised which is what we did for the first four years on our farm OK So it's it's the cheapest option it's available it's like buying electricity instead of going off the grid you don't have to have all that up front cost. Come on N. So it's but this system is really more of a tie in to a preexisting pressurized system whether from your city or from you know a local water co-op are something like that. So just a few more pictures there so let's kind of get into it so where do we start we start with what we have OK and that's very important because sometimes these systems can be very overwhelming and like I said the whole city water thing is kind of where we're going to start with I think that's the next slide OK so. In cases where you are just starting to put in new york geisha system in and you're only going to be growing in spring summer and fall that's where I would say I would suggest anyone trying to put in any type of winter irrigation system until you have a few years under your belt and the reason is is because it's much better to start with an above ground your system what do I mean by that what I mean is that an above ground irrigation system is when we use. Let's say you have your water hygiene or water off your house and then you cook in lines to that and you run them above ground across your lawn to wherever it needs to go the reason for that is that when you're building an irrigation system you want to be very very flexible. And in I guess that's what I'm going to talk about next. The pros are that disco to the next one obvious. It's a very flexible system and why would you want flexibility Well it gives you the ability to to change your system easily without much work when you dig a trench across your lawn or something like that that's a very permanent step when you have a system that is above ground running and like pressurized pipe or something like that lay flat pipe which we're going to show pictures of if you need to change anything out it's very very easy to make changes and so you're not going to be spending a lot of money and digging another trench and turning up. Your lawn and that's what we actually for the first four years on our farm we did everything above ground in Oklahoma and so and it was great because you can see the whole system and if there's any breaks in it's just very interchangeable so what are the cons of the system of course next the cons of the system are it's not good for one a drawing which I already mentioned and it can easily be punctured So like if you have roadways that you're going to be running these pipes under to get to another area we just use schedule forty P.V.C. pipe dug a little bit down maybe six inches below and then ran the plight through that so you wouldn't be running over it constantly with a car like across a gravel road or something just keep it simple keep it above ground I mean it is a little bit of Haci housey hassle when you're mellowing and stuff like that. In the lines and kind in a way so you have to ship them but the idea is that you're going to be making a lot of changes so you want to build flexibility into your system and then once you get established where you want things then take up those lines come in trench and you've got it where you want it it's kind of the same principle as if you're developing land maybe not a good idea to put gravel roads in first kind of just see where you frequently drive and then put the roads in there because you put one system that's like I was shorter to go through this way kind of same same concept OK. Keep going over it so main irrigation connection there are a few things that we need to know when we're connecting into a pre pressure ice system that especially is is being utilized by other people like other households in your community there's a few precautions that we need to we need to be aware of before we do a system like that and so we're going to kind of go through that process so this is kind of a field on our farm down here is where are our water hydrogen and meter came into our house and so that's kind of the locations you can kind of see a picture of you overhead. You This was our farm. Come on in come on. Overhead view. This was our farm here let me see here I'm going to just use one of these as a pointer. What do you think. You get the other one we can fence up here. A little entertainment OK So this is where this is where and so the main water line it was a two inch line came across and of course our meter was here this was our house our house didn't look like that but that's just kind of a while that's a wash our watch our house was actually like right in here and then these are these are fields and there was a field up here in a field over there and all of this was run mom didn't exactly like blue line running in front of her house I know it was kind of but the idea is that you've got to start somewhere and digging holes and trenching up the yard and then finding out that it's not what you want or you didn't put the right pipe size in for your needs or whatever it's just a mess so so this is this is where it was Let's go next slide so this is kind of what the connection looked like so you have your meter box here most of you have something like that if not if you're on a pump system you still want to think about when you're adding And so here's your meter box and then we have a check valve and city water connection box in the next one is the drain box and then we had a one inch ball valve that had one of these little connections on it which is a one inch quick coupling and these are really super And when you're using above ground systems it's good to be able to have connections in them that can easily slip out so if a park like so and go back together so that if you need a mower or whatnot you can easily deal with that now just pass it out here if you guys want to to play with that and I have a I have another set here. These are really super I'll toss it over on the side OK And then just pass it to the back row so people can. See what that's like. And I use those a lot in my farm pro flow dynamics you might want to write this down Crow flow dynamics out of California I found that they have the most competitive prices when it comes to polycarbonate quick couplings which is these plastic ones it doesn't screw just those those little legs pop out. There's another company that I really like they're a little bit more expensive but Tractor Supply actually carries them they're called Gator but they're very expensive but there's a nice qualities to those but these are the most inexpensive one and I wouldn't let me just put a preface on this I don't I don't like there's their couplings over like inch and a half size they don't seem to silk quite as well but the inch ones for what we're using them for they really are nice so. So that then you have this then you had that little cup Well I just sent it away. You have this little thing stuck in there so you can easily take off that system or add to it and these are wonderful little things. Why you come in late Come come on come in Tommy. You're going to have to mark you up you know OK three and then you're you know OK so then that's there's a connection so now I'm going to show a bit of a graph so here's your bow box OK then so your water is coming in from your city have your bow box in the water OK Next Every then you have you want to have a check valve OK And what a check valve is it's basically a one way valve which means that the water can go through but it can't come back and both irrigation mark here and Deerfield supplies check valves in the important things is that if your system for some reason loses pressure or there's a break in the line let's say the city water has a break OK here well what sometimes happens is that the water there's a vacuum and it pulls this water back well that means it's sucking water from your system. And if you're not very clean with your connections it will suck dirt and contaminants back into the city water which is a bad thing so we want to make sure we have a good check valve here to make sure that if anything breaks none of our neighbors get into trouble and if they do get into trouble and find out you well that's a different story but anyways you want to make sure that you have a good check valve the next thing is is you want to have a ball valve and then a drain valve and the reason you want to have a ball valve here is that you want to be able to turn your water off in the winter time and then open this drain valve and allow the water to come back down this pipe here into this valve box here now some of these if you have a big enough L. box you might be able to put this whole thing in but I just want to divide it up for you guys. Yeah that's for freezing so that's important now we used to use frost free hydrants in Oklahoma were not a super cold place but they kept getting stuck and leaking and they're just a big pain and so I decided to do something like this and it's much lower profile so you know my mom back in to the frost free hydrant with her pick up once and it just was not a good situation so you know having these checks and stuff is really good it really works and also a lot of the frost free hydrants are like a three quarter inch connection. And so when you're working with three quarter inch you're going to have friction loss through that line because it's small with this you can you can match whatever's coming into your house and you can get better flow and better pressure that way so you know sizing up is never a bad idea and in this case and scenario so that's that's how you want to connect up to your city water need to check valve you want to way to close off the water you want to drain valve to get the water back in and so on and then you would connect your irrigation system to this OK so next next slide. Oh yeah there's a ball valve up here I forgot so you want to put evolve all the P.. Air so you can turn off what you are saw the picture and that's why you don't have to get down your ballot boxes all the time you can have an above ground turn off OK So this is where all that was that's where the whole connection was and then next one then our water came up here and then. We had connections at the head of each of our fields right here OK and then another one here in will have an overview of that So this is where we are with the city water then. To say OK so. Then we had. We had these. Valves where we had a picture of that these were our Basically our connections to our fields here and it's really important in my opinion to have very convenient water you don't want to be pulling hoses around all the time you want it very convenient to where you can use it because the more convenient your water is to your field the higher likelihood you have of actually watering it if you have to pull some. It's so hot out there I think it's OK It's OK The idea is to eliminate stress on your plant so it's very important to make sure that. And on yourself and then you can my automated Well we're not going there anyways so and then I had one up to to my C. house here and this was all in two acres so this is this is kind of where they were right at the head of the field now next picture now we were using this blue lay flat to OK now this blue lay flat too is. I want to say that it's only rated for sixty P.S. Is it seven. Is it seventy OK this is an inch and a half and it's one thing to think about here and. Hunter valves or Hunter Hunter industries. Has a. Well I'm not sure I want to go into that but let me mention it just quickly. Pipe sizes OK I'm just going to mention this really quickly. The the volume of water that you can safely carry in a one inch pipe if you size that up to a two inch pipe it's an exponential curve So basically let's say you can put twenty gallons a minute through a one inch pipe you can put forty through a two inch pipe you can put eighty through a three inch pipe this is how it goes it's an exponential curve so. And and you can run it longer without having pressure loss so I mean for a small system for a backyard person quite honestly I don't think you need to get anything above a one inch line you should be good if you're going to be running like we were I think inch and a half inch in half is good I probably wouldn't go above and that's what this is it's an inch and a half flat blue tube. And it's seventy P.S.I.I. The problem is that we left the system on all the time because I didn't want to have to go and turn on and turn off and turn on and turn off problem is that city water sometimes has higher pressure than what you're geisha equipments rated for and so this was blowing holes in the line because we're like eighty ninety P.S.I.I. from our our our city water and so. That was a bit of a problem but they have a red line just like this that does two hundred psi so you know they're you just want to make sure that the pressure coming from your city water doesn't exceed the pressure of your main running lines OK because I like to leave those on all the time so that I don't have to be running back and forth it's just nice to have them under pressure all the time and then we get the good you go back when Aubrey. So this is what that little thing I was showing you was actually what we had at each one of these spots OK Each one of these spots so just so you know where we are so it came in and then we had what's called an insert or bar fitting on both ends and then. Use a C.C. clamp and it's an engine five eight then engine. No five sixteenth inch hex had and you can use an impact driver that's probably the best way to do it if you have one to just send those downs and then reduced to a one inch here and then a one inch ball valve and then we had these little nebs right here. Those are quick coupling that's a that's a male quick coupling one inch there and that's kind of what what you guys passed around earlier and the idea was is that we have overhead irrigation that we sometimes want to use and we have drip irrigation that we want to sometimes use and I want to be able to have systems that I could easily click in and click out efficiently there so I could go easily seamlessly between the two systems on our new farm we're actually going to have separate ones we're going to have and this might I mean guys want to upgrade you can but we're going to have one of these for drip one of them for overhead and then one that will just have a regular hose fitting on it so that if you need of just bring a hose to do a little watering in one spot you can do that and not some That's kind of important when you're starting out you don't need that but it's kind of important because any time you unclick and click this back you're getting dirt in your line and if you're using stuff like these micro sprinklers that little dirt will go through the line and all get stuck right in the top of your micro sprinklers. Which brings me to a point is that if you're city water city water does not necessarily mean you don't have sediment in it all the time and so it's really good to put in appropriate size whatever your line is diameter put an appropriate size filter just to make sure you don't have any sediment issues and it has a little screen in it and that's important our city water was clean enough that I didn't really feel like it was an issue and it might not be an issue for you guys but but especially if you're well water pulling out of some sort of questionable source that might have stuff in it you definitely want to put a filter in so that you can use. Of these fine misting pieces of equipment so that's the quick coupling set up that we used and we really enjoyed that and it's fairly simple and these all these parts and these parts like I said this is pro flow dynamic This is your local hardware store but I would necessarily go to your local hardware store I probably go to your local. Plumbing supply store that they actually work with contractors a lot because you'll get a better pricing there than you will at a local hardware store and then these pieces all of this kind of stuff in the blade blue line stuff can be found through irrigation Mart or Deerfield supplies difficult supplies I feel has very competitive prices but I always like to check around OK Next So drip irrigation field connection so this is now go back one hour. So see this here OK go again is the same thing here so that's we're continuing over OK so for drip irrigation system let's go ahead for drip irrigation system we have the the one inch. That's actually a male Oh yeah you know that pipe thread by by mail quick couple of OK so we have that connection there that connects into this which connects and to. I have more information then I'm going to mention here that connection to a pressure regulator and for drip irrigation you want to be somewhere between ten to fifteen P.S.I.I. with a pressure regulator the thing is is that drip irrigation and we're going to talk about the lines and stuff is usually not rated for over fifteen P.S.I.I. And so you want to make sure you're running your system at the appropriate pressure because it will wear it out or blow it and you don't want to do that so you have you have a pressure regulator here and these pressure regulators have they say it's like one tenth to seven gallons per minute so each of these actually have a gallon per minute rating on them and basically what you need to do is you need to decide how many. How much feet of drip line you're trying to admit and in the catalogue it will tell you they'll say something like point six seven gallons per minute per one hundred feet so you say point six seven you've done it by a hundred and you get your rate per foot and then you multiply that by however many feet you're running of drip irrigation and then you'll have your gallons per minute for that zone or section and then you need to find a pressure regulator that's rated for that type of flow because if it's too small. It it's not going to work and if it's too big it will never activate so you have to make sure that what's going through it is is how much drip line you're trying to to work with OK. Then we have another quick coupling here and then this would be. Our one inch female quick coupling barb because this is where we're going to add on some black poly line which I failed to bring with me today but I have pictures of it. And that's that's where once you connect that black poly line to here then this is where we start adding in what we call. Did I not bring those. Aha carry this title. Connectors OK these are personally my favorite They're called a P.-Six a connector Let's go to the next slide but you see how all of that's kind of interchangeable you can quickly Cup it couple it and you can quickly uncouple it OK So and that's where that connection up there is and then you see our drip irrigation lines coming down here you see along the road this is kale actually growing here that's our little Chihuahua That's mom that's me our Vermont cart OK So those are really nice by the way so this is kind of what the connection. Looks like OK so we have that bar sitting here that we just saw earlier it connects into this black poly which is your drip main line that's what we call it and then you have what's called the fiber. Pistol tool punch which I have one here and I have some smaller ones too I have one big one and smaller one smaller ones are for different sizes but they all work basically the same and you can pass these around here or pass on to the back row there too and basically what it is it's a sharp little thing that punches us that diameter hole in in the line OK and it's very simple and so and then you have your connectors and there's different types I personally like these because they have a gasket that goes around the top here and when it pops in it's actually I feel like it's a better seal and notice that all of these have a a little valve on them and that's very important because sometimes a drip irrigation line Buster breaks and you want to be able to turn one off and be able to repair it without turning your whole system off. OK next picture so. I personally like if I'm getting any type of poly I prefer the forty two P.S. I line now the forty two P.S. I line is directly correlates with the thickness of the black poly and this is an oval this is an Oval Tube I get this room from Deerfield supplies it's a really great thing and the nice thing is that it's a thicker which means that there's more place for my gasket to seal OK or even for this it's just thicker and more durable if you get one that's like let's say twenty P.S.I.I. it's got to be like half that thickness and they tend to leak more so I don't like that OK and as you can see it's an Oval Tube And so there's a sweet spot in this tube if you try to push in here this the hose will not resist you're pushing in with that pistol punch and so you'll actually you might even go through it but if you do it on the sides of the Oval Tube in here then you have it has to kind of been dumping it resist you and it pops in that hole in but you have to make sure you get it just right because if you get off to the side it's tricky and the reason for that is that you have to come in later go no. So there's a sweet spot next. You have to press the punch and you go back and forth you just kind of wiggle it back and forth back and forth like so in that nice I did that. OK Next my automated animation and then you have to press this thing and it actually resists you a bit so you have to you want to make sure you get right in that part so that the line doesn't collapse on you can actually pop it in there because if you do it on the top there's nothing to resist there's no space and so it won't snap in so you need to make sure that when you do this you get it right on that kind of. Oval part OK and then they pop in like so which is very simple and then this is where you connect your drip line OK Isn't that a nice picture I did this all on our dining room table. So as you can see there's a little bit of a barb here OK So what you're going to do is you're going to push take the take the line and you're going to push it up over that Barb see the nice arrow OK and you push it up over the bar. And once it gets all the way up then you actually take this piece and you you you you turn it like so and it's keep going. And it locks down on it and as you can see with this one once you have it locked down on it. It's on it's on very very tight and that's why it's so wonderful because they won't blow off they're. OK so now I have a little secret. And I need to borrow a knife from someone because I failed to bring one for myself and I'm going to have to show this to you awesome because I failed to do this in my presentation completely forgot but this is a very important part so is that if. OK So look at this you can buy what is called pressure ins for these where you stick those things in your system pressures up and it Laus your lying to leak out the end and then as a system builds the pressure it closes it off it's kind of like a check valve backwards where it closes when the water is flowing through type of thing well those are great but if you're working with limited water quantity you don't really want a lot of water going out the end because if you don't have enough water volume pushing through those lines it will never stop and so in our system when we're working with limited water and I'm going to use this in our new system a lot of guys like that because if they're adding a lot of fertilizer to their water they want to be able to flush their lines but I threw away my lines every year as far as this is concerned and it might sound like How can you do that but the problem is is that you know a rabbit might shoe into it or someone hits it with a hoe or you know. You know. Some adventurous farm hand wants to take a nibble out of it or something like this OK so it just isn't worth it to me to replace it to have it every year it's just it's a mess to pick up. You know you have to count your own cost in a small car in a small garden maybe you can you can get away with a few years with me it's just not that big of a worry to to do anything so what you what I do is I take the pipe when I get to the end leave a little extra and I'll cut the end off of it like so OK And then what I do is I'll do three rolls OK. I'll double it once actually yeah I do three rolls OK So double it over and pinch it down like so and then what you do is can everyone see this Basically you take the edges and you fold them in like a door like two doors going together like so. So I can everyone see that you're folding it over to turn the light on just for a second OK so you fold it over like so the reason for that is that you want to be able to slide this right on. It so and that's how you end endure your drip lines so you're not painting extra comes with the line it's very simple it might leak it doesn't really leak I might leak a little bit if it leaks too much for you but another been done and that's it that's a simple as I do it I don't pay money for all these extra crazy non helpful irritating products in my opinion but like they say a pill it Opinions are like bellybuttons everyone has one no one wants to see it so. Anyway so moving on quickly. But in my OK. Hope I wasn't insulting to anyone you might be very attached your belly button but anyways OK so. Haven't you heard that before OK OK something I picked up along the way maybe not use it again OK So there are many many many many different types of if your geisha is so what's the best irrigation for you well the next one. So the questions are so I used to tape is it better is it beneficial You know if you want to use drip tape the best the reason I like using duct tape is it's very efficient it takes very little pressure you can do a lot at once and quite honestly it's the cheapest starting cost so if this is a new thing for you it might be a little irritating because little holes and punches but it's cheap and it's a fact of other. Albums with it there are problems with every system so you have to just take them as they come now we're going to be looking into. The different types of duct tape so what do you OK So here we go drip tape comes in various spacings drip tapes comes in many different spacing many different types I'm just going to kind of go over the overview principles with you OK there's foreign spacing there six in spacing there's eight in spacing there's twelve in spacing you can probably get it out wider spacing. The two thousand the space for that. That was a joke but anyway. OK So why why would you prefer twelve. Eight OK Some people say to me Well you know in clay soils you want twelve inches because the water doesn't really penetrate so you need to let it you need to let it kind of spreads out and goes down and so you can get away with twelve inch spacing if you do that. I've never seen not how to fairly hit heavy clay soil quite honestly what I prefer is the four inch spacing that's what I use That's what I've used for the last two years I really like it because the meters are so close together that they actually instead of being separate like circles it's a band of water that goes down and I like that a lot better because when I'm doing fairly close spacing crops. I will I'll put that right up against the lettuce and then just as a band of water so that's why I like that you can get other spacing if they work for you great I wouldn't go more than six personally but. You know for I prefer for OK. Row length can vary from two hundred sixty five three to six hundred fifty feet max feet depending on the make so these are maximum row lengths and they'll tell you that I don't think anyone in here is well I don't know maybe someone will but you know most small scale growers they're probably running thirty fifty feet at most so they're well within the range of a distance here you shouldn't have any problems but just to let you guys know OK. Next there's different thicknesses and this is probably where the biggest thing I was talking to you sir I'm sorry what's your name. TOM So Mr Tom I was talking with him earlier and he has some thicker drip line that I believe you said net a film makes or something like that. Over Toro or Durant OK And really the only benefit that I see in using a thicker drip line is that if you have a lot of problems with rodents it would be eat harder for them to to nibble through it. I have not experienced anything beyond eight mil so that might be an experiment for you but the next one I'll be I guess it mentions when I say said the situation is that if your water is high in minerals and you're not treating it those even if you know you're getting one that's thicker it's probably going to clog up from mineralisation And so that's why I just go with the cheaper one replace it every year it's just takes a lot of headache out but I have seen people that use it and roll it up and do all this kind of stuff and I don't know you'll have to make your own decision on that I have chosen not to do that but just to know that there's a scale of options and these are definitely more expensive because it takes more to make them obviously. OK next. So the only problem with drip irrigation that I see as a downside is that it's so close to your crops if you come in your cultivating or trying to do something like that there's definitely the possibility of puncturing it course rabbits and varmints and stuff like that oh yeah this is one of the reasons why they call it drip irritation instead of irrigation. Now crops that it's not really good to use on lettuce mix would be definitely a solid overhead I would never use drip irrigation on lettuce mix unless I was doing something like the salad know that Johnny does and you know there might be separate heads and you cut those off in the falls into lettuce mix that might be a good option for. Reply but not for not for densely seeded crops like carrots and stuff I would never use a drip line for that personally not that you couldn't it's just when you're trying to cut with it there's just more chances you're getting sharper objects closer to it chances for more breakage and stuff like that so overhead now it's really good if you're like planning tomatoes like we do through this TARP it's really great to have that under head under the beds because there is no potential of overhead and of course those crops don't necessarily like overhead irrigation so that's really where that I see a lot of it used in the industry it's usually used under plastic culture quite a bit. And so that's where it's used mostly another another thing that actually I will say this might be a benefit for for the heavier weight drip lines I haven't tried this out but I will put it out there when you have a heavier weight the wind doesn't catch it as much when there's no water in it so if you live in a windy location like we do in Oklahoma sometimes your drip lines will get caught by the wind and they'll get flung over so every time you need to irrigate you have to go out there and straighten your lines and there are ways some people like pull it straight and tie it with a stake but it still kind of moves in that that's that is kind of a downside to it but. The heavier weights might not move as much so that might be a benefit right there to have your weight line if you have a lot of wind and you don't want to go out there and straighten it often. OK Next overhead irrigation this is kind of a loaded thing because there are so many types of overhead and I have I have a few here on the table that I'll I'll pass around. And I'm just going to go over some generals a lot of this comes down to maybe buying a few heads and trying it out on your own system and seen what you like as far as patterns because the thing is is that with different heads there's different things to consider if you live in a location with lots of wind and you're expecting it to have an even pattern going around your filled like a round circle that wind will push it and sometimes it won't fully get to where it need. It's to go so you know different heads sometimes can work against the wind a lot better than other heads. So let's let's let's keep going here. Oh and I will say this for drip irrigation for overhead irrigation it's not as low of a flow system so you have to make sure you have at least thirty five P.S.I.I. to run these systems OK I know wobblers can do a little less than that. Actually quite a bit less but wobblers have been an interesting thing for me I don't know Sean you use wobblers right. I don't know if there's no perfect. Yeah but they're low flow so if you don't have a lot of pressure they can be used to get you by but thirty. OK. Yeah so droplets size and stuff are things to consider because they can maybe splash up on your crop more. But we're but I just want to point out there because you need a base P.S.I.I. to run most of these systems and quite honestly the higher pressure the more variety of of heads you can use and this is really becomes important when. When you're needing to well maybe for a small scale grower this is not even an issue but you can always pressure down it's very hard to pressure up you'll need another pressure pump or something to kick that system up a bit so just take that for what it's worth OK So there's two go back to the other side Aubrey So if you're if your gallons per minute or your system is a low enough pressure you don't need a pressure regulator on an overhead but if you're really high sometimes you go to the next one sometimes the the pressure goes through the head so fast that it kind of miss the head when you're not meaning to and the particulates never reach where they're going because they're so fine and so you might need to drop the pressure with a pressure regulator even for an overhead system if you're dealing with a very high pressure system and I'm talking about something maybe. In excess of fifty or sixty you might need to consider that OK Next slide so basically the same principle there's different ways to connect these systems I personally like two ways. And they're all both basically Barb who so you can see this well we keep going through the sides of this is this little Mister here so basically you punch the hole just like the drip line and you pop it in and then you had these little micro misters this unit comes from the drip store I believe it's called and they're like a dollar twenty five a piece so they're not very expensive and they really do a nice job I love these for lettuce mix for carrots I always get good germination when I use these heads. As opposed to wobblers they put out enough water in a short enough time and that's another thing to consider like in Texas and stuff where our summers are hot is your system going to put enough water to compensate for what's evaporating and also still good good good good drenching and then it's a very fine mist and as you can see it's very low to the ground which means that it's going to be less susceptible to air movement like wind and stuff like that where a higher system is shooting up into that wind it might be carried around so I really like these for Oklahoma I. Forget the name but it's a drip store sell these so drip Store dot com If you look it up and they're like a dollar twenty five if you buy a thousand there dollars four cents but you might want to go in with your neighbors or something and that's another thing if you're if you like for those that live in Texas here locally if you can band together and decide hey what do we want you can usually get a lot better prices if you go and buy together than buying separately OK Next this is a wobbler and that's kind of the demonstration I have here on this is kind of that low flow system that Sean doesn't like but it's what I had available at home and this is kind of the same idea you got a stainless steel rod a riser and this pops into the line just like the other one does it actually has a little kind of gray nub that you punch this is a. Five eight inch punch like the drip line and you punch this little thing into the line and then this actually. Holds in just by pressing it into that little punch and. In the water goes through this line and and I like this because there are other systems where you have a hole fitting where like back at the first one we are looking out our connections for our fields where those that bar fitting in the ME used to C.C. clamps to hold it into place well. You can get those for these are. Then you can use like half inch. Go go go forward operate actually like this OK so you would have like a. U.V. resistant P.V.C. or you could use metal and it goes down and it actually connects into this like a reduced T. that has to Barb fittings on either side and I see a lot of people that use that I like this because it's very simple and I don't have to add another fitting It's just a simple punch and plug type of thing so I like that about this system and then it has a stick and you just stick it in the ground and you know I don't have to have like some sort of tripod or anything that holds itself up so I like this in Deerfield sells these I don't know if they come with the rod yet I had to put these rods in mine but you could use like a piece of rebar something in the bottom of these two so it doesn't have to be stainless. OK. So this looks kind of complicated but we're going to walk through it basically from what I understand the rule of thumb with overspray because what you have to do is you have these individual heads and you want to have the most even overspray that you can so that your field is evenly irrigated the problem is is that there is no real good way to get in even spread with an exact precise even spread with a round circle is just doesn't work but but we can get close and the idea is that it's all about getting close and in many ways in our culture there's there's there's the desire for pursuing the realities of the world is that it doesn't exactly work that way so the rule of thumb is so I alternated these colors OK So this is the spray pattern for this particular Pad Let's say OK. And it has of course a radius and then of course a diameter and what I want is I want to let's go to the next line I want Motte the spray from these heads to overlay and hit the steak or the Rye. These are of of the one nearest it OK and then I want these to overspray that one in hit the bottom of the post that's how much overspray from what I understand working with people from irrigation Mart is kind of like the best we can do OK and do the next one and then of course those overspray back and then you just have the overlap just like so and that's about from I understand that's about as good as it gets with overhead but don't underestimate the power of an overhead system even though it might not be as perfect or a streamliner is water efficient as drip irrigation overheads has some wonderful qualities to it and I'm just starting to learn them. And that would be you can do hydro cooling during the summer so if you're growing crops that like to be watered from overhead and it's hot you can use this running in intervals to actually cool your crop during the summertime in bring that temperature down because it lands on the leaf it evaporates and that evaporation takes energy off the plant leaf which means the plant doesn't have to bring up that water from the soil to cool itself off and so it's almost like artificial sweat and so that can be very effective on things like lettuce mix on kale on on on things like that I actually do overhead on cucumber plants believe it or not they seem to really like overhead irrigation as you Martine up in the back with his one point five acre farm does very well with overhead irrigation on his cucumbers as well and I'm like well if he does it up there maybe I should try it down here so I do that as well you wouldn't think cucumbers necessarily but they seem to really like it and actually did a little overhead hydro cooling on squash two years two years ago not seem to be pretty effective as well anyway so just putting it out there the next thing is that the water volume that it actually puts on the soil is more than what you would get through drip line so it's not as efficient it's about double what I would consider drip would be OK You have to account for double the amount of water volume for overhead. But it does the whole soil and it seems to push the moisture into it I don't know how to explain necessarily but I just feel like especially with these micro misters I really feel like they just do a better job especially with the Greens that like it that's my personal opinion other people might disagree but for those that live in Texas and Oklahoma area I'm talking from your area I'm not I'm not from Washington State you hear you know these people have like the perfect climate OK I'm sure there's problems with Washington state too but the idea is that you know this this is what I've experienced here in this local area next slide. OK So we're getting to the end of the presentation those are kind of the overview overhead this is something that I just want to put out there to kind of tickle your imagination a little bit one of the problems that in this might be more for production people but I think home gardeners might like this too is that this is an expensive system I think we need to invent something that's a lot cheaper but the principle is really cool do we put the pictures in this is all of those got lost too bad you guys miss out OK so I went to a farm in this is Washington state actually I just efficient Anyways it's called Joe's garden in Bellingham Washington and he uses something called the finger weed or and we won't go into that but the principle is that he uses this system of irrigation he rolls it out over his fields and then he turns it on and it tracks back with one single head the neat thing about this is it gives very even irrigation for an overhead system because you have one head that's tracking back at a certain speed and so it has perfect overlap OK You see what I'm saying and sorry. Right. The thing is that you have to have a hose in this when actually you pull it out and it pulls itself right back in so there's no there's no hose left in the hill in the field it all comes back in the neat thing about that is is that if there's nothing in the field there's nothing to puncture there's nothing to trip over and believe me when you have to cultivate your field and let's say you have this and it's going down a walkway right well am I going to come in it's just another step I have to remove that from the walkway put it over here go down my field and then I have to run through with my wheel hole that say that's my cultivating device and I have to put it back so it's an extra step and then if you have a large area it's going to be several of these if it's micro misters it's every five and a half feet I mean it's very laborious process sometimes. Two to weed around these infield systems and so with something WHAT IS THIS IS. Oh OK. CLINTON OK moving OK So so basically the neat thing about that system is it removes your entire geishas system from your field after irrigating which means that your field is completely open for cultivation for harvesting it's just something it's just irrigation systems in some ways are just another thing to trip over and they're very important in they're valuable and you have to have them but I really like the idea of a water real because it removes the system from your field and opens it up for so you don't have to have anything in there that's probably out of the price range of any home grower even though they do sell smaller models but they're like three thousand dollars or so. But the idea is that to tickle the imagination I think we can make cheaper ones for small scale growers and in even backyard gardeners that would just it just simplifies it and the neat thing is that you only have to buy one head you know all these other systems you have to buy multiple heads to get the spread you want with that one only by one head you can switch it out you could have different head types for different crops and it just I don't know it just really seems like a good idea to me so. Next picture. OK all of these parts are available at Deerfield and irrigation Mart the Deerfield as I'm in and I believe company and so they don't use the internet but their prices are super super competitive irrigation Mart is for people that let's say you're going to develop a well and actually have your own water system these guys have the tech and the expertise to help you out figure out what type of pumps you need to be able to accomplish what you're trying to accomplish and you learn a lot from them I've worked with them extensively over the last year and a half and they also sell all these other parts as well I think their field is very competitive though so I might check with I'll maybe check with them but check around the idea is that these systems can be much more expensive than than what they should be if if we don't do our you know price checking and then of course. I'm sorry. And I have magazines from from irrigation mart did we get the ones from John is there anyone aside from from. Deerfield I might have them at my booth tonight or on Sabbath night they're supposed to be shipping in a box of them so I can give out and it's just a really nice catalogue they're great people to work with than really good prices so I believe that in the irrigation. Class here any questions What time do we have actually. How much time do we have left or is it redone. Eleven minutes OK questions yes or. At one time without losing pressure that's a really good question. So really this is this is where it goes back to so what let's choose a system overhead or tape cryptic OK Very good so your drip tape. Has in the catalog you look at it and it will tell you gallons per minute per hundred feet OK gallons per minute per hundred feet of line so let's say. Let's say that. I want to put one hundred feet of this particular line in OK. It's point six seven gallons per minute for one hundred feet so I need to be able to run the system at pressure I have to make sure that I have at least point six seven gallons per minute. Minimum to be able to run the system now add a few more sit out a few more and not have to run these calculations but maybe I should say let's say it's one gallon per hundred feet just to make it simple here let's say I run. Let's say I run twenty fifty foot runs of it OK. So that's going to be ten gallons ten gallons. Twenty Yeah that's going to be I need to have ten gallons per minute from my water source whatever that is to be able to run the system OK so it's very simple math you need to have the rate. Does that make sense to people OK so you have to have the rate for hundred feet but sometimes our systems aren't even so basically I try to get it to the least common factor so I'll say point six seven gallons per minute or per one hundred feet then I'll divide that by one hundred in get the rate per foot then I'll take the total length of all my rows that I'm wanting to do and I put I put two to three to minimum three to three lines maximum per bed if I'm using this so three lines for things like lettuce and kale two lines for things like tomatoes and cucumbers let's say that's what I'll do per bed so you basically say I have a fifty foot bed I have three lines on it that's one hundred fifty feet per bed and I have ten of those beds what's the total and then I multiply that by the factor of what it is for one foot because I divided one hundred. Point six seven by one hundred and that gives me the gallons per foot and then you hopefully that makes sense. Someone else had a question Oh Sean. With that Mr to to with that would be an eighteen inch walk path with a two and a half foot beds on either side so it's like what is that seven and a half six and a half feet. Well I allow little overspray on my bets so even though it's eleven foot I want to have a little bit more overspray on my field so I make sure that if any wind blows it make sure I get full coverage so I can do two beds with that and of course I know a lot of people are like Man that's a lot for every two beds that have to have another line of these things that I have to trip over yes but it does a better job than anything else so that's what I'm using right now so sometimes you have to deal with the situation yes. Well the thing is is that you have to see OK Let me repeat that question the question was is. Do does four inch space in news more water than twelve inch spacing or eight inch spacing is that simplified version OK. Without using more water OK. So one thing to set one thing overall to talk about here drip lines are all rated so the thing is that each of these little measures is rated differently so not all drip lines have the exact same Mitter in them you can get drip lines that and when I say emitters there's little slits in the top of this that were created up like glue and laser or something it's like a laser slit on these and that little slit is where the water comes through so you're not having to buy anything else other than the tape it's already embedded in the tape that comes with it so that's really nice you don't have to buy how many it is going to put in this line it already comes pre-manufactured that way but the thing is is that all those little pre-manufactured slits are going to vary from tape to tape so not it's not like a standard slit It's not like each slit puts out one gallon an hour it's not like that certain slips put out one and a half gallons an hour certain slips it's just not standardized so the spacing doesn't necessarily determine the amount of water. What it determines is what that tape is actually rated for provided put in then you could divide that by the number of measures which would be could be calculated by the spacing and then you could get a rate for that for each measure but it doesn't necessarily mean that if the spacing is wider that you're putting more or less water out per hundred foot line right now the reason I like the four inch line is that what will happen is that if. I want my water to go in bands like I said and I find that when you space it out farther than not the bands don't necessarily always connect and when it doesn't connect. If that's where plant sitting it's going to be dry and it's not going to be watered and that's a big problem so I like to make sure that when I irrigate it's always always gets the water. Yes or. OK irrigating out of a pond you better make sure that you have a really good filter OK there are benefits to irrigating out of ponds especially if it's not coming out of the well well of course it would be coming out of the well but Wells if your water is coming from a well Usually it's going to have mineral content in it and you have to compensate for that in your fertility programme which is a completely different situation but some waters are just terrible for irrigation you'll kill your plants with them. Michael hit has some really terrible salt water where he lives and he has to treat it with acid so to to to and it's still not very good I mean you have a lot of mineral in the water it's just it's not very good when you're get out of upon its surface runoff into that pond and sometimes mineral wise it can be cleaner as far as not so much mineral in the water so there can be advantages of of going out of a pond. Filter for that I probably would use a sand filter and usually there are two big white tanks and there's two of them and you need to make sure that you have it set up where you know how quickly it gets dirty because they have back flow in them so you can wash those out sand hill to is really do well from my understanding with a lot of sediment which might be coming out of a pond you can also want to make sure that when you're going out upon that you go to the center of that pond so you're putting a pipe out there in the middle and you're not sucking off the bottom your second somewhere you know maybe four feet down depends on how deep your pond is but you don't want to suck in off the bottom and you want to in the middle because sometimes the algae grows around the edges right so you want to make sure that you're getting from the cleanest source possible in that pond and they have floating hoses that you can buy or you can put little styrofoam you know to get it out there or what not. In the wintertime if you ever want to irrigate with that might be a bit of a challenge I don't know. I personally haven't irrigated out of a pond but I have a friend that has and it works for him so that's not a bad thing. Of course you want to big enough pond make sure it's sealed right so that you don't run out of water halfway through the season and that's always a situation where you have to think about evaporation how much rain you get how fast it fills up what's the cubic capacity I mean there's a lot of factors to think if you're doing a large if you do in a small area probably don't you think about it but if you're doing more you need to think about is that pond because you don't want to get halfway through your season you want to design your system so that it can deal with the hottest driest part of your year because a lot of crops are going to cross over that period and if you can't make it over that hot part of the year you lose your crop and that's not good for farm economics so. I know you have a question I think there are some other oh go ahead sorry. OK this is where it gets really tricky Did anyone go to Darrell Green filled class on growing tomatoes OK So he has a little tool called a tensiometer And there's there's a lecture on it tensiometer is and there's there's ones that are made out of there it's more of a mechanical type of situation. If you have a hard time knowing how much to irrigate like especially on tomatoes where they can easily crack if you over irrigate one of those tools is will get you more precise Now what if you don't have one of those like me and I haven't had one for four years. Basically what I go in this and this is hard sometimes but. The thing is is that you have to decide how precise you want to be is really what it comes down to in the future I'm definitely gonna get a tensiometer as a backyard grower is it going to make any difference I think you can pretty much you don't want to dry out for sure you don't want to dry out you don't want your plant to be just sitting in water for longer than twenty four hours either so I would suggest that when you water. Once if you come back in twenty four hours and they're still paddling in the ground fills muddy you've really over water you want that water to move out within twenty four hours now and also dig down because some of you guys have soils that are harder like clay or types of soils and so the water doesn't penetrate into those soils very well it can take longer sold some of it comes to soil class as well because you don't want to just be irrigate in the top two inches and then the rest is very dry you want to be able to get down six to twelve inches at least into that soil profile when you irrigate so that you're not up here because what happens is that if the roots just all stay up here what happens if you forgive or forget once then you don't have that deeper soil to do so and then you can do the hand test and you know if it's cloudy and doesn't come apart then you've over water and if it just falls out of your hand and it's under water or you want to kind of easily break apart you know even waster but the nice thing about these systems are is that they're going to help you be able to you know you'll learn forty five I usually do a forty five minute irrigation every other day on tomatoes and I might bump that up a little bit during the summer time and be very careful when they're very ripe because you can split them. Yes. Oh. So. So Michael said he buries his tape slightly to kind of get it down there here's the thing is with Michael's water situation has to be very careful because if you water's too much from the top you'll crossed over because of the saw issue. But you have to be very careful with that as well and in my situation that's really what you want to do I would agree with that but in every situation let's say that you're going to be planting several times a year in that same vet area and let's say that you put a lettuce mix in over well you wouldn't use lettuce mix I guess in the situation but let's say that you put let's say you put some sort of crop that you're going to have several successions of in that area I guess I do put lettuce so let's say lettuce and I bury that pipe that thing but I need to come in until it's a need a broad fork are needed till it or even the seed bed because I'm going to come back and seed some carrots or something like that. You know I'm going to have to be down there pull in this hole irrigation stuff up every time and then I'm going to have to Ribera it because I'm not going to run my tiller through there because it's going to chop that thing up so like Michael what's Michael's doing you know that's that's very good but you have to be careful if you're doing multiple cropping systems you need to know where that tape is on top of the ground to be able to move it off so that you can actually do bad prep so I don't know if Michael you had a solution for that. OK so longer season crops Yeah so that might be a good that's good point so for a longer season crops bearing it might be a good option. Yeah. Does it you don't run in a collapse because you know it is a flat hose and hasn't OK Well Michael has more experience in the than I do so you might try that out and see how it fits you. Or me out of time or we. OK Well that's it if you guys have any more questions I'll be at my booth thanks very much for coming this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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