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Logo of 2019 Adventist Agricultural Association Conference: True Success

Irrigation for the Home Gardener

Vic Snyder


  • January 18, 2019
    9:30 AM


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But anyway as we're waiting to get in the building here I had somebody come up to me and they asked. What's your opinion of using grey water for irrigation and my thoughts there are. Do you like to use. Sewage and somebody else's medicines for irrigate your garden and he says What do you mean OK I work at this in Canby in an irrigation outfit I talk to the guys that work at the city utilities I ask them about water quality in the city can be since the city can be pulled out of the molar river do you detect any thing in that water that comes from the sources upstream which is the city of Malone and they said yes we can detect prescription drugs in the water I says How do you filter it out. Don't. They have wells they could use but they choose to use the river because easier city can be dumped there is out city Wellsville sucks it back up again and it goes on down the chain so when people think that their water is safe it may be a mamie state standards but it may not be what I would consider a case in that wondering my name is but Vick's night or I do irrigation design work for fish or supply and can be organ mainly dealing with agriculture customers not home gardeners. So in any way my background is mainly in irrigation I've been in the industry since about 92. The biggest thing with home gardeners. And I call even some of the community gardens are what I'd consider more home gardeners a lot of the people are looking at rain barrels and stuff like that so if they get the 1st light up we'll see that occur give you a little background a lot of people think OK I've got a 55 gallon rain barrel I'm going to irrigate my garden with it and I said OK great. So how high do you have it up off the ground. What I mean I says Well is it sitting on the ground or is it elevated and if you the more you elevate the more pressure you're going to have and so they think that they can buy a in a major or something irrigation valves because they want it all automatic and I heard somebody say I want my an automatic the regular irrigation valve is designed to open at 5 P.S.I.I. And so a rain barrel hit 2 feet off the ground has one pound of pressure so you are going to get it open or close and so then you say OK what's the next step we need to look at something that has a motorized ball valve and it so that when it activates it will rotate it and give you a straight path through without have to go through a diaphragm to work and the best thing there is most year. Battery operated hose and timers have a ball valve that operates the batteries are good for about a season that's. When people want to start putting in emitters in the if you look for an emitter you want to look for one that is none pressure compensating if you're going to be using the rain barrel because that way it doesn't require the 5 P.S. site opened. And clothes and it's nice to use it take apart it matter because that way you can take it apart and clean it because if you're collecting rain water Whatever lands on your roof ends up in the barrel and in trading to get away from dark or I mean white plastic pipe because light will transmit through the pipe you'll grow algae and other things specially from rainwater so the darker you keep your rain barrel if you if you can see all that rain barrel up and it's dark green barrel it's going to work very well but if a light can get in there algae will grow you will have plugged emitters you'll have blood drip tape so the more you can work at doing that there's your brain barrels the higher you can get the rain barrel off the ground the more pressure you're going to have so you roughly it's point $433.00 pounds per foot so one pound for 2 feet is what I usually do as a rough calculation so if you need any pressure at all and then then we will have some slides that show you some other things there. What your water source and dependent on the worry you really have some people's water quality is such that they go sprinkler gauge and that's what I recommend because if you're. If you do a small water test you know like c Take a water sample into somebody and say OK is this water good for my house use and they'll do a free analysis a lot of your Home Depots and stuff to do that try and sell you a water softener but you don't need to tell them what you're really trying to do but they'll give you the the total dissolved solids which tells you how much minerals and it was tight big guy this past week his T.D.'s was. 3000. And. What was happening is they had a slight spill that the water conditioning equipment dumped the back water down the well which was all the salt brine and so it raised that he th up so the T.V. The T.V.'s is total dissolved solids bacteria we don't need to worry about too much but if your bacteria is high in you're sprinkling it on your crop chances are you may be in the news saying oh hey we have a bacterial outbreak because we didn't have good water and if you're washing your produce with something that has bacteria and the biggest thing it to look at is if you're on a well it's not usually as bad but I know of a case where there was a home site that had an abandoned well and the guy had an R.V. park there Guess where he was dumping his sewage. Down the Well. No one knew about it everybody in the area was treated with chlorine to try to get rid of the bacteria. The place got sold they were hired a pump company to come in and test pump the hole to see what it had and they called the. Home base and says hey I think we have a problem here we get 12 paper hanging up on our pump and so it's nice to know what your water quality is. If if if you're working with. Wells normally that's not the case if you're working with the spring probably 98 percent of the spring water that people use has bacteria and so just because you think it's good it may be sort of good and I just worked with somebody that had just drilled new well. Hooked up to the new well I think thought things were going good. People weren't feeling well no house needed a bacteria test of Hi this is when you hooked the new well up did you chlorinate your pipeline to kill all the bacteria from the well spring that you were using they had not and so they went through the process of recall or any and everything to get everything back to snuff so call the is a big difference and then once you figure out your water quality if it's really bad with iron I unplug small emission devices so that then it's either hand watering or a sprinkler or flood or something like that is your best option unless you want to spend a lot of money for treatment equipment to pull it out so flood irrigation basically a lot of people will plant their plants in a trench and then by walking along with the hosing fill that trench with water soaked in some sort of similar to flood irrigation. My brother in law does it at his place because he lacks the water resources to irrigate was Frank Loesser in the water has high iron content so he finds it by going every other day and so in a trench with water it does a good job for. Drip is your water should be fairly clean and then how clean is your garden spot do you have a lot of weeds if you have weeds the less water you put on over a wide area the better off you go to because it's going to save you time and the sprinklers aren't as efficient drip can be real efficient. And so what how you going to lay out your garden so a lot of people will go with raised beds because they're nice neat in easy when you start laying out an irrigation system. Try to figure out OK if I'm going to be rotating crops. And I want to a permanent system for each of the rows there what's going to be the easiest way to do it if I'm rotating different crops and say OK if I space the road 6 foot apart and have a 2 or 3 foot bed with that may work the best because that way you can rotate crops and try to do your companion planning and all that but I'm not one of the. Temp to do it and lot of times it don't work a lot of people look at us like take this and they say OK that sounds good. Pulled us up on the internet I said OK take P.V.C. pipe drill holes in a 16 inch hole there's a problem with that. White P.V.C. one of the algae grow because the sunlight will pass through it so if you take a piece of pipe and look down it with the end plug you will see white light inside that pipe and so that means that light is getting through it if you're going to use pipe we usually use electrical conduit unless you're inspected then you have go Schedule A B. or poly tubing. A lot of the smaller. Organic farmers are leaning toward polyethylene pipe the black plastic pipe because they say that it doesn't emit harmful. Chemicals out of the pipe that P.V.C. might and so there's 2 thoughts there. I'm not a chemist so I don't get involved and so anyway once you get your gardening set laid up you look at this picture and see what's wrong with it OK it's all white P.V.C. if you look at it there's no trees in the background hits a sunny day you look at it and say. Whoever designed that's not good and then with the holes drilled you have put leveling snakes in to keep everything level so that you attempt to get water out we ran into this with some. New crops a couple of years ago people were buying what they called water rings which is nothing more than a piece of poly tubing with holes drilled in it in no particular size and most of the coal sizes were 532nd which if you have pressure puts out about 5 to 7 gallons a minute. And they had several of these holes on each one and they said We can only water the 1st 2 plants Well yeah because your main lines are not big enough for so you get a look at some pressure compensating or something this on our website we have some tools for people that are new to it. Hose connection filter pressure regulator connections for your poly hose and then drip tape coming off of it the nice thing about something like that is it's fairly inexpensive to set up you can buy a lot a lot of the drip tape in thousands of the rolls which for the average gardener last maybe 5 years it don't go bad if you keep the shed question. Fischer's supply dot com And so it's a case where we have a lot of interesting facts on there stuff about nitrates arsenic. Bacteria as well as chlorine how to chlorinate a well and depend on the chlorination method you use a lot of time to have a little vinegar in to lower the ph because chlorine bleach will raise it ph and don't think you can dump a whole gallon down a well cause you'll you'll taste it for a long time so basically the best thing to do is you draw your garden. Figure out how far apart you want your rose and what are you going to plant do you want double lane single line the lot depends on your crop but you figure drip tape usually will travel 6 inches to 40 each side of it so if you get a 3 foot wide bad usually 2 strings tape down and take care of it if you get a narrower bed maybe one string A do the job take a pass it around in now where you can see if you look closely. And the paper clip on there is for the guys at a given van that OK my garden spot is level ground you go out to the site on large agriculture and like I'm working on a project right now the guy wants your heat tape $500.00 foot row 30 foot elevation 30 foot elevation is about 16 P.S.I.I. that against going down the hill so the tape will blow out so the paper clip on there is a cheater in the fact that you can clip it on the tape to shut off part of the flow to back it up because what happens on a steep slope all the water runs past the middle you get a little to getting a lot of the end up in the middle by putting the paper clips on about every 5 foot elevation drop you back in enough up that you can actually spread it make it work without half an to love the commercial farmers will cut the tape and put in a piece of smaller tubing to neck it down. By doing a paper clip it's a lot cheaper faster and easier it's up to you there's so many manufacturers a tape out there T.T.P. is a brand. We end up using the air attack. That's made downs in Southern California because it's about half the price of tea tape and you know I noticed in one of the Flyers There's a company that I just cringe every time I see because they compete with us in this area and that's Robert Marvel and usually what happens is you pay for your tape upfront like in December and then about in March they'll ship it to you in truckload lots of the load up a truck from the east coast come up with stuff out of the certain area and so it's a case where it's OK. But they don't give you the technical support if you buy from a local distributor drip tape depend on water quality will last about a season because only an 8 mil product which is fairly thin. Hoses depending on the pressure you put through it because if you look at most so hoses porous hoses which are like recycled rubber they see tend to harden in the sun. Most people tend to run more pressure through them than what they should the other thing you start looking at is you know I showed you a picture of a pressure regulator. Pressure regulators have a flow rate 2 of them and so you're almost have to be a mathematician to start forgiveness out because most of the small regulators are good from about point 43 gallons per minute to about 8 yards a minute. And if you only run one line in your garden chances are you're down 2 point one gallons a minute so the pressure could start to even out and you'll be above pressure we have some. Monk people that have community gardens and you you ask them about pressure regulation or we don't use any ices but you're putting a lot of stress on the hotel we had gets big and tight and it's good and I am thinking one of these days you don't blow something out and. They seem to get by with what they're doing the biggest. Thing you've got to watch for is if you use a rain barrel is your temperature if that rain barrels black I've seen it 2 years ago we have an issue in a field the guy wanted to run tape a certain way and we told him what work he did it anyway and then he calls up says my tapes blowing up so we checked the temperature of the water in the tank and it was about 110 degrees out in the field where 120 degrees where the line was blown because all the black land on top the ground. And so the problem was. He was having issues and then another guy he was using tubing on top and the heat would generate during the day and so he found that he could only irrigate at night because the temperature was too warm in the pipe during the day to irrigate because of build up heat in the in the in the pipe so that's just did bits of information so yeah what happens is when you use a drip you look at your. Puddling. And you say OK we got a leak what's causing the leak is a rodent is an insect and we've had nurseries that have fumigated the ground. And planted their crop in the fall and in March when they go to turn it on they have leaks so they inspect the tape under a microscope and you see these holes drilled in the tape and I said well it must be when we installed it we tore it and you know you look at that in the NG see that it was a road away. From an insect chewing and digging on it and so he says You mean to say I wasted my money on this fumigation I said I didn't say that and he says it's just a matter you've got to find out what's eaten on it does it go to move in from another part of the field. Toro is a brand that we handle then you have your porous hose it will weep out all the way along the biggest being a watch on the porous hose if your pressure is too high it will be shoot little streams and stuff and that's usually a sign your pressure is too high and so it should be weeping like that hose shows there the other matter will have a little mission hole depending on the style of a matter it's either going to be a boat style emitter that's bonded to one side with a hole or with the one that like here I can see the round cylinder cool piece in the hose there so I know that it's got to do a mission holes and so. The old school was that the new school is the manufacturers come up with the idea if we have a boat style emitter it's going to allow us to use that same emission device for all size the tubing we make and that's the thing you've got to watch. In our business people come in and say OK I bought some stuff at Home Depot what sizes it why don't know it's the small stuff they're all the same and they're not because you start out at about 15 millimeter all the way up to 22 millimeter and so the fittings will interchange to little bit or degree but not enough to make it work and. So anyway when I talk about a that's is another P.C. a matter for gravity flow even though that says P.C. there ignore that but I like it a measure that you can take apart to clean if you need to. Especially in the home garden area because that way you can tell what's going on. Jane happens to make that one a lot of where a little flag and matter. It's more popular with most manufacturers if you see your weather pattern. With that being tubing those are probably 12 inch spacing of the new trend is a lot of people are deciding their gait their lines that way and so by putting the being about every foot it's going to slowly soak in the ground not waste a lot of water. Drip tape Do they sell one that can't be eaten by in 6 sort of. And the reason I say that is all in Mill think ness and the useful life 8 mil seems to be the most common in the industry for agricultural use in the reason is that it's less expensive if you can go up to 15 male that's a lot thicker. You still have a small torturous path that could plug so if you spend the money for that expensive tape if you do and. As a side which is subsoil irrigation I may look at a tougher tape if I know it's going to be in there long time if you're burying tape over that I probably look at maybe a thicker variety the thing you got to remember whenever you go to drip is roots sea water. And if rats seek water in you are timely on your geisha because I know somebody told me while I go on vacation now and then OK so you didn't water for that week and you turn the water back on go on another week's vacation same thing those red start figuring out where that water comes from they will start to try to go into the mission device we had a lot of nurseries last summer they were fine that the case Lowes and Home Depot will the question was Where would you have Lowe's and Home Depot. Been from the AG background the thing I hate about Lowe's and Home Depot is you don't have the knowledge staff there that knows what they're talking about they sell you the product most time it's going to be the brown and most time it's going to be 15 or 16 millimeter diameter which was what we call a $500.00 series. Then you got to watch your link the run. Another good source for you know if you if you like getting technical if you go to Toros Web site they have a. Calculator for figuring out length the run in and also slopes so if you. Sometimes when I use my air CAD program I see this isn't going to work and so to double check it out I'll go to the Toros. Flow calculator page and it will allow me to put in my elevation and distance around on both mainline and lateral lines and then there's going to give me a wetted pattern and the one I worked on the other day. About 8 different colors and on the little square grid there was 7 color showing and part of it was at the top because it was going down hill was dry and at the bottom was very wet. And told me OK if I shut cut that in half what will happen not much because looks too much so if I run cross the slope and zone it that way then a work line and so that's where the calculator in it don't matter what variety of tape if you know the flow rate you can choose. All the different flow rates for the tape as well as tubing on there that you can choose and find out whether it will work for what you're trying to do OK the question if you use teeth tape or a tape. 5 pounds 10 pounds what length of run can you run normally when we design we design for a 10 P.S. I regulator and like to run a lot depends on if there's any elevation because if you're pushing uphill you're limited if you're going downhill sometimes you go a little farther. Every too far downhill then you're going to get too much pressure. That's why the calculator may be something that if you say OK I go get a long run what am I going to do. And a lot depends on what size you're starting off with how long the run is usually if I'm doing a $75.00 foot run I get by with a a quarter inch barbed adapter to plug into the mainline hose like that in a work just fine if I'm starting to push by than that then I'd better go to a 400 series Barb So basically battery operated timer backflow device if required so you don't suck your ground water back into your system if it happens to be higher than. You want to be a filter. Pressure regulator hose adapter to connect you under ground so pretty simple setups. Different styles of field or if I'm just doing a small home garden this is a fairly cheap one is got a little filter inside. Hose thread hose thread so basically if you're coming in the end you can go out the other side this is a straight through Y. filter does same type of stuff bigger filter sitting to more area the bigger the filter the better just gotta watch basically you and I siphon devices most cities require most people are on Wells probably should have them if if there's a possibility the stuff might siphon backwards and the pressure regulator thing be either a small one in for homeowners small cheap ones work just fine. OK so what I'm talking about most of your fittings nowadays are spinlock fittings. Anyway know the difference of the 2 fittings here one has a valve good OK What other thing might you notice that on 600 this and says nothing this happens to be a tape fitting It's got a double bar where the one up here will have just a single bar and so the one at the top is designed for drip tube the one of the bottom is for tape. Not that you'll remember that but. It's easy when people bring stuff up the counter they'll bring a roll drip tube and they'll bring a bottom fitting up that's what exactly you're trying to do and he said well I'm going to lay this out and I says Not with those fittings I says because you get 2 different things and explain the difference tape be in a thin fitting if you're trying to shove Tube on here in a fit on the Bb But when you go to lack the nut down and push it to back off on the top one you can slide the tape on you lock it down when you started up there's not enough compression there it to blow the tape back off and so knowing your fittings helps. Some people say I want to inject fertilizer for the home gardener. There's 2 styles I would look at the in the cheap one we don't sell it's designed to go on hose it's of interest has a little hose you mix up a solution in a bucket you drop the hose in it will siphon in on something like this it's an easy flow you basically fill your material in there it colors the water as the fertilizer is going out that will Benchley change back clear to let you know that all of the fertilizers out so another is if you use a miracle grow that it turns green once a miracle grows out the tanks clear again and so it may be 234 year geishas before it gets cleared out but it's a nice useful tool one of those in timers we sell is. This one here for Dummies it's kind of got a home it gives me. Depends on what number I put it on it might be 10 minutes once a day 10 minutes twice a day. I don't need to learn how to program it because when I said Put the battery in and turn it to that notch that's the time of day that that thing starts with and if it's twice a day it's going to be that time and then 12 hours later works fairly good ball valve style so if you use the tank it works good. You're in barrels you know you can do anything you want for a rain barrel the biggest thing is you want to try to make sure that you keep that top sealed some house alight don't get in. When you think rain barrels collect and rough water birds tend to fly over so you get some nutrients. OK she says I'm from Texas rain barrels Well Texas tends to have more rain in the summer than we do here. But you also will consume more water because the pen and soil type you have in Texas it might depend on the area Texas some parts of Texas real heavy clay other parts are sent in so that's the the thing of watering is you gather to learn your soil type and know how much water you really need to save and how far is it between showers it used to be here we would get showers at least about every 3 weeks and now we're gone from a tell October with no rain and so all of a sudden the idea of storing the water in a rain barrel you you've got to get a large capacity unless you have a real small garden OK The question was tubing on top of the ground versus tubing slightly under the ground. White P.V.C. I would never use because it grows algae if I'm using paper tube if it's on top of the ground it's more susceptible to rabbits mice A If you're in the agricultural area coyotes. Squirrels ain't a thing that wants to play with it or chew on it to get water they're going to find it so if you bury it a little bit it makes it a little less attractive farmers that have tried using plastic mulch and run the tubing underneath on top I've been out there and you listen to the hits and go in and say OK the leak in that row that is leaking over there you hear all these leaks and so you say OK is that the right route to go. And. If you use blast of mulch Yes it helps keep the weeds down but you've got to put up with it then you've got to slowly figure out where it's at cut it open make a splice and fix it. Different types of tape are there different ones that are capable of doing different things. Like compensating for elevation compensating for dirty water the answer that question is sort of. There. I haven't found a real true P.C. tape and tell you go to at least the 15 male then they get more of a pressure compensating emitter in them that allows you to do some hills it helps but it's not going to cure the problem because when you shut it off I fear run downhill that water's got to go somewhere until the pressure gets down to where that emitter will close. It's far as dirty water as the torturous path most all all tape makes. You want the tape you want the emitter facing up that way all the dirt is on the bottom so it takes more to get it plugged. Trying to think of Mr Stiles most all OEM even you book style so muse they'll bonded they have a little prescreen that will keep bigger chunks from getting in but some are smaller chunks and if you have minerals will slowly get in the question was irrigate in the winter time. And that's a hard one because in this area we don't irrigate much in the wintertime other than maybe a high tunnel or something like that. Frost normally will not affect tubing I don't know how it performs on tape because they don't move too many people using tape in the winter time for irrigating the boat style limiter and I didn't get a picture of one basically it is about an inch and a half long and about a quarter inch wide has torture's path in it and they bonded to the inside of a piece of tubing. I if I was a new farmer I like the old inline emitters on drip tube that around little children are cool because they do have a double emission path on them and I think they tend to hold up maybe longer than some of the others but the industry's going away from those because it's too costly for them to have all these totes of different sizes of mission devices so when they get ready to change production runs they've got to move that code out move the next oh Dan where they go with the boat style emitter then use that same one for all different sizes to me how much pressure you need the question was How do you get the water from a rain barrel up enough pressure to irrigate something. I think my wife say in 2 days ago they had a class Tell me about water temperature you should have warmer water to irrigate your plants with because it helps prevent some diseases when I was doing green hat my 1st greenhouse guy told me that and so I had this barrel similar to a rain barrel how do year get with it I had a sump pump in there and so when I wanted to water it flipped the sump pump on and I had a hose connection and I had water my plants and then to top the barrel off so the next time I went to use it it would be the water be warmer again. If you've got an oily cell either its oil get into where the pumps pump in it out or you get a bad seal on the cell phone because normally the only oil in the sump pump is the dielectric oil in the dielectric oil should stay contain that problem never fact the water because it's usually in the party base paint on it. When you get a look at if you are going to try to use a cell is to make sure you have one that. It is high head is possible because most of the pumps was left over about 20 feet so that gives you about 10 P.S.I.A. of pressure so that's going to be a limiting factor this media was brought to you by audio post 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermon Please Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.


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