Irrigation Technique for a Backyard Garden

in #gardening4 years ago

As those who follow my blogs know I have a rather large garden and spending an hour or more every day in the summer watering when conditions are hot and dry can get old. A lot of gardeners like soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems sometimes hooked up to a water timer so no labor is involved at all. The problem I have with that system is I don’t like the steaming hot water coming out of the hose onto my plants. I have read that most hoses contain some level of BPA so I like to let the water run until it turns cold before watering. Also, I doubt I would have the water pressure to irrigate my entire garden at one time which complicates things.

I decided sprinkler hoses would work best for my situation. By using the same connectors on all the sprinkler hoses and watering wands I could easily switch my hose to where ever I needed it. Now a bed could be watering while I was busy doing other things in the garden. If I’m only watering one bed at a time I usually let it water for 10 or 15 minutes.

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To make this technique work well you have to arrange the sprinkler hose around your plants and then mulch over top so all the water remains in the ground. Here you can see my lima beans when they were just getting started with my sprinkler hose meandering between the rows. The second picture is the same bed after mulching and a few weeks of growth.

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To actually get the water up to my garden I ran a PVC pipe up my neighbor’s fence (with his permission of course) and connected a faucet at my garden. I run the hose from the side of my house to the PVC and then have three hoses coming off the faucet in my garden so I always have a hose nearby while in my garden.

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I just have to remember to unplug the hose in the fall before freezing temperatures arrive so the water will drain out.

This is not the ideal system and I don’t have sprinkler hoses in all my beds, just the ones that make sense. However it does help me to be more efficient in regards to my labor and also with the amount of water I use. Thanks for reading.

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Mulching can reduce your watering requirements by 90% and if you plant intensively a la Square-foot gardening or BioIntensive, the plants will quickly shade each other to reduce evaporation further. Your planting looks tight, but I didn't see mulch so I thought I would chirp. Beautiful garden btw @garden-to-eat ! Looks like you will have lots of zero mile meals to come! Cheers! @ecoknowme Is grey water or rainwater possible? or already being used?

No I haven't gotten into using rainwater off my roof or anything like that. I do mulch my entire garden with leaf mold. Works great but the raised beds still dry out quickly.

I might have to dig trench to bury a garden hose at some point for my side Micro-Garden. I have drip systems for my other gardens, but didn't get them in place this year.

Sounds like work

Shouldn't be a lot of work and I have to dig down the dirt anyway, because the previous owner made the stone pavers too high and caused a minor flood through the back door. At least I temporarily fixed that.