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I need some help with this. I want to plant my 40 acres in trees. Right now I have 5 acres in trees and I'm using soaker hoses to water them. This isn't a viable method of watering for all 40. I think I need to do drip irrigation. How do I do this in such a large area?? Is this going to be cost prohibitive?? I'm nervous about it but I know I'm going to have to do it.
 

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You're going to need a splitter(I know you can get one that supplies up to 5 hoses, but I'm not sure if that is the maximum) for your hydrant, hoses that run from your hydrant along each row of trees, an emitter for each tree, and garden stakes to hold the hoses securely in place. Punch a hole in the hose at each tree, insert an emitter, and lay the end of it by the base of the tree. Cap the hoses, attach to the splitter, and turn on the hydrant! You can also buy a timer that will automatically turn the water on and off at pre-determined times if you like. As far as the cost goes, it's not going to be cheap - I paid $60 for a 100' hose this past summer.
 

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I don't see how you're doing it now with soaker hoses. I had very little luck with them holding up, not to mention the cost.

You could definitely do drip, but it would take a fair amount of planning for your layout. You'd want a series of main lines that your drip lines would then take off from. I'd contact a couple retailers of the equipment, give them your layout and let them help ( or ideally do ) with the design and costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't see how you're doing it now with soaker hoses. I had very little luck with them holding up, not to mention the cost.

You could definitely do drip, but it would take a fair amount of planning for your layout. You'd want a series of main lines that your drip lines would then take off from. I'd contact a couple retailers of the equipment, give them your layout and let them help ( or ideally do ) with the design and costs.
It's just 400' of soaker hose. They are fabric ones so they're doing well. They are great for a small line but I know I can't do all 40 with them.

I'll contact a seller and see what happens. I suppose I'll have to do my swales first.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're going to need a splitter(I know you can get one that supplies up to 5 hoses, but I'm not sure if that is the maximum) for your hydrant, hoses that run from your hydrant along each row of trees, an emitter for each tree, and garden stakes to hold the hoses securely in place. Punch a hole in the hose at each tree, insert an emitter, and lay the end of it by the base of the tree. Cap the hoses, attach to the splitter, and turn on the hydrant! You can also buy a timer that will automatically turn the water on and off at pre-determined times if you like. As far as the cost goes, it's not going to be cheap - I paid $60 for a 100' hose this past summer.
You make it sound easy!
 

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Definitely do-able. Cost prohibitive? That is not up to the peanut gallery to decide. Trees are not inexpensive. Planting, and replacing them, is not inexpensive. Just for fun, with a bunch of assumptions:

A single 1000' roll of 1/2 main line tubing for drip systems runs approximately $130 (dripworks.com). 40 acres, assumed to be square in shape, would be 1320x1320. A single run would then be $172, just in tubing if you go wall-to-wall, which you probably wouldn't. Assuming the trees to be in placed in a grid fashion, multiply $172 by the number of rows plus another $172 to connect all the rows to the main line. At this point, the acreage is the cost driver, not the # of trees. You will need

an emitter for each tree.
A bunch of 4-way and a couple of 3-way splitters.
Couplers to splice together the 1000' rolls where appropriate.
Zip-ties to terminate the main lines.
A 10-lb pressure regulator.

Optional:
timer(s).

Maybe Optional, Maybe mandatory, depending on the number of emitters:
A manifold (splitter) at the hydrant to maintain enough pressure throughout the entire system. The site I get my stuff from (dripworks.com) has some guidance as to how many emitters is too many.

Installation is super-easy. A kid can do it. Goofs, including design goofs, are easy to remedy.
 

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Here's a cheap ******* way to do drip irrigation. You would be trading time for cost.

Get a stack of 5 gallon buckets, check with contractors for their dry-wall buckets and bulk paint buckets. Drill a small hole in the side of each one to drip out the water. Collect a rock for every bucket, big enough to hold down the empty bucket in the wind.

Find a bulk water tank for a pickup or trailer and a hose to fill buckets. You can check with the local elevator or chemical dealer if they have any empty extra chemical cubes all washed out. They hold 275 gallons. One person drives the pickup up and down the tree rows, the other fills the buckets with the hose. You know how much water each tree is getting and it is delivered right to the tree, not everything else around, or even between trees. Gravity flow is plenty for filling the buckets, no pumps needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's a cheap ******* way to do drip irrigation. You would be trading time for cost.

Get a stack of 5 gallon buckets, check with contractors for their dry-wall buckets and bulk paint buckets. Drill a small hole in the side of each one to drip out the water. Collect a rock for every bucket, big enough to hold down the empty bucket in the wind.

Find a bulk water tank for a pickup or trailer and a hose to fill buckets. You can check with the local elevator or chemical dealer if they have any empty extra chemical cubes all washed out. They hold 275 gallons. One person drives the pickup up and down the tree rows, the other fills the buckets with the hose. You know how much water each tree is getting and it is delivered right to the tree, not everything else around, or even between trees. Gravity flow is plenty for filling the buckets, no pumps needed.
While I do love the idea, and I have used wine bottles as remote watering devices, I'm not sure this would work for my big picture, which is a permaculture U-pick orchard. I'll have plants everywhere, hopefully. The trees are just the biggest financial investment.
 

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It all starts with the well. You need to know your water flow in terms of pressure and gallons per minute because that will dictate how many emitters you can run at one time.

Then call berryhilldrip.com and they will figure out the materials and cost. Then you can decide what you want to do.
 

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My big question is "Why?"

Is this a Christmas tree farm, an orchard?

Unless I had a purpose, I would just move to a place like here, where trees grow on their own.
 
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