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Discussion Starter #1
Can you tell me about your drip systems? I'm going to be setting one up for the veggie garden, and I've got lots of options, and no experience! I like the 1/4" soaker hose, and the dial-a-flow emitters (like baby sprinklers). I also have the drip emitters. Our well is taking a dive, so we're trying to conserve water as much as possible, without giving up on the garden entirely.

I'm still not really clear on how much to water the garden, so I don't know how long and how often I would be watering with a drip system. I'd welcome any experiences you all have with your watering patterns.

How do you do you mulch with your drip system? Just put your mulch over the lines? Emitters over or under the mulch? Etc, etc! I'm planning on using straw as mulch.

My garden is raised beds, with good soil in them, square foot method, and just got my transplants in (goats ate my previous efforts!). I've got lots of vertical indeterminate tomato plants and a few melon plants. Lots of bush tomatoes, and I will be planting fall crops soon.

THANKS!

Tracey Mouse
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm, quality is fine, it's quantity that's a pain. We're supplementing with a water truck as needed.

Tracey Mouse
 

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mousebandit said:
Hmm, quality is fine, it's quantity that's a pain. We're supplementing with a water truck as needed.

Tracey Mouse
Then you need to go to drip. We have abundant water but it is pumped from a lake with quite a bit of algae. We're ripping out the T tape tomorrow. The 1/4 lines should work fine if you have nothing to clog it.
 

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Why not put in a filter? My well water has rust particles, so when I install mine in the spring, I;m putting in a filter at the start--less than 50.
 

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i used drippers for a while but always got clogged and hated finding one wasnt working and would loose a plant so i went to soaker hoses they dont clog generally never had one clog at least, and they water evenly, they probably use more water than the drippers but I cant afford to havea clog and kill a plant.
You can buy realitively cheap water filters and cheap water meters that measure the flow per gallon that are automatic and computerized I think we paid around 45 dollars for one they make them 45 on the low end and 245 on the high end with multiple faucets and auto turn on and turn off with water flow meters.
 

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I have soaker hoses in garden beds- and they've sprung leaks duct tape doesn't quite repair- and inserted drip emitters for my blueberries. Sort of feel I have to walk all 20 some bushes to ensure no emitter has blasted out or end cap come off but I've only turned it on a dozen or two times- may trust it more as times passes. City water so hope emitters ("self-cleaning" though) don't clog but I'll notice on my inspection walks.
 

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a filter is a good investment when using drip emitters....the 'flag' emitters are Hardee emitters and come in a wide variety of output volumes (1-4 gph)....and you can easily clean them as needed.....we also use drip tape (Queen Gil) and it does a wonderful job on the raised beds...for this you will need a inexpensive pressure reducer for most systems.....
 

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If the grey water is coming out of a washer then the fibers will probably cause havoc with it.

I had to turn away from the drip system idea. The thought of having to tear down half the system and rebuild it from year to year seemed expensive and wasteful. My labor is cheap so now I can just go from plant to plant giving it water.

I did bury plastic milk jugs in the soil at some of my plants, where I can fill them up with the hose and then they slowly drain directly into the root system. Just take a plastic gallon (like a milk jug) container, perforate the bottom a little bit, and then bury it up to the neck at the base of the plant. It's easy to ensure that enough water is getting to your plants then and it takes a few hours to fully drain. It's kind of a poor man's drip system and one that doesn't cost me anything. Plus my ecological footprint isn't any bigger than it already was since the trash jugs were headed for the landfill anyway.
 

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drip tape runs about $0.02 / ft and it costs us about 50 cents a year per raised bed to replace the tape each year.......the hardee emmitters we use last for years and can be reused and they run about a dime each.......there are lots of row crop farmers going to buried drip tape for irrigation.....seems to be working well in the fields where the gophers don't wreak havoc...
 

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Small diameter garden hose from a yard sale: $2.00
Ice pick from the tool box: $0.00
All the veggies well watered: Priceless

No kidding this is what I use and I turn my faucet on very little. Works great.
 

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We use 2 inch plastic pipe from the well, down the outside of the garden with gate valves every 3 feet. From those valves, we have soaker hoses on the row crops (carrots, green beans, peas, etc), and the little hose that you poke a hole in where you want it for the far apart stuff like tomatoes, squash, etc. We can only water the rows that need water, and only the plants are getting watered, which cuts down on weeds.
 

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So when I came upon this thread I went looking for a way to get my water bill down.
I found this site, www.dripirrigation.com and they have 1/2" drip hoses 1,000 feet long for 62 bucks plus change and shipping. I know that's higher than BobK said, but that would have paid my last water bill. Not counting the ones before.
They had all sorts of stuff, but I didn't read it all.

I told my wife this was going to be a learning year for me, and it has been that.
I was used to being able to contract a job, or work a shut down, or something whenever I got into a money pinch, but since I fell, that has came to an end.
Now an $85 water bill hurts bad.

I will be buying some electric fence and drip hose of some sort for next years garden.

Once again tonight, thanks for clearing the cob webs out with the ideas.
Now I am going to go look on here and see what else I need to write down.
Dennis
 

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I had expected to have to buy drip irrig kit via mail but actually found some in Walmart and an even more extensive selection in one of the big box hardware stores- I think Home Depot. Ask the workers (duh! I kept looking wrong places) but might be garden, lawn irrigation, or even PLUMBING section! No postage- which adds up on that hose.
 
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