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Posted: 3/10/2016 4:57:54 PM EDT
I want to put together a gravity fed drip irrigation system for my garden. My plan is pump water from my well into my container on a platform. I will have a float in my container that cuts the well pump off and on. This is as far as I have gotten with my plans.

I would love to hear suggestions, advice, and lessons learned from those of you who have a drip system.

Thanks for the help!
Link Posted: 3/10/2016 5:05:46 PM EDT
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.
Link Posted: 3/10/2016 7:12:27 PM EDT
Consider a float switch to open an electronic valve, or take a mechanical stock tank float valve and extend it with a fiberglass pole and float on the end (or something). Aim is to reduce the short cycling of your well pump.






We are looking into this as well, basically just to reduce starts/stops on the well pump.
Link Posted: 3/11/2016 7:58:48 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.
View Quote



I wasn't sure on height, but it wasn't close to 40'. What led you to that height?
Link Posted: 3/11/2016 8:01:42 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Consider a float switch to open an electronic valve, or take a mechanical stock tank float valve and extend it with a fiberglass pole and float on the end (or something). Aim is to reduce the short cycling of your well pump.



We are looking into this as well, basically just to reduce starts/stops on the well pump.
View Quote


Definitely. Whatever I go with will have to be easy on the pump.
Link Posted: 3/11/2016 11:54:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/11/2016 11:55:07 AM EDT by BUCK1911]
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Originally Posted By CKyleC:



I wasn't sure on height, but it wasn't close to 40'. What led you to that height?
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Originally Posted By CKyleC:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.



I wasn't sure on height, but it wasn't close to 40'. What led you to that height?

The hill above the garden is 50' and to go higher than 40' would make my 3500gal tanks visible to raiders looking for the last of the worlds water after Al's global warming predictions come true.
Link Posted: 3/11/2016 12:12:19 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By BUCK1911:





The hill above the garden is 50' and to go higher than 40' would make my 3500gal tanks visible to raiders looking for the last of the worlds water after Al's global warming predictions come true.

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Originally Posted By BUCK1911:



Originally Posted By CKyleC:


Originally Posted By BUCK1911:

How tall is the platform?

I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.

We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.






I wasn't sure on height, but it wasn't close to 40'. What led you to that height?


The hill above the garden is 50' and to go higher than 40' would make my 3500gal tanks visible to raiders looking for the last of the worlds water after Al's global warming predictions come true.





 






Why do you figure you need so much height over the garden though?
Link Posted: 3/11/2016 12:34:54 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:

 

Why do you figure you need so much height over the garden though?
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Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
Originally Posted By CKyleC:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.



I wasn't sure on height, but it wasn't close to 40'. What led you to that height?

The hill above the garden is 50' and to go higher than 40' would make my 3500gal tanks visible to raiders looking for the last of the worlds water after Al's global warming predictions come true.

 

Why do you figure you need so much height over the garden though?

Oh that.
My current drip system valves etc. need 10 to 15 psi to operate and I think 40' of head will give me enough to make it happen after line losses etc.
Link Posted: 3/12/2016 12:02:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2016 12:15:44 AM EDT by sunnybean]
We've done Home Depot 'DIG' systems on our last two gardens. They work very well. At the old house we tied it into the underground sprinkler system. Fire and forget. At the new place we are on a well and have no yard. I divided the garden into two zones and have a two zone timer. Each zone waters for one hour every other day during the heat of summer. We've been extremely happy.  

New place







Old garden

Link Posted: 3/14/2016 12:06:17 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:

Oh that.
My current drip system valves etc. need 10 to 15 psi to operate and I think 40' of head will give me enough to make it happen after line losses etc.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
Originally Posted By CKyleC:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.



I wasn't sure on height, but it wasn't close to 40'. What led you to that height?

The hill above the garden is 50' and to go higher than 40' would make my 3500gal tanks visible to raiders looking for the last of the worlds water after Al's global warming predictions come true.


I'm completely ignorant, so please bear with me.

Is 40' an educated guess, or is there a standard "formula" I'm not aware of?

Thanks for the help1
 

Why do you figure you need so much height over the garden though?

Oh that.
My current drip system valves etc. need 10 to 15 psi to operate and I think 40' of head will give me enough to make it happen after line losses etc.

Link Posted: 3/14/2016 12:08:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sunnybean:
We've done Home Depot 'DIG' systems on our last two gardens. They work very well. At the old house we tied it into the underground sprinkler system. Fire and forget. At the new place we are on a well and have no yard. I divided the garden into two zones and have a two zone timer. Each zone waters for one hour every other day during the heat of summer. We've been extremely happy.  

New place

<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/5D6D62C5-F2B1-4A1D-81ED-3998D67709F6_zpsyapjhmc5.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/5D6D62C5-F2B1-4A1D-81ED-3998D67709F6_zpsyapjhmc5.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/42000154-5FA4-4438-9050-B636BD761935_zps0gesvvo4.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/42000154-5FA4-4438-9050-B636BD761935_zps0gesvvo4.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/2C4C3009-EAD1-4D4E-9946-3920E9F6CAC9_zpsrusont9h.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/2C4C3009-EAD1-4D4E-9946-3920E9F6CAC9_zpsrusont9h.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/A0A8053B-B048-44C9-B47F-D6116C94C532_zpshd7usz7d.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/A0A8053B-B048-44C9-B47F-D6116C94C532_zpshd7usz7d.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/20A8CD2B-7D14-4505-8D27-1CD402EF0B1C_zpsx1uwfgcq.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/20A8CD2B-7D14-4505-8D27-1CD402EF0B1C_zpsx1uwfgcq.jpg</a>

Old garden

<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/GardenMay2011.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/GardenMay2011.jpg</a>
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Your garden looks awesome!

So you achieved this with watering each section every other day for one hour? Nice! How wet/dry are your summers?

Thanks for sharing your results!
Link Posted: 3/14/2016 11:44:41 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By CKyleC:

Your garden looks awesome!

So you achieved this with watering each section every other day for one hour? Nice! How wet/dry are your summers?

Thanks for sharing your results!
View Quote


Thank you.

Yes, each zone for one hour every other day. I'm not sure how much water that actually is. I have a 25psi regulator on each zone. This is at 4,200' outside of Helena, MT. We average 11" of precipitation a year. Summertime temps are usually in the mid 80's with a week or two in the 100's. Of course, we're also known to get a foot of snow in the middle of June and/or a good frost in mid September.
Link Posted: 3/19/2016 7:41:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sunnybean:
We've done Home Depot 'DIG' systems on our last two gardens. They work very well. At the old house we tied it into the underground sprinkler system. Fire and forget. At the new place we are on a well and have no yard. I divided the garden into two zones and have a two zone timer. Each zone waters for one hour every other day during the heat of summer. We've been extremely happy.  

New place

<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/5D6D62C5-F2B1-4A1D-81ED-3998D67709F6_zpsyapjhmc5.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/5D6D62C5-F2B1-4A1D-81ED-3998D67709F6_zpsyapjhmc5.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/42000154-5FA4-4438-9050-B636BD761935_zps0gesvvo4.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/42000154-5FA4-4438-9050-B636BD761935_zps0gesvvo4.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/2C4C3009-EAD1-4D4E-9946-3920E9F6CAC9_zpsrusont9h.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/2C4C3009-EAD1-4D4E-9946-3920E9F6CAC9_zpsrusont9h.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/A0A8053B-B048-44C9-B47F-D6116C94C532_zpshd7usz7d.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/A0A8053B-B048-44C9-B47F-D6116C94C532_zpshd7usz7d.jpg</a>
<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/20A8CD2B-7D14-4505-8D27-1CD402EF0B1C_zpsx1uwfgcq.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/20A8CD2B-7D14-4505-8D27-1CD402EF0B1C_zpsx1uwfgcq.jpg</a>

Old garden

<a href="http://s897.photobucket.com/user/AssSupt/media/Garden/GardenMay2011.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i897.photobucket.com/albums/ac180/AssSupt/Garden/GardenMay2011.jpg</a>
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Wow, that is one helluva garden! Congrats! Especially in MT.
Love the view you got there.
I couldn't get gravity feed to work for my system, so I had to run it off a pump. Went with "mr. landscaper" kit from lowes and expanded on that. Works great.
Link Posted: 3/21/2016 10:58:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/3/2016 1:17:54 PM EDT
2 questions.

1 what's in the jars?
2 what's up with the flamingos?
Link Posted: 4/4/2016 1:11:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 1:54:15 AM EDT
Those soaker hoses require a decent amount of static pressure to function properly. If you try to string too many lines together, you'll find you're having dead zones and failures to evenly water throughout the length of the line. The rule I use for my systems are to never go over a 100 feet in length for each zone. My zones are controlled by battery operated water timers. I have some of our trees on their own zones to keep the watering consistent. Depending on what is in the zone, I can set the watering time and how many days per week. Using these soaker hose or drip systems keeps the water off the leaves of the plants and minimizes fungus and bug issues that hand watering or sprinkler style systems can promote.

The system works pretty well. I'm lazy and don't have time to water at 0500 in the summer. So the timers allow me to put down as many minutes of water per zone as I want. I stagger the times so multiple zones aren't trying to use water at the same time. I think I have like 14 zones.

I have a well and a pressure tank that keeps the pressure around 40 - 55 psi. There is probably some math out there for figuring out head pressure, but math is for faggots. I'd imagine you'd need quite a big tower to make it work right with gravity alone. You'd be pumping the water up into the tank anyway, so I'm not sure what you'd be gaining beyond the novelty.

I'm up around 6000 feet in a pine forest in northwestern Arizona. I struggle to get the sun the plants want due to the amount of three coverage. Plus I'm on a northern slope of the mountain. So in the winter time, the sun is literally down at 15:30 hours. We have a lot of deer and elk that would love nothing more than to get into the garden area. Even with these restrictions, our tomato plants towered around 12' high. Cherry tomatoes were almost the size of golf balls. Last year was our first year up here with the garden. This year we're doubling down on planting area. We were out earlier today terracing the hillside and added another 150 sq feet of growing area.

We chopped some green cabbages that we had growing over the winter the other day for fried cabbage and bacon. So much better than store bought cabbage. Store bought cabbage seems a bit watery compared to the home grown heads that were a little larger than a softball. I didn't even take care of them. I never watered them over the winter. They were buried in snow for two months.

Link Posted: 4/19/2016 5:10:22 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.
View Quote

Nah, I've done it with barrels on 4' platforms and it worked fine, at least for drip emitters.  You're not going to run a sprinkler off it or anything, but that kinda defeats the purpose of drip irrigation in the first place.

This was during the drought of 2012, when everything else was dead, dead, dead.





For comparison, here's what the non-irrigated corn looked like by the end of the season :



Maintaining a proper mulch layer goes hand-in-hand with drip irrigation.  Aside from controlling weeds, the mulch helps moderate soil  moisture levels so the wind. sun and low ambient humidity isn't slurping up the water as soon as you put it down. It allows the water time to seep deeper into the ground; I'm convinced a lot of garden failures are due to people standing there with a hose, dutifully watering the top 1/4" of soil which dries out way before the plants derive much benefit from it.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 5:26:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 5:46:29 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:


I get why you would use gravity feed if you are irrigating with rain water but it looks like you are just filling the barrels with the hose so why bother?
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Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Originally Posted By midmo:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.

Nah, I've done it with barrels on 4' platforms and it worked fine, at least for drip emitters.  You're not going to run a sprinkler off it or anything, but that kinda defeats the purpose of drip irrigation in the first place.

This was during the drought of 2012, when everything else was dead, dead, dead.

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/Garden%202012/watered.jpg

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/Garden%202012/pepperfield.jpg

For comparison, here's what the non-irrigated corn looked like by the end of the season :

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/Garden%202012/DSC_0172.jpg

Maintaining a proper mulch layer goes hand-in-hand with drip irrigation.  Aside from controlling weeds, the mulch helps moderate soil  moisture levels so the wind. sun and low ambient humidity isn't slurping up the water as soon as you put it down. It allows the water time to seep deeper into the ground; I'm convinced a lot of garden failures are due to people standing there with a hose, dutifully watering the top 1/4" of soil which dries out way before the plants derive much benefit from it.


I get why you would use gravity feed if you are irrigating with rain water but it looks like you are just filling the barrels with the hose so why bother?

Our well isn't great, so we have to control how much water we use and at what rate.  Using the barrels lets us fill those up quickly and apply the water slowly, so it really seeps in.  Plus, we have five or six different garden patches, so we'd have hoses strung out all over creation if we wanted to just set up a hands-off system (I would if I could...), and probably a bunch of water timers so we could water different areas at different times, again to prevent running the well dry.

We've used soaker hoses, sprinklers, hand watering, and every other way of getting water to the roots of the plants where it's needed, and so far the barrels/drip has proven to be the most time-efficient method so far.  Ultimately I do want to plumb in a rainwater collection system, but that will probably all run from one or two larger reservoirs with buried lines to the garden.


Link Posted: 4/19/2016 1:28:16 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By midmo:

Our well isn't great, so we have to control how much water we use and at what rate.  Using the barrels lets us fill those up quickly and apply the water slowly, so it really seeps in.  Plus, we have five or six different garden patches, so we'd have hoses strung out all over creation if we wanted to just set up a hands-off system (I would if I could...), and probably a bunch of water timers so we could water different areas at different times, again to prevent running the well dry.

We've used soaker hoses, sprinklers, hand watering, and every other way of getting water to the roots of the plants where it's needed, and so far the barrels/drip has proven to be the most time-efficient method so far.  Ultimately I do want to plumb in a rainwater collection system, but that will probably all run from one or two larger reservoirs with buried lines to the garden.


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Originally Posted By midmo:
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Originally Posted By midmo:
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
How tall is the platform?
I think it takes some PSI to work right. I am sure there is a way but I think it will take a bunch of tinkering.
We are looking at doing this and my tank will be 40' above the garden.

Nah, I've done it with barrels on 4' platforms and it worked fine, at least for drip emitters.  You're not going to run a sprinkler off it or anything, but that kinda defeats the purpose of drip irrigation in the first place.

This was during the drought of 2012, when everything else was dead, dead, dead.

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/Garden%202012/watered.jpg

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/Garden%202012/pepperfield.jpg

For comparison, here's what the non-irrigated corn looked like by the end of the season :

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/Garden%202012/DSC_0172.jpg

Maintaining a proper mulch layer goes hand-in-hand with drip irrigation.  Aside from controlling weeds, the mulch helps moderate soil  moisture levels so the wind. sun and low ambient humidity isn't slurping up the water as soon as you put it down. It allows the water time to seep deeper into the ground; I'm convinced a lot of garden failures are due to people standing there with a hose, dutifully watering the top 1/4" of soil which dries out way before the plants derive much benefit from it.


I get why you would use gravity feed if you are irrigating with rain water but it looks like you are just filling the barrels with the hose so why bother?

Our well isn't great, so we have to control how much water we use and at what rate.  Using the barrels lets us fill those up quickly and apply the water slowly, so it really seeps in.  Plus, we have five or six different garden patches, so we'd have hoses strung out all over creation if we wanted to just set up a hands-off system (I would if I could...), and probably a bunch of water timers so we could water different areas at different times, again to prevent running the well dry.

We've used soaker hoses, sprinklers, hand watering, and every other way of getting water to the roots of the plants where it's needed, and so far the barrels/drip has proven to be the most time-efficient method so far.  Ultimately I do want to plumb in a rainwater collection system, but that will probably all run from one or two larger reservoirs with buried lines to the garden.



This is great I have been wanting to experiment with this concept but thought more pressure would be needed.
What valves and timers are you using to turn it off and on?
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 6:07:26 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
This is great I have been wanting to experiment with this concept but thought more pressure would be needed.
What valves and timers are you using to turn it off and on?
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Nothin'... the system automatically comes on when we fill the barrel up, and shuts off when it's empty.  High tech.  
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