Irrigation/drip watering systems

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DHM

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Irrigation/drip watering systems
« on: August 03, 2018, 08:59 »
After taking on a plot in mid-may and only having had two light showers since, the daily watering in this hot weather has become a bit of a chore and it's got me thinking about auto-watering systems etc.

I love a project and setting up a network of hoses to water an 800sq ft growing area is an attractive challenge; has anyone done this and if so what problems did you encounter? Can anyone recommend any good resources for designing such a system?

I'm a Northern cheapskate so I'd be looking for salvaged hoses etc where possible, so off the shelf systems would not be for me.

Cheers, D

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Kleftiwallah

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 11:13 »

I've knocked up an auto watering system for my greenhouse, but it depends on a 240 v supply.  The main component is a soleniod operated gate valve and a timer.  Works a treat.

Cheers,  Tony.
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JayG

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 11:30 »
Nice work Klefti!  ;)

The timer for my (bought) greenhouse irrigation system uses a battery operated solenoid, and after a shaky start when the battery holder wasn't making proper contact with the body of the unit it's worked perfectly all summer. It uses small bore tubing so wouldn't be suitable for a large growing area.

I think for DHM the way to go is using standard hosepipe with small holes at intervals to produce a dripping system - obviously the length of the hose, water pressure and size of holes will be variables which will require a good deal of trial and error (hopefully avoiding the big error of having too many and/or too large holes to start off with!  :lol:)
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Veg Plot 1B

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 08:09 »
I attached a bilge pump (13) to old hose pipe & using 12v battery I can water the entire plot where needed from my water butt.

A lot easier than watering cans.

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DHM

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 07:16 »
Thanks all! My current train of thought is as follows:

I have 4x 11ftx18ft beds in a 'square' with planting rows arranged along the 11ft transects (so 18x11ft rows timesed by 4).

I am thinking of having a short main line from the butt splitting into 4 sub lines (1 for each bed) then running 5 buried leaky hoses 2ft apart from each of the 4 sub lines running down the 18ft lengths, therefore crossing the planting rows. I also hope to have an extra removeable mainline and 4 subs to attach to the opposite end of the network to enable attachment to the communal water supply, at the opposite end of yhe allotment to the butts to save having to fill up the butts manually just to make it work.

Will there be enough pressure to push the water out through all this hose?

Would drilled drainpipes be better?

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Veg Plot 1B

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 07:32 »
Would think enough pressure on mains set up, maybe struggle with gravity feed water butt though.

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JayG

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 08:32 »
Agree with Veg Plot 1B - mains water pressure varies of course, but is commonly around 1 bar, which equates to a 10m vertical head of water.

A full water butt is only likely to develop a fifth of that, but even that will reduce rapidly as it empties - just can't see a gravity fed system delivering enough pressure for such an extensive network.

If I'm wrong, and it did work, it would obviously behave very differently when connected to your proposed alternative mains supply unless you were able to reliably restrict the flow rate.

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DHM

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 19:04 »
Ah ok, that makes a lot of sense. I could use the butts for watering the greenhouses, and rely on the mains for the beds then, might not solve my daily watering problem but makes it a lot easier and quicker!

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JayG

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 11:49 »
Sounds like a good plan (just remember who we'll blame if you get it up and running next summer and it rains every day!  :lol:)

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DHM

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 05:18 »
Well, looks like my plans are scuppered! I've discovered that my site only allows hand held hoses and my irrigation system does not comply with the rules... how disappointing!

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JayG

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 08:23 »
I had wondered about that - I suppose in hindsight it was inevitable unless each plot had its own tap (yeah, right!  ;))

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Lardman

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 19:04 »
Surely that rule doesn't extend to hoses connected to water butts  :wacko:  couple of butts couple of battery powered pumps get some head pressure and way you go.
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grinling

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Re: Irrigation/drip watering systems
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 19:23 »
I only water every few days so my roots are good, over watering causes small roots.



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