Drip irrigation for an orchard
With my number of fruit trees getting up there, I need to find a more efficient way to irrigate than moving the hose around by hand. So I am planning a drip system. From the info I have been able to find, there seems to be some conflicting info out there, so I thought I would ask here for advise.
My trees are currently of mixed ages, from newly planted to >10 yrs old, all semi-dwarf or standards, so size varies greatly. I want to put in a system which can handle the young trees growing.
What I was planning was to make each orchard row a drip zone. This will keep each zone within the flow limit of my water system. Since there will be a mix of mature and young trees in most rows, I had planned on using a spiral of drip hose/tape around each tree. The length of the spiral drip hose will vary according to the size of each tree. And as the small trees grow, I can add length to their spirals to give them more water. Lengths calculated so that all trees get the water they need in the same amount of time, so the zone can be one for one interval for all.
First question is anyone see any problems with this approach?
Second question is what type of drip hose/tape to use. I am leaning towards the thicker PE pipe with preinserted emitters, probably every 2'. The alternative would be T-Tape. T-tape's advantages are lower price and it can be buried. The thicker PE pipe is more durable and should last longer. Curious if anyone has any experience using either of these.
Lastly, any other thoughts, ideas of comments?