drip irrigation basics

scaper_austinApril 7, 2013

For the past couple of seasons I have been growing some fruit trees in containers (most in 15 gallon pots) and have been using drip irrigation to water them. I have been using a spike with an adjustable head that sprays a fine mist of water 360 degrees around the pot. I like the coverage they provide but they seem to clog up all the time and I have had many near disasters over the past two years and I am now wanting to switch over to the button type drippers. Will these give me good enough coverage? I always worry that they only drip water in one area and don't cover the entire rootball. If I do use these how many drippers will I need in each 15 gallon pot? How long should I program my system to run? I appreciate any info on this subject.


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Do you have a filter on your water line? To keep the drip lines from clogging I have a 200 micron filter to remove small particles. The well will produce some small sand particles, especially if it's not used for irrigation in awhile.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:01AM
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no filter but I know of many people who have used a filter who have still had a hard time with the drip spikes clogging. Mine clog all the time. I will add a filter even if I switch to the button drippers but I just don't trust the spikes anymore that is why I was hoping to get more info on the button type drippers that I have used on in ground stuff and never had a clog problem.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:39PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

It all depends on the filtration and the type of emitter.. Some like the emitter you could take apart and clean yourself because its a quick and easy fix. The number one thing you should is get a filter.. I use carbon filters for chlorine,etc.. That would solve much more provlems than some sediment... However, even with the filtration, when debris and other things splash up from rain,wind,etc, the emitters would get clogged.. The best solution I could tell you is get a water filter that's rated good for sediment,can't remember the micron size off hand, but any carbon/sediment filter should work.. If that doesnt help the clogging, get a different emiiter..

Hope you find solution,

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:45PM
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There are a few issues here. First of all, almost everybody who has had drippers/sprayers for awhile has confronted clogged heads.Expensive or elaborate filters help somewhat...not a great answer. Water sits in the dripline and grows stuff (like moss/bacteria). Also, heads with a lower gph...will have smaller orifices...leading to greater chance of clogging. I have watered 2 1/2 acres with drippers for 30 years. It takes attention. Different style heads have different advantages. Consider the "staked head" which has an adjustable head with like 5-6 outlet holes. They don't clog. It also will adjust the "throw" of your head.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Thanks Fireduck,
Yeah I have heard those types of spikes don't clog. I was worried that they still would not provide the coverage I would need for my pots. Do you know of a recommended running time for these type of emitters for a 15 gallon pot? Does 20 minutes a pot sound good? Thanks to all for the replies.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:32PM
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