Drip Irrigation Ideas/Lessons Learned......

blueboy1977(TX9A/B)July 24, 2013

Im in the process of attempting to install drip irrigation to my blueberries. Ive only got 3 raised beds now that are 3ftx3ftx10in and 20 potted plants. Using rainwater with about 1200gallons of storage. I will be using a 1/2hp pump. Guessing about 75 drip emitters total at 1 gph each. Total lenght of pipe will be some where around 130ft of 3/4inch pvc ran in the ground. Ontop of that will be the maybe 30 ft of 3/4 poly tubing for emitters.

Questions,

Will a 1/2hp pump supply enough water to only have one zone for all the emitters?

Do I really need a back flowpreventer/air siphion if automated valves and a check valve are in place? Do I even need one with rain water???

I have no first flush diverter on my rain system so the water is pretty dirty. Any suggestions on filtration?

Any controllers and pump start relays you can recommend and ones you dont trust or have problems with?

Any problems you guys/gals have had and what you would do different if you had it to do over again?

Anything else related??? Things Im not considering here???

This post was edited by blueboy1977 on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 7:55

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Noogy(6 sw mi)

If you ph tends to go up, sulfuric acid in the mix. Liquified kelp.
I'm in sand so I have to run a similar mix at bud break and a month later. It helps with the following hard water that I use with the emitters.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:26AM
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blueberryhillsfarm

You only need 1.2 gal/min so your 1/2 hp pump is more than enough. We use drip tape (T-Tape) which is a low pressure system. They say it only needs 4 psi but 8-10 works better. 4 psi translates to about 10 feet of head so if the top of your water in the tank is 10 ft about your bed you will have 4.3 psi. Many people can just use a gravity system. You need a 200 micorn filter in-line to prevent the emitters from getting clogged. Dripworks.com has a bunch of options.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:39AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I hope you going to use micro sprinkler so water can spread over top pot something like blouson sprinkler. A drip emitter water want spread before goes to deep in pot there some info online about pattern. In older post Bam had good one picked out and using.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 12:11PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Thanks for the replies, I will look at some older posts and see what I can find. I was thinking of using 3 drip emitters per for 15 gallon pots and 4 emitters for the 25 to 30 gallon pots. The raised beds would 9 emitters, one for every square foot, ya or nay?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 12:52PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blueboy,

I have stated before how I despise drip emitters so I am probably not impartial but could you run through why you are using them instead of something like micro spray heads?

Thinking outside the box....have you ever thought of using self watering containers for the BB? They would stay constantly moist and watering would be very simple. Self watering containers made from 55 gallon drums would be awesome for the blues.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 13:19

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 1:13PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Bam, Im not set on drip yet but it sure sounded good! Thats why Im on here asking you guys because yall have been there and done that. I assume some type of non-moving micro spray head set pretty close to the top of the soil/pot would give a better wetting pattern. The self watering containers sound good too but I dont have that many drums and or matching pots to do it with at this point. My problem is Im going out of town soon for a week and I dont trust anyone to keep my plants watered properly. I really want to have a automated spray system in place before I leave. Ive already got the pump and 1/4 of the pvc in the ground so I figure this is the way to go, at least for the next couple years or so.

Do yall have any specific name brand spray heads you recommend? Im aware some are better than others but I just dont know which ones would fit the bill best for potted plants. Ive looked at the bubbler heads which says it can spray a pattern from 6 in to 3ft depending the pressure available of course.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:44PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blueboy,

My problem with the drips is that BB roots are shallow and the water from the drippers tends to sink down before it spreads and even then doesn't spread out much so you end up with dry areas...even four heads you will have dry areas. With spray heads it covers the entire pots surface area.

There are easy ways to run the irrigation. I use 1/2 electrical conduit as risers. My buddy who grows in pots puts one spray head on a riser in the "corner" where 4 pots meet. Below is what I use. You can make the risers whatever height you want. They have heads that spray different patterns and distances and they just pop in to 1/2 black poly irrigation line.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:34PM
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LeatherHat

Here is a little system which works perfectly for me. Here is the link: http://youtu.be/MNoL13ptJ6Y

Here is a link that might be useful: Simple easy DIY Drip irrigation

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 7:24AM
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