Does anyone use drip irrigation

flipback23(9 SF Bay)February 24, 2014

Hi all,
Due to the drought in Cali this year I installed a rainbird drip kit in my 3 raised beds so far that will be housing some of my pepper plants.But I have a couple concerns/questions. I also posted this on the irrigation forum btw.

I have my system connected to my faucet via anti siphon connector to 25-30 psi regulator to which my 1/2 main line plugs into with an installed 1/6 gph flow control inside connector of 1/2 main.

From the 1/2 main I have 1/4 feeder lines to my drippers. The instruction book said not to use more than 150 gph worth of drippers on a single circuit. So I have a total of 117 gph drippers for all 3 beds.

But what I don't get is how is this saving me water. I can hand water my whole garden which is 7 raised beds and many containers in probably less than 20 mins total with a watering wand 2-3 times a week depending on weather.

The instruction guide says to water 2-3 times weekly for 2-4 hours depending on weather.

Now maybe Im not understanding the full concept/math of the drip system but 117 gallons of water per hour for 2-3 hrs sure sounds like a lot of water usage. And I know 20 mins of water is not even coming close to that much water usage. So where is the savings. Again I maybe missing the bigger picture or just not understanding how the drip system works.

So any info appreciated.

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That time is way too long. I have mine on for less than ten minutes.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:12PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

I'm not following all the math (such as it is) either, but aren't you missing something? The watering wand isn't nearly as flow restricted as the drip system, meaning that it should be pumping out way more than 117 gph.

Try this. Reduce the watering time WAY down and wait for something to wilt.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:39PM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

DM of course to wand would push out more water if I left it on that long. But the 20 mins of use with it is with me shutting it off while walking from bed to bed and between containers. I really wanna do the better of the two just can't determine which is. I will lessen the time and see how the plants react. Thanks for the inputs.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Drip irrigation effectiveness is entirely dependent upon your soil type.
Sandy soils allow the water to go straight down, while soils with a heavier clay/organic matter tend to hold the water at a more shallow depth.
Additionally, point-drip irrigation tends to restrict the root development to a small area, while a more wide-spread pattern will provide better moisture and food delivery to the roots.
I use 1-10 gal adjustable DIG drippers, and adjust the spray pattern to the age and size of the plant as it grows. Containerized plants need 1-gal.hour, while large (6') mature tomato and pepper plants need 3 gph in my soil.
I run seven discreet drip systems all with timers. Take the pressure regulator off and toss it. Use the faucet handle to adjust pressure. You can run more drips at a higher PSI. Don't forget the vacuum breaker. Use the brass ones, as the plastic ones are crap.
I like DIG systems better. Their stuff is cheaper and, IMHO, better quality. You can by adapters at DIG to accept the narrower Raindrip 1/2" tubing. The DIG is .700 OD.
The Melnor timers are crap too. Use the white ones available at Lowe's. Cost more but last MUCH longer. I've got some that are three years old.
Been doing this for 12 years or more, so I've made ALL the mistakes...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:18AM
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