What is best irrigation for raised beds?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Hi! We are putting in raised garden beds that are 200' x 4' for a REALLY intensive self-sufficiency garden. We were thinking of using drip-irrigation and are looking into that, but would like to know if there is anyone out there with a better solution? We need to irrigate as this is west/central GA, and we've been experiencing a "drought". (That's funny! We've had 3-4" this past week!) The land is at the top of a hill with a small spring at the bottom, and COULD possibly be watered from there. Any suggestions would be REALLY helpful! Thanks! David and Veronica
-- David Wiese (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 2000
I garden in raised beds as well (I'm 1/2 hour ~ 45 minutes west of Knoxville), and I've only had to water my garden once a week so far this year, thanks to LOTS and LOTS of mulch. My buddy used to pump water from his pond for his garden, and with just a mesh filter on the intake he'd suck up too much crud for anything but a lawn sprinkler. And even then, he'd have to take the sprinkler apart and clean it out once in a while.
Drip irrigation and mulch is the way to go, but if you're going to pull water from a spring, I'd use a filter or two as I'd be afraid of clogging things up way too quickly. Or could you pump it from the spring through a filter, into a holding tank on top of the hill, and then use gravity to do the drip irrigation?
-- Eric in TN (email@example.com), June 28, 2000.
I have used several forms/brands of drip irrigation, but none for raised beds. I currently use drip irrigation in a form that is called row crop tubing. The brand that I have is Tee-Tape. My supplier just went out of business, so I can't tell you where to get it other than to check with the manufacter. The row crop tubing is very cheap in comparison to a lot of drip systems, and I think that I paid between 3 and 4 cents per foot for it. The tubing that I buy comes on 4,100 foot rolls, and you just cut the length you need and put a garden hose fitting into the end, and plug the other end. Eight pounds psi is the maximum allowable pressure, so a gravity flow system would be great. Otherwise a pressure regulator may be in order. Don't forget the strainers. Tee-Tape can be purchased with different flow rates per hour per emitter. Depending on the crop, I also like to purchase tubing and put the emitters in myself on the spacing that I select. As an example I like to plant tomatoes 5 feet apart, so that is the spacing I use for them. No need to water the weeds in between, which helps keep the weeding down. The drawback to tubing with emitters punched in, is that when you take them up in the fall, the emitters can catch on plant stems and makes the tubing a pain to remove, whereas with the row crop tubing it is smooth on the outside.
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), June 28, 2000.
I have alwaysed gardened here in East Texas in raised beds. Husband bought a troy built tiller, and decided to garden "like normal folks" My raised beds are beautiful, hardly any weeds, and unless Husband gets out to his garden soon, his grass will be taller than his tomatoe plants! I use the black soaker hoses in my garden slinking it through the beds in figure 8's. You are going to love your raised beds. Try to find the old book Square Foot Gardening, by Bob Bartholomew (I beleive) and who ever borrowed mine bring it back!! Also we have a nice troy built tiller for sale 400$!! Seriously! Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 2000.
We have 10 4x20' raised beds, 2.5' high that makes working in them eaiser on the back. We drip irrigate from a 550 gallon poly-tank that we fill from the creek, my wife also hand waters some of the beds from the tank.
-- Hendo (OR) (email@example.com), June 29, 2000.