Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Frugal Garden: Micro Irrigation Start Up

I am still working on rehabbing the door yard garden.  Today I began dividing old plants that have become over grown.  Dear husband planted some basil in one corner for quick herb runs when cooking.

My main task, however, was to get the micro irrigation system back up and running.  After a winter of not being used the system was relatively easy to get running.  I love this method of irrigation for it's ease of use and water conservation.

Several years ago I attended a course on micro irrigation at the cooperative extension office.  Twenty dollars paid for the morning class and a micro irrigation starter kit.  After setting up the system in the door yard garden I was hooked.  It was so easy it only took me a morning to do everything.

Many people think of drip systems when they think of micro irrigation, but these systems can consist of drip emitters, spray emitters, bubblers, etc.  With micro irrigation you are delivering water to your plants efficiently and in multifaceted ways.

Starter Kit

Today I'd like to talk about the equipment you will need to set up a system in your own garden.  A starter kit will cover a small garden, but you may want to expand your set up or cover a larger garden.

From the faucet on out these are the parts you will need:  timer (optional), back flow preventer, pressure regulator, filter, 3/4 or 1 inch poly tubing, 1/4 inch vinyl tubing, risers (optional), emitters.  The only other tools I use are garden clippers and/or a heavy duty pair of scissors, a special hole punch and goof plugs to patch those errors.

There are many types of emitters:  spray emitters which are like mini sprinklers, drip emitters which deliver small amounts of water into pots or the roots of smaller plants and bubblers which deliver a larger amount of water directly to the roots of larger plants.  A riser can be used to lift the emitter over the top of the foliage to allow the spray to reach a greater number of plants.

By now you probably have a garden plan in place.  This plan will be used to decide how much tubing to purchase and the number and type of emitters you will need.

I will talk more about setting up a micro irrigation system in my next post.  This is a one person job and can easily be accomplished by someone with minimal upper body strength (like me!).

God bless,

No comments:

Post a Comment