Drip irrigation, not pressurized

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Anyone know of the feasibility of a drip irrigation system feeding out of some 5 gallon buckets into some tubing?
If I get this community garden space, I only want to go to it once a week because of the distance.
Do you think some 5 gallons buckets, maybe 3 feet off the ground, could supply a weeks worth of water? Mostly, do you think the drip mechanism would work without the city water pressure behind it?
Any ideas?
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What area does it need to cover? Under what conditions?
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

I might have a 20x30' plot, in ground plants. San Jose, Ca, Bay Area summer.
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If all you want is a slow drip feed the fact that it is gravity only wouldn't be a problem, you might find that you are crimping the hoses to stop it all running out the first day.
However for that area you are going to need quite a few 5 gallon buckets to keep that going for a week in summer. I cannot be bothered looking up the USA gallon's volume in real units (:-) but my guess is that you are going to need about 400-500 gallons to put an inch on the plot. Whether that is enough depends on what your summer is like and the type of soil and the type of plants. There are plenty of cases where it would not be enough for good growth unless it also rained.
I suggest you do your sums and work out what rate would be right. I suspect 5 gal buckets will not be worth it.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

I know I'm new at this, but you're the second person to make calculations based on covering the WHOLE plot with an inch of water. Doesn't a drip system negate that need?
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doofy wrote:

231 ci per gallon. 375 gallons for 600sf.
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I was assuming that a small plot would be covered fairly intensively. Yes you will save water with drippers. But if you only cover a third of the area that's still a lot of 5 gallon buckets. Maybe a couple of 50 gal drums? You decide.
David
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On Wed, 28 Nov 2007, doofy wrote:

Ahhh... I'll use these stupid "imperial" units. 1 5-gallon bucket, absolutely full, has 1155 in^3 of water. If you water only 1/2" deep, that's barely over 4' square. As far as pressure... water has a a density of 62.4 lb/ft^3. At an elevation of 2 ft, that's a pressure at ground level of ~125lb/fit^2, or less than 2psi. Enough for only the leakiest of soaker hoses.
This may explain why you haven't seen more people doing this. You need 'way more buckets, and probably 'way more elevation.
Good luck!
    -f
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Frank Miles wrote:

WEll, I wouldn't expect one bucket would be enough, but each bucket is going to have the same pressure problems. And I don't expect to be soaking the entire square footage of the garden, but just right at the plant (drip system).
This is just right, but I have to order it from Australia:
http://www.wateringsystems.net /
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Another system of interest. I never tried it. If you try it and it does work I might get one.
http://www.gardeners.com/Solar-Irrigation-Kit/default/36-517.prd
Enjoy Life ..... Dan
--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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Dan L. wrote:

That looks a little too tempting to leave unattended for a week in a community garden.
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It says it is perfect for pot plants. (lol)

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aluckyguess wrote:

Well I smoke two joints when I'm mulching, I smoke two joints when done, I smoke two joints when I spread manure, And for every hour of sun. I smoke two joints.
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Doffy, I don't know what kind of amenities you will have at your community garden plot but they must have water. With water you may be able to just run a host to a timer and, using simple drip irrigation, accomplish your garden watering. If you can't get a dedicated hose you may be able to set up a manifold of faucets from the water source and implement the above approach. I'm sure other gardeners will want to work with you on this because schedules can change but watering needs don't. Nobody wants to be a slave to their garden. Gardening is more fun when you want to, not when you have to. For gardening, the reservoirs from Australia seem like they may be very expensive. If you were just watering a half dozen shrubs, then it would probably be fine, but to water evenly a patch 20' x 10'would be one for every four square feet would be fifty little reservoirs. One for every eight feet would be twenty five reservoirs and the watering would probably be very uneven. Check out the site before you commit your self to, possibly, unnecessary costs.
Good luck
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
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Billy wrote:

They won't allow that. I can have a drip system, but it must be manually switched on and off by me.
I guess it's to keep from wasting water with broken timers.

I'm already not going to go that route because of the expense, and the shipping.
There's a trick I've been reading about with unglazed ceramic pots sunk in the soil and filled with water. Just have to find some pots, or take a ceramics class and make my own. And plant the plants in a circle around the pot. You can also take two terracotta pots, seal the drain hole in one, and glue the other pot inverted on top of it. Lot of work if you ask me.
Or, 5 gal buckets with soaker hoses.
I have some drip irrigation fittings here right now. I might experiment with them and see what kind of pressure they need.
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doofy wrote:

and mulch like a mutha.
where can I find some weed-free mulch? I've heard bark is not so good.
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Find a horse feed supply shop and use chaff on seedlings and use alfalfa hay on bigger things. That's the easy way but there are millions of other options - leaves, grass clippings, old rags, shredded newspaper etc, etc. No mulch is guaranteed to be weed free due to wind blown seeds, but most will reduce weeds anyway.
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I use grass clippings and hay. Let it 'cure' first and keep adding thruout the season. Doesn't need to be weed free because the 4 to 8 inches of mulch properly applied will not let weeds grow.
Bury about 15 of those 5 gallon buckets after poking a hole on each side and stick in an emitter that has been partially plugged up with epoxy. You can experiment and find the right size hole that will make the water last 3 or 4 days. Each bucket is then supplying two plants.
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doofy wrote:

Shredded office paper. (earthworms love it) It will compete with your plants for nitrogen, so you'll have to fertilize.
Bob
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Well, who ever is gardening there is in the same position. Hang around and talk to he other gardeners. Trade watering. Water yours and someone else's, and they will water theirs and yours. Hook up with a couple of people and it all becomes very manageable.
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
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