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?
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.
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
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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