Author Topic: Irrigation Systems and Principles  (Read 3050 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40287
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Irrigation Systems and Principles
« on: September 14, 2015, 07:47:26 AM »
In some areas of the world, it is not necessary to irrigate a garden, God does it. In the Garden of Eden where there  was no rain, God provided enough moisture from below and in the atmosphere to keep plants and trees healthy. "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." Genesis 2:5-10. Today, in many areas there is need to dig wells or divert surface water to irrigate farms and gardens.

With drought causing water shortages it has become important to conserve water as much as possible. This has led to systems that apply the water that are more efficient. In my garden we use a drip system for watering trees and plants. It has always been understood that plants and trees generally need deep watering frequently enough to get the the water down to where deep roots are located. This would mean that surface soil would dry out between waterings.

There is a new theory being advocated. Initially water deep enough to get the water to the lowest needed depth and optimum soil moisture in the root zone, then water daily to replace the moisture lost from the top layer of soil. This would keep the lower levels at optimum levels. The daily watering would generally be very low since it is only replacing the water lost through plant uptake and evapotranspiration.

This requires a monitoring of the soil to know what amount is needed to replace the lost moisture. The surface soil would be kept at the optimum level which that particular plant or trees prefers. Evapotranspiration rates vary depending on a number of factors which include changing activities of the plant, available mulch, and weather conditions.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40287
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 08:05:45 AM »
Another irrigation practice that I discovered many years ago from a commercial farmer who told me how he irrigated his small garden of watermelons. Before planting he would flood irrigate the garden area totally soaking the ground. This would be in the spring when soil moisture was already wet lower in the ground. Then he would plant his melon seed.  As the surface soil dried out, the developing plants would go to where there was water, that would be to a lower level in the soil. This process would lead to roots continuing to go lower to where there was moisture since the upper level of soil was not being watered.  This is called pre-irrigating. I do not know how this would work in differing soils and weather conditions. I assume that not all conditions are able to provide enough water as plants develop and the weather heats up.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mark W

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principleso9
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 12:22:10 PM »
I think this is going to be a dryer year here where I live, so I am going to give plastic mulch a try.  Initially I chose to try this method for controlling weeds which it does, but the added benefit is it holds in moisture. Had to build the machine that lays it to make it easier for as much as I grow, but the average gardener can lay it by hand.
[imghttp://[/img]

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40287
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 08:31:17 AM »
This is interesting, Mark. Generally, you don't have to irrigate? It rains in the summer, unlike what we have in California where we have to irrigate all summer. Using plastic will block the rain from getting to the roots? I see you have drip line. Does that mean you will have to irrigate all summer?   

How did your machine lay down the plastic?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mark W

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 10:03:15 AM »
I am actually using the plastic for a weed barrier and a mulch. Just getting tired of the continual hoeing  that comes with plentiful rainfall. The plastic has holes in it where the plants are located that let water in during rains,  but at the same time the plastic is indeed a mulch that holds in moisture and doesn't  let the wind and sun evaporate it. The drip line is insurance just in case it turns off dry which it sometimes will.  Will have to get a pic of the machine in a few days maybe for I am traveling right now. But with the stuff I am already growing in it lIke garlic, onions, and cool weather crops, it is working out great.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40287
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 04:19:31 PM »
Thanks for sharing, Mark.  It will be an encouragement to others who have similar conditions.  Strawberry growers out here use plastic. They plat in winter, so I imagine they need to provide for water through the plastic also even though they lay drip under the plastic for summer irrigation. Tomato growers who use plastic plant in spring so they won't get much rain for irrigation. The ones I am familiar with do not place holes in the plastic. I had never thought of doing it.

How do you puncture the plastic?

You must delivering tomato plants.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mark W

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2016, 06:32:24 PM »
Sorry for the long delay, but I had my plant sale to tend to and now planting is in full swing. You asked how the machine I built laid plastic, and figured a picture is worth a thousand words so.




Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40287
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 03:41:17 PM »
You are a machinist!! That is beautiful, Mark.  All in one pass!!! I must have missed this when you posted it. How did it work? We saw the plastic laid down. That was really nice. But, how did the plastic mulch work for you? Was it worth the expense and effort?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 40287
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Irrigation Systems and Principles
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 03:54:33 PM »
A friend was asking about setting up his drip system before adding more trees and a garden. That caused me to think that it would be good to explain a little about drip systems for those who are not familiar with drip irrigation. In California, we began using it 40 years ago. It is more efficient for most irrigation than sprinklers or flood irrigation.

When setting up a new system, the parts involved are the water lines, both pvc (most common) and black tubing, electric valves, pressure regulators, filters, emitters, and a control timer to turn on and off the valves that allow water to flow to the various locations. Depending on where the valves are located will determine how much wire is needed to run from the control box to the valves.

Before any system would be set up, there needs to be some planning as to where you will planting either trees or plants. There are many options in setting up the system. Even if there will be only a portion of the available land being planted, future expansion ought to be considered when setting up the original system.

We will use this thread to share some principles that will help those who want to give drip irrigation a try.. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.