Sunday, April 19, 2015

Drip irrigation for the Urban Homestead

To say that dragging around a very long hosepipe attached to a semi working borehole every second day for the last 7 years, has become tiresome, is a serious understatement.

It gets snagged.

It gets twisted.

It waters paths, not beds.

It gets hooked.

It gets punctures (in the wrong places).

It is messy.

I eventually had enough but knowing the price of installing drip irrigation I had to keep going.

Then it ran dry.

Superman took notice as the municipal water bill started to climb....and climb...and climb...and climb...and climb...

I sent him a little video made by the GrowVeg team which got him thinking.

Then being the number cruncher of the family he crunched his numbers and found that once the cost of the drip irrigation was paid for we would save and save and save.

So overnight he made up his mind and off he went to buy what we needed then gave up two days of his very busy work week to install it along with the help of a friend.

So now every second or third day I simply walk outside, turn on a tap and it drips away.

Our next step will be to link the borehole to a Jo-Jo tank and then use that to pump the water into and from there connect it to the drip irrigation. We also hope to include in our backyard renovation, which is currently happening,  rain water tanks for the same purpose.

Then it will be to water the garden and this will make my number cruncher happy.

So for those of you who understand the numbers this is what I am told...

A normal rose sprinkler uses 27 litres per minute on one spot. It runs for about 6 hours to water the whole garden.

Drip irrigation uses 25 litres per minute over the whole garden and runs for about 4 hours. The holes in the pipe are at 15cm intervals and with the calculations it should give a diameter of 30cm which will overlap with the next 30cm circle.

So while the per minute usage is similar the coverage is vastly different.

How do you water your garden?

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