Every gardener has moments of trial and error, simply because there are some things you just don’t know until you try. Irrigation is one of those things for me.
Now that the seedlings (that were started under grow lights) have been planted out into the garden, it’s time to figure out how to integrate them into our new irrigation system. The irrigation is relatively simple, in that each bed has its own spigot with a hose attachment on the end. (You can read more about it in this blog entry). It is complicated, however, in that each bed has different watering needs. Seedlings need drip irrigation, while seeds need overhead watering until they get established.
After several trips to several hardware stores, and having tried full circle spray heads, half circle spray heads, and finally quarter circle spray heads, we landed on the latter for our raised beds. We also experimented with several different kinds of connectors and found that 1/4″ tubing (without drip emitters) worked well for our needs.
One problem – over spray. Yes, these quarter circle sprayers work nicely from the corner of the raised bed, but in order for them to cover all the soil area, we had to put the sprayer OUTSIDE the bed in the pathway.
The outermost range of the sprayer doesn’t quite reach the opposite corner of the raised bed unless we have it turned up enough, which consequentially waters some of the pathway. Not only that, but occasionally the sprayer gets kicked when we walk by and we don’t notice until the sky is being watered that evening. Back to the drawing board. To be continued on this one…
The transplants, however, are an easier problem to solve. Most of them are planted 12″ apart, and the Toro Bluestripe 1/4″ tubing has drip emitters that are spaced 12″ apart, so that worked out perfectly for the brassicas.
They get watered right at the base, and are getting bigger every day. As the plants grow, the tubing will be less conspicuous. So, one down, one to go. We’ll keep you posted on the rest.
Hey – if you have any suggestions for what works in your garden, please let us know!