BajaNomad

HOW TO (DRIP or SPRINKLER) IRRIGATE your Baja garden

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David K - 6-13-2008 at 07:52 PM

First discussed in the Baja Gardens thread, along with other subjects... I thought it might be easier to have a thread on irrigation all by itself...

Here is what I have posted already, and I will be adding more details or happily answering your questions!;D:yes:


A drip system is very simple and inexpensive.

With the correct parts and equipment available, it will not clog and give you years of low water use, inexpensive service. What's even more important, plants grow better when watered with drip as their roots, not the leaves get all the water... and it comes at regular intervals, not sporadically from hand watering.
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Here is the info needed to put together a parts list:

Water source: hose bib, PVC pipe (size), or ? from a city water system or a pila... How much pressure (PSI)?... If a pila, the elevation difference (feet)from the bottom of the tank to the garden.

Operation: 110v available (inside or outside)? Otherwise, battery powered controller and valve(s).

Plantings: Shrubs, trees, ground cover, planter, garden? How far from the valve location. How many... or if a planter, ground cover or vegetable garden, how long and wide is the planting area?

That's the basics... next is the type of system to use.
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Each plant would get 1-3 emitters (depending on the size of the plant). A tree would get 3-6 or more emitters... evenly spaced around the tree, near it's drip line (below the edge of the leaf canopy, on the ground).

The emitters should be turbulent flow and pressure compensating... like the Agrifim PC+ or Netafim WPC or equivalent. Use 2 GPH for most applications... 1 GPH on the smallest shrubs... 1/2 GPH only on pots.

For planter beds, vegetable gardens, ground cover, and even around trees use emitterline (dripperline)... a 1/2" hose (brown in color) with a 1/2 GPH emitter inside the hose, every 12 inches... It works like a soaker line, but provides even water flow throughout the recommended maximum run (about 300 feet)... Typical soaker hoses flow less water the further awy you get from the source, so plants don't grow evenly. Netafim Techline CV is what I use, but other companies, like Agrifim and Toro Ag and Rain Bird also have Pressure Compensating emitterline.

Be aware that the emitterline hose size and the plain poly hose size may not be the same and have their own fittings available. You may need to make an adapter up to go from the black poly hose to the brown emitterline.

There also is a 1/4" brown emitterline (1/2 GPH) emitter pre-installed in the tube, every 12"... this is fine for shorter runs (up to 30 feet) and can be attached to the 1/2" black poly with a 1/4" barb connector (coupling) inserted into a hole you punch into the poly hose. The end of the 1/4" soaker tube is closed off with a 1/4" tube plug, also called a 'goof plug'.

Avoid micro sprays, foggers, and running 1/4" tube to remote drip emitters to have the least amount of problems later.

Micro sprays clog and break easily, foggers are nice for misting hanging plants, but will clog as they require a tiny hole to make the fine mist. 1/4" tubes can get raked up by gardeners then cut... 1/2" hose with the emitters directly attched (or emitterline) is heavier and are less likely to wander away from what they are supposed to irrigate. Staking down the hose will insure it stays put, as well.
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PVC (sch. 40) can be used to go from the valve to where the plantings begin... then convert to poly or emitterline. However, the distances at the beach house are not so great... So, to protect from dogs or coyotes, BURY the lines and stake them down ever 5-10'.

The good emitters and emitterline (Techline CV) has check valves built in so dirty water will not siphon back into the lines after the system is turned off. Use an anti-siphon control valve at the start and be sure it is 1 ft. above ground level... have a box to put over the valve to keep the sun and dogs off of it.
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Okay amigos, that is what has been posted already... Now for personalized details or any questions! Lawn slope or ground cover sprinklers can also be discussed.

I will try and post some product photos and links to help you to visualize the parts and equipment.

The control valve... pictured is an automatic anti-siphon valve. Operated manually or 24 volts (from an irrigation controller, off 110v)... install above ground, at the highest point in the system best:



For areas that have no electricity:


Model 510.011

One station battery operated controller with solenoid and actuator for 3/4" and 1" manual anti-siphon valves

Applications:
Converts 3/4" and 1" brass or plastic manual anti-siphon and angle valves to automatic operation

Controller features:

Four button with an integrated liquid crystal display (LCD)
Easy to read AM/PM clock
Four start times per day
Watering durations in 1 minute increments, from 1 minute to 12 hours
7 day programming schedule or intervals from 1 to 30 days
Powered by two 9 volt alkaline batteries
Manual irrigation cycle via the controller
Withstands harsh climatic conditions
Completely waterproof
Rain delay up to 30 days
Internal manual bleed
Manual shut-off
Flow control Irrigation suspension override (rain-mode)
Digital display, blinking low battery indicator
Automatic, semi-automatic and manual operation
24" solenoid wire with water proof connection to the controller
Program stored up to 20 seconds during battery change
Contains all parts required for conversion on most 3/4" and 1" brass or plastic manual anti-siphon valves
Specifications:

Dimensions: 6" W x 3-7/8" D x 7-3/4" H (15.6 cm W x 9.6 cm D x 20 cm H) (valve not included )
Operating pressure: 25 to 125 psi (1.75 to 8.5 kg/cm2)
Manual flow control can adjust to 0 flow
Dry latching solenoid
Power source: 18 volt DC (two 9 volt alkaline batteries)
Power draw: .2 amps per cycle
Temperature range: 38 to 130 degrees F (3-54 degrees C)

*Personal note: The batteries can last up to 2 years... best to replace once a year.

While using an anti siphon valve is recommended to protect residential water from possible contamination, some areas do not need an anti siphon valve. Here is the DIG battery controller with an in-line battery powered valve (3/4" to 2" valves available):

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The filter (150 mesh screen) and regulator (25 psi) for most any drip system... usually connects to the outlet side of the control valve... or in a PVC line anywhere before converting to poly tube or emitterline:



Here is the plain black 1/2" poly tube that emitters are inserted into for shrubs or trees:



Here is a pressure compenstaing emitter (green= 2 gph). The green end is inserted into the black poly hose and water comes out the balck end. 1/4" black tube can be attached to the black barb end to port the drip point up to several feet away from the emitter, if necessary. This is actually about the diameter of a nickel.



For heavily planted areas, planter beds, vegetable gardens, around trees, use emitterline... one line for every 2' of planter width... one per row of vegetables... one loop or ring around the tree near the canopy edge, not near the trunk.

Here is the 1/2" Netafim emitterline, known as 'Techline' with pressure compensating emitters (5-50 psi) every 12 inches, inside the tube.



Here is a roll of the 1/4" emitterline... available in 6" spacing or 12" spacing (recommended)... for shorter runs (12" up to 33' long runs). This connects to the black poly hose or the Techline (between the built in emitters) with a 1/4" barb coupling/ connector.



There are tons of drip products and equipment out there... I try to keep it down to a simple list of a few products that can be used for most irrigation needs. Note... I say 1/2" only for approx. scale... the brown and black lines are not the same exact size and use different fittings.




[Edited on 6-20-2008 by David K]

Sharksbaja - 6-13-2008 at 07:59 PM

David good info. Is that an actual filter or a flushable line strainer? Don't forget to mention the tools needed to make a leak-proof system.

oldlady - 6-13-2008 at 08:00 PM

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! Count me as one of your "subscribers".

ElFaro - 6-13-2008 at 11:03 PM

A NOTE OF CAUTION HERE !!

I've seen this many times before where people say the drip system will provide years of clog free service. They assume your water is coming from a municipal water source where all the silts, sand, and rocks have been removed. Not necessarily so in Baja! Alot of water comes from wells as mine does here in back country San Diego. If the source of your water in Baja is from wells and it contains super fine silts I guarentee you it will clog and stop your drip emitters, timers, valves, meters, etc.

If your water source is from a well I suggest you filter it first. I use a whole house water filter from a company called "CUNO". Plumbing suppliers stock them and they are a worldwide company. I've seen them on houses in Baja. The filter element measures about 5" dia. by 10" long. They sell filter elements down to 5 micron particulate size filtration capability which is what I buy. These filters can pass a large volume of water at up to 60 psi. They cost around $100 for the basic filter and you have to plumb the fittings out both sides. Filter cartridges will filter several thousand gallons of water before replacement and cost about $25 ea.

As far as the drip equipment goes most people will be shopping at Home Depots and not commercial landcape supply houses like Hydroscape so some of the high tech drip hoses and equipment may not be available or affordably priced to viewers of this thread. (e.g. some of the supply houses only sell drip hose in min. 500' or 1000' rolls...total overkill for most homeowners.) Something to consider...

oladulce - 6-13-2008 at 11:06 PM

My biggest Baja landscaping frustration has been with arranging a drip configuration for groundcovers. I don't have alot of groundcover plants because of water constraints, but they sure are nice to help keep the dust under control .

Trying to make individual drip heads in a pattern that would cover the most area is a pain, especially when we are gone for 4-5 months at a time and aren't there to monitor and correct any problems. I usually come back to either dried and withered little plants because the drip head coverage wasn't like I planned or each drip head is smothered by overgrown weeds and sticker-weilding stuff.

I've also had trouble getting good coverage for things like smaller succulents when they're planted fairly close together. The plants suffer when overwatered, but it's hard to get the right amount of coverage when there are a bunch of individuals planted in close proximity. I think I have way more drip heads at a very low-flow rate than I probably need because i haven't been able to figure out how to water these areas.

It sounds like I need some of the brown tubing with emitters for these areas.

Thank you.







[Edited on 6-14-2008 by oladulce]

Osprey - 6-14-2008 at 06:35 AM

Thanks El Faro, the whole reason for my other post about gardens/gardeners in Baja California was to shine a light on what happens when you set up the system, go back north for the summer and assume your gardener/caretaker will love you for doing it. All these little villages get their water from wells, have outages and repairs endlessly and each one is accompanied by more dirt than water in the lines. Even homeowners with the best systems can strain their relationships with employees, friends and neighbors who run out of filters, hose, emitters, money, sources for replacement, extra money and patience. David, maybe you could open a school down here (dual language) for snowbirds with gardens.

David K - 6-14-2008 at 08:13 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Sharksbaja
David good info. Is that an actual filter or a flushable line strainer? Don't forget to mention the tools needed to make a leak-proof system.


It is known as a 'wye filter' and all drip companies offer one as part of the recommended equipment. The one pictured above is from DIG Corp. of Vista, Ca. They are made of either ABS or polypropelene plastic, have either a nylon or stainless steel mesh screen, are flush cleanable by either removing them or running water through the capped outlet end of the filter. The filter screen is usually 120-200 mesh with 150 common.

If there is a high chance of bio contamination (water from ponds or lakes) then 'disc' filters are available and cleanable.

See www.netafimusa.com for info on both Techline and disc filters.

Tools for leak proof system:

All pvc or metal threaded male fittings should be wrapped with teflon tape to prevent leaking... (filter, male adapters, pipe nipples/ risers)... I use 6 wraps of teflon tape on all the valve/filter/regulator fittings... wrap the tape clockwise (when looking down on the fitting) over the male threads.

All pvc pipe slip connections are cemented ('glued') with pvc cement... I personally use Christy's Red Hot Blue Glue it works with one application, needs no primer, and works in wet conditions (always try to work with dry pipe, but this brand has worked if that isn't possible). Wipe off excess cement with a rag or paper towel... Make sure that you get the pipe totally bottomed out in the fittings when you 'glue' them together. You can usually pressure up your system in just 10 minutes with this fast acting cement... wait 30 min. or longer if the pressure is really high (over 100 psi).

A pair of channel-lock plyers is used to snug threaded parts together.

A pvc cutter is used to cut the pvc pipe... if you use a saw, be sure to remove the burrs with a rag from the end of the pipe, before gluing.

The same cutter can be used to cut the poly hose or emitterline... a lighter tube cutter or big sissors or knife also works.

A punch tool is used to make a hole in the poly hose to insert emitters or 1/4" connectors (for the 1/4" emitterline).

A 'figure 8' end clamp closes the end of poly hose or 1/2" emitterline runs.

For dirty water conditions, Netafim makes a self-flushing end valve... If you have a grid of parallel lines of Netafim, they can be brought together at the far end and run into one end flush valve.

David K - 6-14-2008 at 08:25 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by lencho
Quote:
Originally posted by David K
The filter (150 mesh screen) and regulator (25 psi) for most any drip system...

For what it's worth, street line pressure in La Paz rarely (ever?) exceeds 25psi. I suspect it's auto-regulated by the average tinaco elevation. You folks in other towns-- what kind of pressures do you get from the street?

--Larry


Good point! The drip system regulator is required to get your line pressure DOWN to the range the drip products are designed to operate at... IF your pressure is already at the operating range for drip products, then you don't need a regulator.

The PC+ emitters are designed to operate at 10-40 psi.

The Netafim Techline emitterline at 5-50 psi.

The 1/4" emitterline at 10-30 psi (it's non-compensating, so pressure does change its flow)... at 25 psi it flows about the same as the Netafim 0.61 gph Techline.

The grey regulator pictured is a 25 psi model.

Bob and Susan - 6-14-2008 at 08:34 AM

i added extra spots for later expansion...

no one here carrys these anti siphon valves...

$12 each at home depot

electric valves.jpg - 49kB

Bob and Susan - 6-14-2008 at 08:36 AM

i had to make my frist "bubblers"

no available...

i chose not to use a drip system because we haul our own water and there is lots of little rocks in it ... sometimes

bubler1.jpg - 40kB

Bob and Susan - 6-14-2008 at 08:38 AM

i went to the states for a couple of days last week and imported a bucket of these for the plants...

bubbler2.jpg - 33kB

BajaGringo - 6-14-2008 at 08:47 AM

If you have a large piece of property with long runs of drip line you may encounter another enemy in your drip irrigation system.

Algae.

Chlorination may kill the algae but residual may also kill / affect your plants and trees being watered. Alternates like ozone and UV work great for such situations and are used in long runs of drip lines irrigating crops in dry regions of the world.

The key to using ozone is transfer into the fluid in a way to achieve maximum dispersion. This is where many installtions have failed and you need to find an inductor that can produce the largest number of the smallest bubbles of O│ (ozone). That is how you will achieve the greatest amount of exposed surface area of ozone exposure to the water being treated.

I remember working on an installation years ago and we bought the inductors from a company called Mazzei. You might want to check the spelling but it is something similar to that as I recall.

Some people use ozone for their home drinking water or pool and spa as it leaves no after taste or smell.

David K - 6-14-2008 at 08:51 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by ElFaro
A NOTE OF CAUTION HERE !!

I've seen this many times before where people say the drip system will provide years of clog free service. They assume your water is coming from a municipal water source where all the silts, sand, and rocks have been removed. Not necessarily so in Baja! Alot of water comes from wells as mine does here in back country San Diego. If the source of your water in Baja is from wells and it contains super fine silts I guarentee you it will clog and stop your drip emitters, timers, valves, meters, etc.

If your water source is from a well I suggest you filter it first. I use a whole house water filter from a company called "CUNO". Plumbing suppliers stock them and they are a worldwide company. I've seen them on houses in Baja. The filter element measures about 5" dia. by 10" long. They sell filter elements down to 5 micron particulate size filtration capability which is what I buy. These filters can pass a large volume of water at up to 60 psi. They cost around $100 for the basic filter and you have to plumb the fittings out both sides. Filter cartridges will filter several thousand gallons of water before replacement and cost about $25 ea.

As far as the drip equipment goes most people will be shopping at Home Depots and not commercial landcape supply houses like Hydroscape so some of the high tech drip hoses and equipment may not be available or affordably priced to viewers of this thread. (e.g. some of the supply houses only sell drip hose in min. 500' or 1000' rolls...total overkill for most homeowners.) Something to consider...


1) Yes filtration is important and after the control valve, the first piece of drip equipment... 150 mesh will remove particles big enough to cause issues.

Next, the emitters or emitterline should be turbulent flow... which is a large flow path that makes dozens of turns in direction to remove energy from the water to achieve the desired rate of flow. Particles that get through the filter are not big enough to be a problem... however if one does gety into the hose, the large flow path of a turbulent flow emitter will not be blocked by it. Silts that would normally sludge up laminar flow or laser hole emitter products are not likely to clog in a turbulent flow emitter because each time the water makes a turn in the flow path inside the emitter, the turbulence created keeps silts in suspension.

I am assuming that the Baja home garden will be using the same water people in the house will be using and not brackish water... since that would probably kill most plants.

However, if the water source is pretty bad like in ElFaro's case, a pre-filter for such conditions is wise.

2) I do not recommend you go to home improvement retail stores for these products because you either won't find them there or they will be MORE expensive then if you go to a professional irrigation supply. The photos I posted above come from one such supplier, Ewing Irrigation. They have outlets all over the United States now. In San Diego County, there are Ewing stores in Carlsbad, San Marcos, San Diego, El Cajon and Chula Vista. They do sell to home owners, not just irrigation professionals. The Netafim Techline CV is available in 100' and 250' rolls. The 1/2" poly in 100' and 500' rolls. The 1/4" emitterline (Dura-flo Jr.) in 100' rolls. The emitters and fittings are sold individually or in bag quantities.

Now, if a Ewing or Hydroscape or John Deere or other irrigation supply is not available to you... there are drip suppliers online... Also, you can find some good equipment at the big home supply centers... but shop carefully.

The Rainbird valve I pictured is sold at the big stores but at $25... That usually has people buying the 'retail' line from Rainbird or Toro or ?... valves that are closer to $10... DON'T... they do not last or give the same service as the ASV-100 Rainbird anti siphon valve or 311 Irritrol (formerly Hardie, HydroRain) anti siphon valves.

oladulce - 6-14-2008 at 09:04 AM

BajaGringo-
Can you explain this system more. Would the inductor and ozone be used on the fill side (where the water delivery truck fills up our underground concrete cistern) to treat the water being stored in the tank , or on the outflow side(sorry I don't know the proper terminology) of the storage tank?

We've spent a small fortune here.
The Drip Store

This isn't my department so I don't know how their prices compare, but the stuff is usually on our front porch the next day.

[Edited on 6-14-2008 by oladulce]

David K - 6-14-2008 at 09:07 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
i added extra spots for later expansion...

no one here carrys these anti siphon valves...

$12 each at home depot


Please use only BALL VALVES (twist or lever handle) and not gate valves (the round handle) for main line or emergency shut off before the anti siphon valves. A ball valve is only a couple bucks more than a gate valve, but will not fail... and all gate valves will fail... usually the first time you go to shut the valve and try to reopen it... the gate stays in the closed position and the round wheel handles turns and turns, but nothing happens!

If you use bubblers instead of drip emitters for shrubs, then remember... they flow a lot more water and that limits how many shrubs can get irrigated off one valve. The flow of water through 3/4" pvc pipe and valve will be 8-12 GPM (depending on pressure) and each bubbler can flow up to 2 GPM (thats gallons per minute, not per hour as with drip emitters). Now, the bubble can be throttled down to a trickle, but you don't know what that flow is... unless you use compensating bubblers. In either case, you are talking about 10-20 bubblers per valve to not over tax the system and run out of pressure... 20 shrubs tops.

That same 3/4" valve can supply water to 120 large shrubs using drip irrigation (two 2 GPH emitters per shrub = 480 GPH/ 8 GPM) or 240 small shrubs (one emitter each).

Fewer valves means less equipment, smaller controller, etc.

David K - 6-14-2008 at 09:48 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by oladulce
BajaGringo-
Can you explain this system more. Would the inductor and ozone be used on the fill side (where the water delivery truck fills up our underground concrete cistern) to treat the water being stored in the tank , or on the outflow side(sorry I don't know the proper terminology) of the storage tank?

We've spent a small fortune here.
The Drip Store

This isn't my department so I don't know how their prices compare, but the stuff is usually on our front porch the next day.

[Edited on 6-14-2008 by oladulce]


The Drip Store has much of what I pictured, and markets DIG products (made in Calif. and in Israel). There are other online drip stores too.

BajaGringo - 6-14-2008 at 11:03 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by oladulce BajaGringo - Can you explain this system more. Would the inductor and ozone be used on the fill side (where the water delivery truck fills up our underground concrete cistern) to treat the water being stored in the tank , or on the outflow side(sorry I don't know the proper terminology) of the storage tank?


As ozone is an unstable molecule, it needs to be generated and injected immediately prior to delivery down the water lines. If you have a problem with algae formation in your irrigation water holding tank and don't want to use chlorine you may consider using something like copper sulfate in very small doses. Not okay for drinking water and check to make sure it won't be harmful to any of your plants and trees. Some may be copper sensitive.

BajaGringo - 6-14-2008 at 11:18 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by David K The Drip Store has much of what I pictured, and markets DIG products (made in Calif. and in Israel). There are other online drip stores too.


I am not up to date on the best places to buy but I will tell you the three key factors (IMHO) in designing your ozone system are:

1) Proper sizing of unit (grams O│ per hour/lbs O│ per day)
2) Sufficient contact time for oxidation (manufac / system design spec)
3) Delivery via a GOOD Inductor

The first two are calculated and anybody in the business as a professional can help you with that. The third is tricky and I have found many that tell you they have the best inductor that will do the job.

BajaGringo says BALONEY!

Do some research online. Learn and understand what an inductor does and you will come to understand how an ozone unit putting out a fourth of the amount of ozone per day can out perform the larger unit solely based on the quality and design of the inductor and its delivery system. I know that some of my Baja brethren are making do on limited energy resources so this should be a point you put extra time into studying. It will pay off big time.

I looked online and found a link to some folks who share my opinion of the Mazzei inductors that I previously recommended:

Mazzei Ozone Induction

It looks like they sell them and if I were considering such a system I would get in touch with them. I am sure they know a lot more than this dumb ol' Gringo.

They'll probably tell you I don't know what I am talking about. Dennis will surely agree with them...

[Edited on 6-14-2008 by BajaGringo]

mtgoat666 - 6-14-2008 at 12:23 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by David K

While using an anti siphon valve is recommended to protect residential water from possible contamination, some areas do not need an anti siphon valve.
[Edited on 6-14-2008 by David K]


why would anybody not use an anti-siphon valve?

Sharksbaja - 6-14-2008 at 02:02 PM

Because they don't know what they are or what they do? It is scary!

--

Dirt and sand are most emitters worst enemy. A 150 mesh screen loads much slower than say a 300 mesh and requires fewer inspections and/or flushing.

The emitters I use have a great built-in feature but I do not know if they have kept this design alive over the years.
When the line is turned on the emitter will flush wide open briefly clearing the inside of it of silt. It then self-regulates. Upon shut-off the emitter purges once again.
I have tried many drippers in the past and have seen many bad designs. Besides animals, insects, dirt and UV. They do need regular attention and maintenance. For mysterious reasons, strange things happen to these systems while you are not looking. :lol:

Drippers disappear, hose goes elsewhere. Batteries go dead, programmers get goofed up. Algae from my experience is not a problem but some supplies have much growth I 've heard. The extruded flex pvc I use is impregnated with some mild algaecide which only restricts algae frormation in the tubing.

If you could keep animals and desparados outta the garden then you can relax more. Currently I run 4 lines, one for each of the quadrants of the yard. I use .5 gal for potted plants, 1 gal for individual plants and either a 2 gal or (2) one gal emitters on trees. They are programmed according to season. In summer program them to run 3 times a day for one hour. In winter and spring and fall I reduce it to 30 mins.

The amount you use depends on your particular arrangement of plants and temp and soil type. I would play around to seek best results. Sandy, rocky soil and clay differ in there ability to retain moisture. You may over water clay or underwater sand. Best to check moisture content after a week of new drip system. I change emitters regularily as it demands.
In Baja the growth rate is amazing given the correct amount of water. Banana trees, palms or fushias have their own specific demands. If you can key in on them you will have wonderful results.

Good luck with yours. It should not be that complicated for most here if you follow David's advice.

Here the plants are 6 months old:

[Edited on 6-14-2008 by Sharksbaja]

6months.jpg - 46kB

6 weeks after the flood

Sharksbaja - 6-14-2008 at 02:18 PM

The next two pics show the growth that occured while between visits. All automatically watered. Nice to return to flourishing plants.

[Edited on 6-15-2008 by Sharksbaja]

3monthsgrowth_a.jpg - 33kB

Sharksbaja - 6-14-2008 at 02:20 PM

Three months later:

3monthsgrowth_b.jpg - 35kB

Bob and Susan - 6-14-2008 at 03:21 PM

sharkman...saw your place from across the river yesterday...

looks pretty good

David K - 6-15-2008 at 08:17 AM

Great banana tree photo, Sharks...

Back in the 80's, I was an active member of the California Rare Fruit Growers after a friend turned me onto growing exotics in San Diego... Guavas, Bananas, Passionfruit, etc. I was interested in the edible banana varieties... over 300 at the time and had a collection of over 30 banana varieties growing in Vista.

Up near Santa Barbara, Doug Richardson had started his Seaside Banana Garden and received quite a bit of publicity for his exotic banana growing exporting throughout the states (People Magazine, L.A. Times, etc.)... He and I traded varieties... The La Conchita landslide killed the lease he had for the growing land along Hwy. 101.

Anyway, I wrote a couple of papers on banana varieties for California and how to grow them... they are online at the CRFG web site...

Pescador - 6-15-2008 at 08:45 AM

David, thank you so much for going to the effort and taking the time to post this. The knowledge you have has taken years to develop and here you are sharing it for free. I have saved it to Word and will now go through and modify my system. I had some plants that were simply not getting enough water so I put in a sprinkler head but you are right, that is not the final way to go and controlled drip would be a lot better and not lime up like the sprinkler heads are going to do.

David K - 6-15-2008 at 10:06 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Pescador
David, thank you so much for going to the effort and taking the time to post this. The knowledge you have has taken years to develop and here you are sharing it for free. I have saved it to Word and will now go through and modify my system. I had some plants that were simply not getting enough water so I put in a sprinkler head but you are right, that is not the final way to go and controlled drip would be a lot better and not lime up like the sprinkler heads are going to do.


You are quite welcome Pescador... Every property will have unique needs... and there is more than one way to irrigate an area or a plant. I hope all with watering issues will come forward and I will try and help with what I have found works.

I have been installing, selling, teaching, designing irrigation systems since 1980 and pretty much try to keep a system as basic and simple as possible, but using the best products and staying aware of new technology.

There is still a lot more information to add to this thread and one of them is operation of the drip system (how long/ how often or 'duration' and 'frequency').

Also, I can share some great news on a 'new to most' sprinkler that uses 1/3 the water of typical 15' sprays and yet has a radius of 20'... for lawns, slopes, etc. I have been using it for over 5 years now with great results... so stay tuned!

Anyway, it is Father's Day and I am going to enjoy it with my son and daughter and Baja Angel. So, stay tuned for more later!

David K - 6-16-2008 at 08:45 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by mtgoat666
Quote:
Originally posted by David K

While using an anti siphon valve is recommended to protect residential water from possible contamination, some areas do not need an anti siphon valve.
[Edited on 6-14-2008 by David K]


why would anybody not use an anti-siphon valve?


When I said some areas do not need one, I meant 'to pass local codes'. In fact, you rarely see anti siphon valves outside of Southern California... where there are so many sprinkler systems and people do not want to pay for backflow preventors that are usually required when using inline (non-anti siphon) valves.

So, when using an in-line valve for irrigation, there is no preventing irrigation water from back siphoning into the source should there be an unexpected pressure drop while your irrigation is running.

This pressure drop can happen when a water main breaks, the fire department hooks up nearby to put out a fire, etc. Water will flow from your property towards the low pressure, and if there is fertilizer or chemicals in the soil or water, it will mix with the 'city' water... THAT'S NOT GOOD.

A back flow device, such as a backflow preventor, vacuum breaker, check valve or anti siphon valve that only allows water to flow in one direction will prevent contamination of the city water (and perhaps your own home's water).

IF you wanted to inject chemicals or fertilizer into your irrigation water, then a reduced pressure principal backflow preventor is required here... such as a Wilkins 975



Backflows have been used for commercial irrigation systems (so inline valves, installed below grade in a box can be used) and now are becoming common for new residential homes. One less thing you can be sued for in the USA is contaminating your neighbor's water... with the backflow preventor installed!



[Edited on 6-17-2008 by David K]

HOW MUCH WATER to apply and more info.

David K - 6-17-2008 at 05:02 PM

Here comes the fun part! Some science, so get a calculator!

The purpose of irrigation is to supply water to a plant in the amount it needs to live and grow... when natural water sources (rain, fog, ground water) is not enough.

Water is lost from the plant through evapotranspiration... or water evaporating out of the plant and into the air. This water must be replaced before too much is transpired out of the plant, along with some extra for growth and fruit production (if a fruiting plant).

Irrigation replaces lost water... and the plant absorbs water through its roots, underground. Drip irrigation applies water slowly on the ground so more of the water applied actually can get to the roots.

Sprinklers throw water, under pressure, into the air (for distance)... Once in air some of that water is lost to evaporation (irrigate before it gets hot), lost to wind (irrigate when there isn't any, like early morning), lost to runoff (high flow sprinklers or bubblers apply water faster than some soils can absorb it), and just wasted (watering walls, sidewalks, roads, and other non-growing things).

Drip systems (when installed correctly) apply water to the ground, over the root system, slowly. No wind loss, little or no runoff, no or almost no evaporation loss, no watering of undesired areas.

A correctly installed and operated sprinkler system has a 75-80% efficiency rating... that's it... Most I have seen are maybe 50% efficient (half the water is not available to the plant, so running the sprinklers twice as long to keep plants/lawn alive is necessary).

A drip system has an 85-90% efficiency rating in warm to hot weather.

Picture this...

If you put a garden hose by a plant and just let the water trickle out as slowly as you can set it, that hose could run for hours and all the water would be in the ground, below that plant.

If you opened up the hose to full and held it in one spot for more than a few seconds, all that water would be flooding around and running off somewhere... most of the water going away from where you want it.

There you have drip vs. sprinkler.

Now, sprinklers have their place, to project water over large areas... and there are some great improvements in sprinkler technology that can cover a large area, and use 2/3 less water than conventional sprays... more on that later!

continued...

Water Application Formula

David K - 6-17-2008 at 05:47 PM

Something to always remember: When a plant doubles in size, it needs 4 times the water...

A formula was discovered to figure how many gallons of water plants need from irrigation every day.

.623 X (.785 X DXD) X C X P
______________________
E

Not sure how this will look once I hit post, but DXD is the plant canopy diameter, squared. C is the climate factor. P is the plant use coefficient. Multiply the top line together and the divide the answer by E which is the irrigation efficiency.

D = Canopy Diameter in feet.

C = Climate Factor : .15 for under 70┬░F. .25 for 70┬░-80┬░. .35 for 80┬░-100┬░. .45 for over 100┬░F.

P = Plant Use Coefficient: .20 for low water use plants, .50 for average water use plants, .65 for citrus and avocado, .70 for high water use shrubs, .75 for deciduous fruit trees, .90 for high water use trees.

E = Irrigation Efficiency: .90 for drip in warm weather, .85 for hot weather. .80 for sprinklers in warm weather, .75 for hot weather. Add .05 to above figures for cool weather.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

okay, now we have a daily gallon amount... but, we usually do not water every day (only in extreme heat)... so, if your irrigation is watering every 3 days, multiply the figure by 3 and apply that amount of water.

ALL irrigation products that flow water have the flow rate provided in gallons per hour (GPH) or gallons per minute (GPM) at various pressures (PSI), by their manufacturer.

Now, to see the formula in operation!

A 10' diameter orange tree, during a 75┬░ average week, irrigated with a drip system:

.623 X .785 X (10X10) X .25 X .65 = 7.95 divided by .90 = 8.83 gallons per day... If you irrigate once a week, then 8.83 X 7 = 62 GALLONS per week for that 10 ft. orange tree on a drip system.

If you have 30 feet of Netafim (0.6 GPH @ 12" spacing) emitterline around that 10' tree, then the 30 emitters flow 18 GPH. The tree needs 62 gallons. 62 divided by 18 = 3.5 hours (always round up) of irrigation.

That same tree if watered with 'good' sprinklers would need 9.93 gallons per day or 70 gallons per week... A 10' half circle spray flows about 1 GPM. 70 divided by 1 = 70 minutes of irrigation... that much time may very well lead to water flowing far from the trees in hard or steep terrain... thus multiple shorter runs may need to be used.

I have some illustrations from my published and unpublished irrigation guide books... I might try and post here...

To be continued!

[Edited on 12-13-2019 by David K]

David K - 6-18-2008 at 09:13 AM

Here are some pages from the unpublished 'Irrigation Design: Book 3 (Drip Irrigation)' that we wrote after we published 'Irrigation Design: Book 1 (Design Flow and Operating Pressure)'








Book 1

David K - 6-18-2008 at 09:42 AM

Larry and I worked many evenings on Book 1... I had most of the irrigation details and Larry had computer graphic skills and also being a landscaper, had installed irrigation... I met him as he was a customer where I worked and sold irrigation... back in 1992.

Anyway, there was always some mystery into how water works and acts in irrigation and we wanted to help shed some light on how water reacts to pipe sizes, valves, pressure, etc.

The information was out there, but usually in big, complex manuals that most landscapers and homeowners would never see.

We took the details and put into a simple, reusable guide which was to be one of three books. Book 2 was to be about sprinkler design and book 3 about drip/ micro irrigation design.

We published Book 1 and it is still in print... last I heard, as Larry has done the publishing. It became a 'best seller' in one horticultural catalog of tree books and some colleges have used them for landscape classes...

Book 1 took so much energy and time from us, who worked during the days, that we never went on to publish the other two books...

Here is the front and back of Book 1...




David K - 6-18-2008 at 09:47 AM

Anyway, this thread is here to help you with irrigating your landscape/ garden/ trees... so please feel free to post questions or u2u if you prefer.

Jack Swords - 6-18-2008 at 10:09 AM

Well done David. Now, with the math, I can see the logical progression of water needs for the plants. I always just used powers of observation. A question that may occur to others: In Nipomo our soil is 300 feet of dune sand. A dripper "stovepipes" straight down. In Todos Santos a 1 gallon dripper ran off the plant's location on a slight hill. Seems like the math doesn't address remedies for these distinct differences. Obviously in the dune sand more emitters also means wasted water as it goes straight down past the plant's roots. In heavy soil runoff is also wasted. Any suggestions?

David K - 6-18-2008 at 04:52 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Jack Swords
Well done David. Now, with the math, I can see the logical progression of water needs for the plants. I always just used powers of observation. A question that may occur to others: In Nipomo our soil is 300 feet of dune sand. A dripper "stovepipes" straight down. In Todos Santos a 1 gallon dripper ran off the plant's location on a slight hill. Seems like the math doesn't address remedies for these distinct differences. Obviously in the dune sand more emitters also means wasted water as it goes straight down past the plant's roots. In heavy soil runoff is also wasted. Any suggestions?


Good question Jack...

On the page showing emitter placement, Larry added the text below the illustrations that addressed the clay soil problem. Since that time (16 years ago) I have used much more emitterline than single emitters for drip systems... here's why emitterline is better in both of your examples:

CLAY (hard to wet soil) This is where the slower you apply water the easier it can be absorbed benefit of drip comes in. The emitterline I use is the 1/2 GPH (0.61 actually) per foot type... a 1/2 GPH drip gets into clay better than 1 or 2 GPH drip rates... So less chance of runoff... Make a basin if you must corral the water in the root zone... Usually basins are not needed for drip irigation, but the water is not doing any good if it isn't over the root zone.

SAND (water doesn't spread well) As Jack mentioned, water will 'stovepipe' straight down in sandy soil, and miss most of the roots if you use standard emitters and emitter placement. Water below the root zone isn't doing the plant much good. Here again, emitterline (dripperline) with emitters every 12" in the tube has many, many more wetting points around plants than a few seperate emitters. When the system is operated 1-2 hours (typical) the wet spots all blend together and make a wet strip a foot (+/-) wide on the surface, and that wet area is wider underground as capillary action pulls the water sideways as it moves down. In sany soil that is less true... but still we have much more area covered with the dripperline.

Remember, the above posted guides are just that, a guide to help you with irrigation that has worked for us... You MUST use your own observations and common sense at the installation site to adjust for your local conditions!

With drip, you control how much water a plant gets... if it looks dry, run the system longer... it's in your hands! When plants grow, the irrigation must as well... Install a system that will meet the needs of full grown, mature plants and any possible additions.

3/4" PVC pipe and the drip control valve can flow 8 GPM or 480 GPH (if your source is at least that much available).

1/2" poly hose can flow 4 GPM or 240 GPH max. (ie. 120 2 GPH emitters or sections of emitterline that total nearly 400').

1/2" emitterline (0.61 GPH/ 12" spacing) can run up to 300' from the point of connection (3 GPM or 180 GPH).

The slower you apply water, the more it will benefit you in savings and results!

mtgoat666 - 6-18-2008 at 06:03 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by David K
Here comes the fun part! Some science, so get a calculator!

The purpose of irrigation is to supply water to a plant in the amount it needs to live and grow... when natural water sources (rain, fog, ground water) is not enough.

....

There you have drip vs. sprinkler.


i usually plant natives, and all my experts tell me that drip irrigation is bad for natives. however, drip sounds good for people growing temperate and tropical plants in the desert.

thebajarunner - 6-18-2008 at 06:37 PM

Great stuff, as usual, David,

Up here we have to constantly monitor the systems because various 'critters', generally coyotes, will gnaw through and tap into the water flow, which of course creates mini-geysers in the system.

Other than regular visual inspection there is not much remedy.
(other than a well placed .22 slug, now and then)(into the critter, not into the drip system)

David K - 6-18-2008 at 07:06 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by mtgoat666
Quote:
Originally posted by David K
Here comes the fun part! Some science, so get a calculator!

The purpose of irrigation is to supply water to a plant in the amount it needs to live and grow... when natural water sources (rain, fog, ground water) is not enough.

....

There you have drip vs. sprinkler.


i usually plant natives, and all my experts tell me that drip irrigation is bad for natives. however, drip sounds good for people growing temperate and tropical plants in the desert.


Interesting... since a plant (native or import) cannot tell how the water is getting into the soil, it doesn't know if it is from a drip or other system. It can only repsond to the quantity of water (too much or too little or just right)...

So, drip irrigation in of itself cannot be 'bad' but the installation and operation of a drip system can be.

Not enough emitters per plant, poor placement of emitters, incorrect operating duration and frequency is what can be bad... the water is the same once in the root zone.

All this I am posting is to show you how to correctly install and operate drip irrigation. Please ask your 'experts' to read what I have shared and perhaps they will either be enlightened or can share with me what 28 years experience hasn't yet... None of us are too old to learn, right?

David K - 6-18-2008 at 07:09 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by thebajarunner
Great stuff, as usual, David,

Up here we have to constantly monitor the systems because various 'critters', generally coyotes, will gnaw through and tap into the water flow, which of course creates mini-geysers in the system.

Other than regular visual inspection there is not much remedy.
(other than a well placed .22 slug, now and then)(into the critter, not into the drip system)


Thank you Dick... if the lines can be buried in animal problem areas, then better... A bowl/ bucket of water with an emitter in it (to keep it full) will give the coyotes the water they seek, without damage to the tubes... hopefully!

The Next Generation in Sprinklers!

David K - 6-19-2008 at 07:23 PM

This is something I am very excited about, and since they were introduced into the landscape irrigation world about 6 years ago, I have been using them with fantastic results.

The MP Rotator is a multi stream rotating sprinkler the size of a spray nozzle (small) and fits right into typical Rainbird or Toro brand pop up sprinklers or shrub riser adapters.

The 20' (MP-2000) model uses 1/3 the water of a standard 15' spray, yet gives more coverage. With the much lower flow rate, low pressure problems are solved... and water is more efficiently utilized.

The low pressure, low water supply Baja home garden now has hope for making that little bit of water go further than ever before!

Originally available in one size (20' radius), the last 2 years has seen the introduction of a 14' radius and a 30' radius model with a special 45┬░-105┬░ corner, and 5' wide strip models.

Here are a couple of real short videos (7 seconds) that show an MP pop up and an MP riser coming on.

Next generation sprinklers, Pop up

Next generation sprinklers, on a riser

Look to see these in the future at Baja Cactus, El Rosario wetting the nature trail and catus garden Antonio plans for the hillside.

www.mprotator.com for all the scoop

Now, please feel free to ask for help or advice!



[Edited on 12-13-2019 by David K]

Bob and Susan - 6-20-2008 at 06:14 AM

these "new generation" sprinklers seem to have ALOT of moving parts
with our REALLY hard water how would these hold up?

i kinda of disagree with davidk about the sprinkler valves...

i've used the "cheap" $12 anti-siphon valves from home depot for years and they hold up...

the only thing i've had go out would be the selonoid (on a VERY few) years later and that's just a screw in "easy fix"

david is a professional and MUST guarentee his work so he uses the BEST and most expensive

for us "simpletons" we can easily use the cheaper "off the shelf" items to grow our plants

you really don't need to spend a fortune on sprinklers to water...

bobw - 6-20-2008 at 06:32 AM

The MP Rotators have stood up very well in the real world. They were extremely well designed by a company that specialized in agricultural irrigation where efficiency = $$$.

I work in the business and have had very few problems with them. I'll be putting 1100 of them in the ground in the next month, so that gives you an idea of how much faith I have in them.

David K - 6-20-2008 at 07:02 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
these "new generation" sprinklers seem to have ALOT of moving parts
with our REALLY hard water how would these hold up?

i kinda of disagree with davidk about the sprinkler valves...

i've used the "cheap" $12 anti-siphon valves from home depot for years and they hold up...

the only thing i've had go out would be the selonoid (on a VERY few) years later and that's just a screw in "easy fix"

david is a professional and MUST guarentee his work so he uses the BEST and most expensive

for us "simpletons" we can easily use the cheaper "off the shelf" items to grow our plants

you really don't need to spend a fortune on sprinklers to water...


Thanks for your input Bob & Susan... I pay $14.50 for the better Rainbird ASV-100 valve... and I think that even a walk in home owner wouldn't pay much more if they go into a sprinkler supply store. It's just that Home Depot type places really mark that one up ($25 ish) to make it seem that much better than the $10-12 'cheap' valves. It is that much better, but for $5 or less additional, isn't that worth it?

Now the cheaper valves when used under low pressure will last a long time and I have seen them even under high pressure working for years... However, I have also seen them fall apart when the better valves will keep on trucking.

Nothing is perfect, mind you... and even the 'good' valves can fail. I have repaced cracked anti-siphon caps on both types of 'good' valves (Rainbird ASV-100 and Hardie/Irritrol #311)... but I have seen many more failures on the cheap valves.

About the MP Rotator "moving parts"... you would be surprised... it uses a viscous fluid instead of gears to slow the rotation. from the web site:

PROVEN DURABILITY & RELIABILITY
Rotator« Technology proven in demanding agricultural conditions since 1987
One moving part
Patented "double-pop" flushes on start-up and shut-down without increasing spray head flow-by

Yup, ONE moving part!

David K - 6-20-2008 at 07:23 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by bobw
The MP Rotators have stood up very well in the real world. They were extremely well designed by a company that specialized in agricultural irrigation where efficiency = $$$.

I work in the business and have had very few problems with them. I'll be putting 1100 of them in the ground in the next month, so that gives you an idea of how much faith I have in them.


That is great to hear! Yes, the MP Rotator was developed for agriculture over 20 years ago. It was about 6 years ago when Nelson Irrigation's Walla Walla Sprinkler Company started to market and develop more models for the landscape irrigation industry.

Last year, Hunter Irrigation purchased that part of the company and now makes them right here in my area (San Marcos) and you can find MP Rotators everywhere Hunter sprinklers are sold. Hunter also developed a new pop up and shrub body with both a anti-drain check valve and a 40 PSI regulator built in just for the MP Rotator... The MPR-40.

While an MP Rotator will work at 25 PSI- 55 PSI, 40 PSI is ideal for the maximum radius and 30 PSI will permit the shortest adjustment of radius.

At 40 PSI, the MP1000 will go 14', the MP2000 will go 20', and the MP3000 will go 30'.

Use the Hunter Institutional pop up with a 30 PSI regulator built in if you need to reduce to 8' on the MP1000, 13' on the MP2000 or 22' on the MP3000... the shortest each can be adjusted to throw.

The MP stands for 'matched precipitation' and that means that all MP Rotator models can operate on the same zone and each will have matched output of water no matter if adjusted to minimum distance, set from 90┬░-360┬░ or otherwise.

Do see the web site for more details... feel free to ask me how to use them for your lawn, slope or planter area.

I am installing 42 of them today in Vista... replacing sprays that don't cover the areas they were originally installed by the homeowner to cover.


[Edited on 12-13-2019 by David K]

Bob and Susan - 6-20-2008 at 09:05 AM

how much do the roto heads cost???

i JUST paid and imported about
100 regular sprinkler (cheap plastic) heads
for $.57 usa each

i feel these may last longer because of the harder water here in mulege

they will not last forever though but...
i thing 10 years is a satisfactory time for the $.57 investment

oh yea david
that is a GREAT price for the valves BUT...what do you charge the customer???:o:o

[Edited on 6-20-2008 by Bob and Susan]

David K - 6-20-2008 at 10:47 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
how much do the roto heads cost???

i JUST paid and imported about
100 regular sprinkler (cheap plastic) heads
for $.57 usa each

i feel these may last longer because of the harder water here in mulege

they will not last forever though but...
i thing 10 years is a satisfactory time for the $.57 investment

oh yea david
that is a GREAT price for the valves BUT...what do you charge the customer???:o:o

[Edited on 6-20-2008 by Bob and Susan]


The MP Rotator is priced a lot less than traditional rotors, a bit more than spray nozzles? Contact your Hunter dealer for your costs. They fit right into the inexpensive spray pop ups (like Rainbird 1800, Toro 570-P, Hunter Pro or SRS) or shrub adapters (like Rainbird PA-8, Toro 570-S). Other sprinklers that throw 20'-30' have complex gear drives, adjustments, nozzle trees, internal or external moving parts...

The cheap impact or spray sprinklers do not save water... and that is the emphasis of this post. The less water that flows through drip or sprinklers, the more a Baja home can cover (with limited water supply)... also they will be failing rather soon.

Let me put it this way, your plants are the main investment in a landscape or orchard... So, why would you use the cheapest sprinklers or products... when it is the irrigation that keeps your plants alive!??

As far as what is the charge for installation... this is supposed to be a 'how to' advice, and 'help' post, not a classified ad for a business service.... You are not in San Diego County, anyway.

Remember when getting an estimate for the cost of a new valve installed, it includes the labor, one or more trips to your property and the supply store, time to and from said locations, buying the valve, two sch. 80 risers, connecting to the water supply line, PVC parts and cement, teflon tape, dri splice (weather-proof) wire connectors, testing through the controller, and a one year workmanship guarantee... if the installer knows his stuff and does it right! Oh, and remember, the installer has expenses to do business like a vehicle, extra labor sometimes, insurance, taxes, etc.


[Edited on 6-21-2008 by David K]

Bob and Susan - 6-21-2008 at 07:13 AM

yea...and what about digging the trenches:lol::lol:

David K - 6-21-2008 at 07:21 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
yea...and what about digging the trenches:lol::lol:


Maybe that's one reason I like drip systems... no need to bury the lines (can be hidden by mulch, bark, plant growth) unless you have coyote issues (mentioned above).

Heck if it wasn't for trenching sprinkler pipes, it wouldn't seem like work, at all!!:lol:

SPRAYS?

David K - 6-22-2008 at 09:04 AM

We have covered drip systems, that can be used for shrubs, trees, planter beds and vegetable gardens.

We talked a bit about MP Rotators, the super efficient low gallon sprinkler for areas or spacings 8' to 30' wide and for 4'-5' wide strips over 10' long.

That leaves the areas less than 8' wide that are not long strips... or places that you can use the standard spray sprinklers:

Sprays come in several models based on distance and pattern (shape of the area it covers, or arc). Always use the model closest to what is needed for the area.

Sprays from Rainbird, Hunter, Toro, etc. are available in 5', 8', 10', 12', 15', 18' radius/ throws (or near those numbers).

Do not buy a 15' nozzle for an 8' wide area thinking all you need to do is screw down the adjustment... the droplet size for a 15' area is bigger than a 8' nozzle droplet and you will only be disappointed in the coverage.

Patterns come in 90┬░ (Quarter Circle), 120┬░ (Third), 180┬░ (Half), 240┬░ (Two Thirds), 270┬░ (Three Quarters), and 360┬░ (Full Circle)... and for odd shaped lawns there are the VAN or Variable Arc Nozzles in the various radius models... Rainbird has them in 4', 6', 8', 10', 12', 15', and 18' throws... You simply twist the adjustment ring to set the pattern you needs from 1┬░ to 360┬░. Toro, Hunter and other sprinkler companies also offer adjustable arc nozzles.

Remember to never mix a spray sprinkler with a rotor type sprinkler on the same zone! Spray use a lot more water per square foot than does a moving sprinkler... About 3 times more! Sprays run for 10 minutes and are applying the same volume of water as a rotor running 30 minutes.

The MP Rotator is perfect when you have a small piece of lawn that is attached to an otherwise wide area with rotors... since the MP Rotator has the 1000 series (8-14'), Corner (45-105┬░), and 4-5' strip models that have the precipitation rate of big rotating sprinklers (Hunter G type, Rain Bird rotors, Toro rotors, impacts, etc.).

Always insert the filter under a spray nozzle (a filter comes with it)... to reduce the chance of clogging and to allow distance reduction... since the distance screw mates with the filter to reduce of shut off the spray nozzle. MP Rotator filters come attached, so no forgetting to use a filter!

After any sprinkler or drip line installation, flush the system to clear out any dirt or other stuff in the pipe or tubes. For sprinklers, flush before inserting the filters and nozzles. For drip lines, flush after inserting emitters.

Use personal observation to adjust run times and frequencies for your area and plant needs.

Here is usually where we start:

Grass uses more water than other plants, so your lawn zones typically will be set for 10-15 min. for sprays and 30-45 min. for rotors. Planters (shrubs, trees, etc.) set 5-10 min. for spray and 15-30 min. for rotors....

Drip system: 30 min. minimum (raised planter beds) to 2 hours, typical max. Your plants will indicate if they are getting enough... start high and work down.

In cooler (but dry) months, watering 1-2 times a week may be enough and in extreme heat watering every day may be necessary to replace the water plants transpire.

2-3 times a week works well most of the year around here (Southern California coastal). Baja California has almost every climate in the world... so learn your area for the right amount of water to apply! 'Smart' controllers are available now that have a weather station that constantly monitors the climate. Plant, soil, slope, irrigation type, and latitude details are programmed into it so the controller can automatically adjust all year long... a rain switch is included that stops watering in wet weather. :light::light::light:

Pretty cool huh?

I hope this was interesting for some of you... please ask questions if I can help you with your Baja home irrigation needs!

[Edited on 12-13-2019 by David K]

David K - 5-29-2009 at 04:21 PM

Maybe a good time to bump this up for review... being near summertime and all!

Have a beautiful landscape or healthy garden and grove of trees with water saving drip irrigation or MP Rotator sprinklers!

A 'smart' controller (one that automatically adjust irrigation to the weather conditions and sun's location) can also save you money, time and water! See http://smartline.com

Cypress - 5-29-2009 at 04:27 PM

David K. What's the best sprinlker for small plots of grass, less than 30' in diameter?:?: Thanks.:D

David K - 5-29-2009 at 04:35 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Cypress
David K. What's the best sprinlker for small plots of grass, less than 30' in diameter?:?: Thanks.:D


What are the dimensions (length, width)? MP Rotators in most cases... I will design it for you!

Cypress - 5-29-2009 at 04:43 PM

David K. 50'x50'? Thanks,:D Got a couple sprinklers, but they don't really rotate etc. as advertised.:D

shari - 5-29-2009 at 04:59 PM

Well, since this thread came back to life I will share my "baja style" drip irrigation system I just installed yesterday at the Beach House. In Sta.Rosalia in a tiny hardware store, they sell really cool emitters that just pop into 1/2" black mangera for really cheap...they have these neat little dials you can adjust the flow. So we just hacksawed the tubing where we needed an emitter and hooked that baby up to the water tap outside...quick, cheap and simple. i wonder how long till the coyotes find out....I'm gonna use your idea and put a bowel under one so it's always full for the critters. JDtrotter said she saw 2 big coyotes in the yard a few days ago....hmmm....It will be interesting to see if they clog up.
Thanks for inspiring me David....hope it works.

David K - 5-29-2009 at 05:06 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by BigWooo
Now that you bring it up...

Do you have any experience with this system:

http://www.rewater.com

If so, your opinions?


Thanks for the link...

I looked over the web site, and it seems to be an installation company based in Chula Vista that uses various products. It is not a product in itself, sold to other installers or home owners.

I could not tell from the photos what the underground emitters were, but they are way big and bulky to have to install... and upon reading, they have a high flow rate (not drip, at all). The trenching for true drip emitterline systems is minimal. The photos of their system show major trenching (at high cost).

I called one of the numbers (there are more than one?) and left a message... asking what the product was.

The controller shown (with their name photo-shopped over the brand logo) appears to be an Irritrol Systems 'Total Control' (good clock, but lacks the latest 'smart' features).

Because the product flow rate is so high, many valves and larger controllers would be needed and that is where the big expense is... over true drip or low volume irrigation.

Using grey water is an iffy thing to do because of local restrictions because of biological hazzards caused... It just isn't alowed in many places.

Would you want your next door neighbor pouring his dirtly laundry or shower water outside for you to become exposed to? Sure, putting it ito the ground, below the surface may reduce the water vapor emissions... But, if a pipe or hose were cut, that polluted water would be flowing all over the surface.

I would be more confident in using a proven product, such as the Netafim Techline CV emitterline with a disk filter for grey water or screen filter for normal water to remove larger particles. I would recommend the emitterline for planters and (although can work) suggest not use drip for lawns... Use sprinklers around the perimeter only (MP Rotators best)... If any problem occurs, then no need to dig up your beasutiful grass to find the problem and repair it.

David K - 5-29-2009 at 05:21 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Cypress
David K. 50'x50'? Thanks,:D Got a couple sprinklers, but they don't really rotate etc. as advertised.:D


A square area 50 feet wide by 50 feet long would need 9 sprinklers with a 25 foot radius, for ideal head to head coverage.

The MP 3000 adjusted down to 25'... 4 @ 90┬░ in each corner, 4 @ 180┬░ on each of the four sides, and 1 360┬░ in the center.

Total flow at 25' radius is 11.7 GPM. With good water pressure (over 50 PSI) they all could operate on one 3/4" valve. If pressure is low, use 2 valves.

Grass is very fussy... if it doesn't get even water, you will see the color fade from where it gets adequate water to the lean area.

[Edited on 12-13-2019 by David K]

Cypress - 5-29-2009 at 05:32 PM

David K. Thanks.:)

David K - 5-30-2009 at 07:35 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Cypress
David K. Thanks.:)


You're welcome... if you need a parts list or where to buy the products, let me know! Also, please measure the lawn dimensions accurately... as that may change the design... and give you a better looking lawn with little or no wasted water!

David K - 5-30-2009 at 07:59 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by David K
Quote:
Originally posted by BigWooo
Now that you bring it up...

Do you have any experience with this system:

http://www.rewater.com

If so, your opinions?


Thanks for the link...

I looked over the web site, and it seems to be an installation company based in Chula Vista that uses various products. It is not a product in itself, sold to other installers or home owners.

I could not tell from the photos what the underground emitters were, but they are way big and bulky to have to install... and upon reading, they have a high flow rate (not drip, at all). The trenching for true drip emitterline systems is minimal. The photos of their system show major trenching (at high cost).

I called one of the numbers (there are more than one?) and left a message... asking what the product was.

The controller shown (with their name photo-shopped over the brand logo) appears to be an Irritrol Systems 'Total Control' (good clock, but lacks the latest 'smart' features).

Because the product flow rate is so high, many valves and larger controllers would be needed and that is where the big expense is... over true drip or low volume irrigation.

Using grey water is an iffy thing to do because of local restrictions because of biological hazzards caused... It just isn't alowed in many places.

Would you want your next door neighbor pouring his dirtly laundry or shower water outside for you to become exposed to? Sure, putting it ito the ground, below the surface may reduce the water vapor emissions... But, if a pipe or hose were cut, that polluted water would be flowing all over the surface.

I would be more confident in using a proven product, such as the Netafim Techline CV emitterline with a disk filter for grey water or screen filter for normal water to remove larger particles. I would recommend the emitterline for planters and (although can work) suggest not use drip for lawns... Use sprinklers around the perimeter only (MP Rotators best)... If any problem occurs, then no need to dig up your beasutiful grass to find the problem and repair it.



The owner of the company called me back last night and provided some more detail... Their system is nearly 100% intended for new home construction since the trenching involved is so intensive along with the re-plumbing for the grey water routing to the storage tank. The in line emitters flow 12 GPH each and run for only 2 minutes per zone and is repeated over and over until the volume needed is applied. This surging of water is required to reduce clogging. He said human hair buildup was a big problem with typical filters and suggest media type filters instead (ie. sand).

Anyway, this is not at all of interest or practical use to me or the majority of my clients. Perhaps on trees, but not under lawns...

BigWooo - 5-30-2009 at 08:33 AM

WoW David,

Thank you for spending time to check that out. I removed my post because I figured it was so obscure you wouldn't have had contact with them. I didn't expect such a thorough response.

Your evaluation is very helpful. Muchas Gracias! :bounce:

It would be installed into new construction. Our water has to be trucked in so we won't have much opportunity to plant trees, or anything else for that matter due to frequency and cost of water delivery that would be required. It would be nice to have a couple of shade trees and some other tropical landscaping that would be too difficult to water otherwise. I'll definitely look into the Netafirm suggestion also.

[Edited on 5-30-2009 by BigWooo]

oladulce - 5-30-2009 at 10:23 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by shari
....I'm gonna use your idea and put a bowel under one so it's always full for the critters.


I think that would be considered black water ;)

David K - 5-30-2009 at 10:26 AM

El gusto es mio... A sand media filter is a must to remove any human hair and other bio matter/ soap scum/ etc. before going into any irrigation products or to your trees. A bio friendly soap and detergent should also be considered... See Melaleuca.com for some possible products in the personal care and home care cleaning lines they offer.

RANCHO LA AGUJA - DRIPPING

rob - 6-15-2009 at 08:33 AM

After 6 years, our (drip) garden is thriving - only things that WON'T grow are herbs (go figure) and eggplant (?). Soil is sandy with little organic content, so we plant and turn in alfalfa patches.

Broccoli did poorly (big plants, small heads) until I followed some web advice and put 20 Mule Team borax in the soil. Turns out brocoli needs boron . .

valves-with-mangos.jpg - 46kB

LA AGUJA - GARDEN SHOT

rob - 6-15-2009 at 08:37 AM

. . .and the alfalfa . . has really made a difference in veggie quality.

Wish someone could show us how to grow lavender!

gatehouse and alfalfa.jpg - 45kB

BajaGringo - 6-15-2009 at 01:43 PM

Be careful with Boron - it is essential for plants but mostly at very low levels (< 1 ppm) It can be highly toxic to young plants at even 1 ppm and is used as a general herbicide at higher concentrations. Once you overdose with boron it will take a lot of leaching to get it back to safe levels for new planting.

One thing that can help drip systems is to pack crushed volcanic rock underneath your planting area before seeding. It really does help to retain moisture and you may find that your watering frequency/quantity will decrease. It also will contribute a small amount of boron that meets the needs of most boron sensitive plants.

rob - 6-16-2009 at 08:01 AM

Thanks BajaGringo - we move each garden (7 rows of veggies) every time we plant to keep the bugs confused - takes about three years to come back to the same place - but will be extra cautious about boron.

The Magdalena/La Paz llanos are ex-sea bed and not too much volcanic stuff around, but perhaps I could steal a sackful next time I am up between Constitucion and Loreto - they seem to have mountainsides full of surplus volcanic rock!

David K - 6-16-2009 at 08:06 AM

Rob, is it emitterline or drip tape you are using for row watering? Was it picked because of availability or cost?

Before emitterline (which will last for many years), I used Reed/ Hardie Bi-Wall 19 mil drip tape for gardens and ground cover. Worked well, but it is still thinner than poly hose emitterline and had to run in straight lines (not always the case in landscape use, but fine for crops).

capt. mike - 6-16-2009 at 09:51 AM

DK - a Q for you:

i have only one zone and hence one elec valve controlled by my clock timer control box. starting 2 days ago it is showing "short" instead of time and day on the dig read out.
the watering is NOT happening. it has never done this.
what would you do 1st to trouble shoot??

all the visible wires look good, and the valve appears ok. the run from the controller to the valve box in direct burial not in conduit. and crosses 30 ft of driveway too....dang!!

what say you?? get a multi meter and start checking continuity? man i hate yard problems...:(

vandenberg - 6-16-2009 at 10:42 AM

Mike,
does your timer have batteries? That was the problem with mine when it acted that way.
Here in Loreto watering systems don't last long, they get plugged up by the hard water in short order.

[Edited on 6-16-2009 by vandenberg]

Bob H - 6-16-2009 at 10:50 AM

David, the drip system you did in my front yard is still going strong. All of my plants are growing and blooming! You need to stop by to see how it looks.

It might be time for me to clean out the filter but I don't remember how you told me to do that.

Bob H

David K - 6-16-2009 at 01:54 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by capt. mike
DK - a Q for you:

i have only one zone and hence one elec valve controlled by my clock timer control box. starting 2 days ago it is showing "short" instead of time and day on the dig read out.
the watering is NOT happening. it has never done this.
what would you do 1st to trouble shoot??

all the visible wires look good, and the valve appears ok. the run from the controller to the valve box in direct burial not in conduit. and crosses 30 ft of driveway too....dang!!

what say you?? get a multi meter and start checking continuity? man i hate yard problems...:(


Capt.Mike sent me this question in a u2u, which I read and answered first, before reading the forums...

Just for any others who are wondering what to do:

A 'short' readout or blown fuse can be caused by a defective valve solenoid... very easy to replace (with the water main shut off)...

To make sure it is the solenoid and not a cut wire, disconnect one (or both) wires at the valve and reset the controller and do a manual run of that valve... if the controller doesn't go into the 'short' mode, odds are it is a defective solenoid.

If it still goes into 'short' mode with the solenod disconnected, then it is possible a shovel has cut into the cable... examin any place there has been any gardening or digging and fix the cut wires.

If there was no damage to the cable of wires, disconnect the wires from the controller and reset/ manual run one more time... If it still reads 'short', that controller has a problem.

Don't buy cheap stuff at the giant home improvement stores... Go to an irrigation supply and get a quality product that will keep your expensive plants and lawn alive!

Standard controller, I suggest a 'Rain Dial' or 'Total Control' (from Irritrol Systems)

Smart Controller (with a weather monitor option), I suggest the Smartline (from Weathermatic)

Battery powered controller (must be used with battery controller operated solenoid valves), I suggest the DIG 500 series... which is being phased out for the new 700 series, I hear.

David K - 6-16-2009 at 02:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob H
David, the drip system you did in my front yard is still going strong. All of my plants are growing and blooming! You need to stop by to see how it looks.

It might be time for me to clean out the filter but I don't remember how you told me to do that.

Bob H


Good to hear Bob... You have a Netafim Techline CV system with filtered inlet, self cleaning, pressure compensating, check valve emitters every 12 inches that each flow 0.63 GPH at 5-50 PSI or about 1 gallon per minute per 100 feet.

100 feet of drip emitterline uses about the same flow per minute as just one 10' spray head... and all of the water goes into the soil where the plants roots are. A spray head put all the water into the air first, as a mist... where a third or more is lost to wind or run off as most soil cannot absorb water at such a fast rate.

The filter comes apart by unscrewing the body, like opening a jar... Inside is a tube shaped filter screen... remove it and take it to your garden hose to spray of any debris it has collected. Once a year inspection on city water should be enough... unless you are aware of any water main breaks that will contaminate the water.

David K - 6-16-2009 at 02:08 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by vandenberg
Mike,
does your timer have batteries? That was the problem with mine when it acted that way.
Here in Loreto watering systems don't last long, they get plugged up by the hard water in short order.

[Edited on 6-16-2009 by vandenberg]


I wish Mike would say what brand controller... he mentioned "dig readout" (DIG is a battery controller brand)...

but then said this: "the run from the controller to the valve box in direct burial not in conduit. and crosses 30 ft of driveway too...."

Battery powered controllers are usually installed on or next to the valves they operate and not any long distance away.

capt. mike - 6-16-2009 at 03:12 PM

thx DK and Vandenberg for all input.
i use "dig" as shorthand for digital.
the brand i have...well i am at the office now but i think it is rainbird or something? 6 station controller with a batt backup in case of power outage but i think the batt is just to keep the clock and programming set - not to run the valve, it is a 9 v. transistor radio batt .
i will trouble shoot this weekend.

vandenberg - 6-16-2009 at 04:53 PM

Mike,
another thing to check is the solenoid. That's the gadget on top of the valve that opens the valve. They do go out occasionally. I have one out at this moment as a matter of fact. Easy to replace, just screw in and connect the wires.

David K - 6-16-2009 at 04:57 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by vandenberg
Mike,
another thing to check is the solenoid. That's the gadget on top of the valve that opens the valve. They do go out occasionally. I have one out at this moment as a matter of fact. Easy to replace, just screw in and connect the wires.


10-4, as I said about 3 hours earlier, above..:

"Capt.Mike sent me this question in a u2u, which I read and answered first, before reading the forums...

Just for any others who are wondering what to do:

A 'short' readout or blown fuse can be caused by a defective valve solenoid... very easy to replace (with the water main shut off)...

To make sure it is the solenoid and not a cut wire, disconnect one (or both) wires at the valve and reset the controller and do a manual run of that valve... if the controller doesn't go into the 'short' mode, odds are it is a defective solenoid."

rob - 6-16-2009 at 05:00 PM

Hi DK - we use 8" spaced T-Tape for the actual garden rows (you can see the T-Tape in the alfalfa shot above). We use T-Tape because the gardens move all the time to confuse the local life.

The valve lines (there are 23 of them, most for garden, others dedicated to mangos, avocados etc) are run out into the field using 1" PVC (you can see them in the right of the alfalfa picture) and into standpipes, from where we run 1/2" flex tubing and connect the T-Tape into the flex tubes.

The great thing about this setup is that I can irrigate new garden rows by just reprogramming the computer (Hunter, with 32 stations - we cheat by connecting as many as 4 valves to a station, more than that and the station becomes unreliable, sometimes opening the valves, sometimes not).

[Edited on 6-17-2009 by rob]

David K - 6-16-2009 at 05:35 PM

"...(Hunter, with 32 stations - we cheat by connecting as many as 4 valves to a station, more than that and the station becomes unreliable, sometimes opening the valves, sometimes not)."


Yah, you think!? LOL:rolleyes:

Seriously, you can safely operate TWO valves per station.

Bob H - 6-16-2009 at 07:06 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by David K
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob H
David, the drip system you did in my front yard is still going strong. All of my plants are growing and blooming! You need to stop by to see how it looks.

It might be time for me to clean out the filter but I don't remember how you told me to do that.

Bob H


Good to hear Bob... You have a Netafim Techline CV system with filtered inlet, self cleaning, pressure compensating, check valve emitters every 12 inches that each flow 0.63 GPH at 5-50 PSI or about 1 gallon per minute per 100 feet.

100 feet of drip emitterline uses about the same flow per minute as just one 10' spray head... and all of the water goes into the soil where the plants roots are. A spray head put all the water into the air first, as a mist... where a third or more is lost to wind or run off as most soil cannot absorb water at such a fast rate.

The filter comes apart by unscrewing the body, like opening a jar... Inside is a tube shaped filter screen... remove it and take it to your garden hose to spray of any debris it has collected. Once a year inspection on city water should be enough... unless you are aware of any water main breaks that will contaminate the water.


Thanks David, seems simple enough. Do I have to shut the water off to the house before uscrewing the filter body?
Bob H

David K - 6-16-2009 at 09:04 PM

No, the filter is AFTER the sprinkler valve, so check it when that zone is NOT running!

gardening

wessongroup - 8-29-2009 at 07:43 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by David K
No, the filter is AFTER the sprinkler valve, so check it when that zone is NOT running!


Thanks for all the WORK!!!

Would offer for small garden food and herb production..

Square Foot Gardening.. has a lot of benifits due to small scale, yet one can produce a suprising amount from small areas...

Please find additional information at this link "Square Foot Gardening"

David K - 8-29-2009 at 11:08 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob H
Quote:
Originally posted by David K
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob H
David, the drip system you did in my front yard is still going strong. All of my plants are growing and blooming! You need to stop by to see how it looks.

It might be time for me to clean out the filter but I don't remember how you told me to do that.

Bob H


Good to hear Bob... You have a Netafim Techline CV system with filtered inlet, self cleaning, pressure compensating, check valve emitters every 12 inches that each flow 0.63 GPH at 5-50 PSI or about 1 gallon per minute per 100 feet.

100 feet of drip emitterline uses about the same flow per minute as just one 10' spray head... and all of the water goes into the soil where the plants roots are. A spray head put all the water into the air first, as a mist... where a third or more is lost to wind or run off as most soil cannot absorb water at such a fast rate.

The filter comes apart by unscrewing the body, like opening a jar... Inside is a tube shaped filter screen... remove it and take it to your garden hose to spray of any debris it has collected. Once a year inspection on city water should be enough... unless you are aware of any water main breaks that will contaminate the water.


Thanks David, seems simple enough. Do I have to shut the water off to the house before uscrewing the filter body?
Bob H



Hi Bob,

After I read this again, I remembered you actually have a poly hose with emitters system that waters only at places you chose by the adding of emitters to the poly hose. Most of my drip installations are with the emitterline in planter beds. Because you have widely spaced plants we didn't use the emitterline with emitters every foot.

David

David K - 12-24-2010 at 10:19 AM

Well... it has been over a year since this thread was active... With so many new Nomads joined since then, others may find the data helpful.

Also, just fyi... if you are in San Diego County and need irrigation assistance, intallation or repairs before the wet season ends... please contact me via u2u.

Any new questions, please ask away!

monoloco - 12-24-2010 at 11:14 AM

DK, Do you have any suggestions for distributing gray water?

David K - 12-24-2010 at 11:39 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by monoloco
DK, Do you have any suggestions for distributing gray water?


Not recommended, but if you must, probably use flood bubblers... You will need some pressure to push water through pipes. Pressure is created by gravity (elevation) or a pump. Any drip or low flow products need filtered water, so they are out of the question for gray water usually.

mulegemichael - 12-24-2010 at 01:07 PM

hey, since this post has been resurrected, has anyone had any experience with expanding drip tape in conjunction with a pressure reduction valve and a sand filter???.....that's how we irrigate all of our gardens and 50,000 lavender plants; cheap, simple,super easy to use and available...the product we use is called T-tape and we buy it through Modern Agri Systems in Washington State....wonderful stuff!

David K - 12-24-2010 at 02:06 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by mulegemichael
hey, since this post has been resurrected, has anyone had any experience with expanding drip tape in conjunction with a pressure reduction valve and a sand filter???.....that's how we irrigate all of our gardens and 50,000 lavender plants; cheap, simple,super easy to use and available...the product we use is called T-tape and we buy it through Modern Agri Systems in Washington State....wonderful stuff!


More info... please...

Expanding?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For those who don't know:

Drip tape is an inexpensive row watering system, and is often used for just one crop (thin plastic)... heavier walled tape was made... I used it often until emitterline (dripperline) became more common. Dripperline is basically a multi-year line (like poly tube) and can be pressure compensating for longer runs or changing line elevation.

[Edited on 6-16-2012 by David K]

mulegemichael - 12-25-2010 at 07:17 AM

what i mean by "expanding" dk, is that it lies flat when the line isn't charged with water....when the water is on, the tape fills up and becomes round...the emitter holes can be anywhere from 6" apart to 24" apart, depending on where you want them...it is so simple to use....a 5000' roll of tape is around $280...that's almost a mile of the stuff for under $300 so you can see how affordable it is...there are several grades of tape also; some that is good for one season, others that are good for several seasons..try it, you'll like it.

David K - 12-25-2010 at 08:23 AM

Ok Michael, now I understand what you are asking!

I wasn't sure if you were asking how to 'expand' it, as in add to it to make the runs longer... or something else.

Besides being thinner plastic than emitterline, the other issue is drip tape is designed for straight runs, as in row watering of vegetables and berries. Emiterline can be curved, looped, etc. Drip tape has its uses as an inexpensive product for agriculture, however.

The drip tape we used to use back in the 1980's was Bi-Wall from Reed, then Hardie Irrigation (now part of Toro Ag).

mulegemichael - 12-25-2010 at 02:29 PM

yeah, dk....we buy the highest grade of tape and replace it every two/three years...all depends how many mice munch on it...sure is simple tho for our lavender fields.

rob - 12-26-2010 at 10:31 AM

Hi Michael - we use T-Tape for our vegetable garden(s) here at the ranch, works great but vulnerable to birds, especially in the spring when they are thirsty and busy with nesting. Every morning we wake to see 5-10 miniature fountains spraying from holes in the T-Tape!

I must take another look at DKs emitterline/dripperline, but it looks like its for longer term use than a 4-5 month garden (which is used then abandoned until we rotate around to it again - about 4 years).

One thing we CAN'T do is grow lavender! Tried 4-5 times (from seed), and it just doesn't come up. Always thought lavender was very hardy - guess its fussy too!

Best for 2011.

larryC - 1-5-2011 at 09:48 AM

DavidK
I could use some advice on setting up a simple drip system to water 2 Bouganvillas my wife planted recently. the water comes from a pila, so it would be gravity fed, and the water will only be a max of 6' above the outlets. I will have power available full time. The plants are only a few feet from the pila. Most of our plants are cactus down there but these 2 Bouganvillas seem to require a little more attention. I guess what I am looking for is a shopping list so I can pick the stuff up here in San Diego and install it in BoLA.
TIA
Larry

David K - 1-5-2011 at 10:09 AM

For a fair price, I will install it for you!:light::tumble:

Okay, seriously... You need to find a battery operated timer/ valve combo that works at zero water pressure (very rare, but some of them do use an electric motor instead of water pressure to operate the valve). Home Depot changes brands they sell all the time, so see what they have, get a phone number or web site off the box (if the instructions don't say) and contact the company and ask their tech guy.

A drip system wye filter will screen out any stuff in the pila that could clog the valve or drip emitters... so put it after a ball valve and before the electric control valve.

From the control valve convert the pipe thread (or hose thread) outlet to 1/2" poly tube... run the tube to your plants... and place at least 2 emitters per plant, one on each side of the trunk... but not next to it. About half the distance from the trunk to the edge of the leaves, above.

Use 2 gph or bigger emitters (less likely to clog), but they cannot be pressure compenstaing (because you have no pressure) emitters that require some pressure to work. You want laminar or turbulant flow only emitters... some have a flag top to take apart for cleaning. If you can't find any, then use the dial a flow/ shrubbler adjustable emitters (0-10 gph).

Run a few feet of poly hose past the last plant (a place for dirt to accumulate between flush cleanings) to a capped or figure 8 end plug.
:saint:

maspacifico - 1-5-2011 at 01:53 PM

The Orbit timers, four zone things, worked great on gravity.....for about 6 months. Then they wouldn't shut off all the way. Orbit has sent me free replacements but gravity just lets the mineral water we've got collect into nasty stuff and clog up anything that moves. Other kinds of battery operated timers either didn't open or didn't close, from the very start. I've got them going off a rv pump using a spare panel and two pretty dead batteries. Runs the half hour I need it.
I was wondering if the regular sprinkler valves would open and close more forcibly? I have more power than I need but hate to come home to a valve that didn't close and wasted water.

David K - 1-5-2011 at 07:36 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by maspacifico
The Orbit timers, four zone things, worked great on gravity.....for about 6 months. Then they wouldn't shut off all the way. Orbit has sent me free replacements but gravity just lets the mineral water we've got collect into nasty stuff and clog up anything that moves. Other kinds of battery operated timers either didn't open or didn't close, from the very start. I've got them going off a rv pump using a spare panel and two pretty dead batteries. Runs the half hour I need it.
I was wondering if the regular sprinkler valves would open and close more forcibly? I have more power than I need but hate to come home to a valve that didn't close and wasted water.


Regular sprinkler valves require pressure to work at least 10-20 psi, and water flow of at least a couple gallons per minute... There are valves that will work at very low flows, but they need some pressure.

With a pila at 15 feet high, you get only 6.5 psi. With a drip system, specially for only a couple of plants you won't have any flow to speak of... 2 gallons per minute is 120 gallons per hour (or 60 2 gph emitters).

I think the battery timer valves are the only choice for an automatic system... just have replacements or soak the thing in vinegar to remove the mineral buildup.

larryC - 1-6-2011 at 09:40 AM

David
Thanks for the info, I'll see what I can find.
Larry

David K - 1-6-2011 at 09:55 AM

You're welcome!

Anybody that needs irrigation help or other property improvements can take advantage of these slow months and get them done before the dry months begin. Please send me a u2u or email me using the subject 'Irrigation' at info*at*vivabaja.com.

For Nomads (or lurkers) who are in San Diego County and would like a consultation at your home... and we can talk about Baja, too... let me know! I need work, or no more Baja trips, no more anything!!! Thank you!

larryC - 1-17-2011 at 08:51 AM

David
I found a Melnor 3100 http://www.melnor.com/products-aquatimers.php here at my place in Bahia, it works, atleast when I put batteries in it the valves open and close. Will it work for what I am trying to do? Doesn't seem ro need any pressure.
Larry

Hook - 1-17-2011 at 09:38 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by maspacifico
The Orbit timers, four zone things, worked great on gravity.....for about 6 months. Then they wouldn't shut off all the way. Orbit has sent me free replacements but gravity just lets the mineral water we've got collect into nasty stuff and clog up anything that moves. Other kinds of battery operated timers either didn't open or didn't close, from the very start. I've got them going off a rv pump using a spare panel and two pretty dead batteries. Runs the half hour I need it.
I was wondering if the regular sprinkler valves would open and close more forcibly? I have more power than I need but hate to come home to a valve that didn't close and wasted water.


I am using the DIG 9001 series of 9v automatic hose timers. They only have one zone but they can start and stop up to four times a day, on any day you choose.

I am using these on a pressurized system. I have had one leakage incident on one of them in 8 months. Working the valve "manually" (still only pressing a button) cleared the suspected buildup and got it working again immediately. Mineral buildup is just a fact of life with drip irrigation down here.

I'm using the Orbit 1/4" soaker line that is simply 1/4" tubing with pre-pierced holes about every 5 inches. I use this in a 20x30 vegetable garden. These holes create a telltale wetness pattern around each hole. When these begin to disappear (irregularly throughout the entire system) I just come along with a push pin and GENTLY route out the orifice. I walk my garden during my irrigation period virtually every day. While checking for signs of infestations, I inspect the watering patterns.

Mas Pacifico, when your timers failed in the ON position, how much water was actually getting past the valve? When mine began to leak, even at an input of 25-30 psi, the leakage was very small; acceptable for the plants it was watering (cissus, squash, citrus). I cant imagine a gravity fed system would be letting much through, unless it was a wholesale failure of the valve to shut.

David K - 1-17-2011 at 12:03 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by larryC
David
I found a Melnor 3100 http://www.melnor.com/products-aquatimers.php here at my place in Bahia, it works, atleast when I put batteries in it the valves open and close. Will it work for what I am trying to do? Doesn't seem ro need any pressure.
Larry


Hi Larry,

If it works, great! I just looked at their web site and also opened the instructions link for your model. There is no information (that I could find) on min. or max. operating pressure. If there is no minimum pressure top work the valve then your only concern is the emitters...

Many pressure compensating emitters are also 'self cleaning' and need a minimum pressure to work, otherwise they may just 'flush out' (wide open) under 10 psi. You would need to use laminar flow or turbulent flow emitters which simply drip less at less pressure. Turbulant flow are the most clog resistant. Laminar flow have a flag on top used to twist and pull the emitter apart for manual cleaning as they clug more easily.

David K - 1-17-2011 at 12:17 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Hook
Quote:
Originally posted by maspacifico
The Orbit timers, four zone things, worked great on gravity.....for about 6 months. Then they wouldn't shut off all the way. Orbit has sent me free replacements but gravity just lets the mineral water we've got collect into nasty stuff and clog up anything that moves. Other kinds of battery operated timers either didn't open or didn't close, from the very start. I've got them going off a rv pump using a spare panel and two pretty dead batteries. Runs the half hour I need it.
I was wondering if the regular sprinkler valves would open and close more forcibly? I have more power than I need but hate to come home to a valve that didn't close and wasted water.


I am using the DIG 9001 series of 9v automatic hose timers. They only have one zone but they can start and stop up to four times a day, on any day you choose.

I am using these on a pressurized system. I have had one leakage incident on one of them in 8 months. Working the valve "manually" (still only pressing a button) cleared the suspected buildup and got it working again immediately. Mineral buildup is just a fact of life with drip irrigation down here.

I'm using the Orbit 1/4" soaker line that is simply 1/4" tubing with pre-pierced holes about every 5 inches. I use this in a 20x30 vegetable garden. These holes create a telltale wetness pattern around each hole. When these begin to disappear (irregularly throughout the entire system) I just come along with a push pin and GENTLY route out the orifice. I walk my garden during my irrigation period virtually every day. While checking for signs of infestations, I inspect the watering patterns.

Mas Pacifico, when your timers failed in the ON position, how much water was actually getting past the valve? When mine began to leak, even at an input of 25-30 psi, the leakage was very small; acceptable for the plants it was watering (cissus, squash, citrus). I cant imagine a gravity fed system would be letting much through, unless it was a wholesale failure of the valve to shut.


DIG is the brand of battery controllers I use when there is no power available, like in an avocado grove or new construction site. It does require water pressure, however.

Hook, next time you are stateside, get some of the 1/4" emitterline instead of laser cut tube if you want a longer lasting or non-clogging soaker tube for your gardens or planter beds... Laser tubing is just a simple hole cut in the tube... and it takes very little to clog a hole.

Emitterline (dripperline) has turbulent flow emitters pre-installed inside the tube at either 6" or 12" spacing. They are very clog resistant and might give you years of service. The 6" spacing tube can be used on runs up to 15 feet long and the 12" can be run up to 33 feet long... and have even output from one end to the other. It is sold in 100 ft. rolls... maybe less at retail outlets.

Laser tube has much shorter run lengths, because there is no control of water output other than a hole... too long and you have more water near the start and less the longer you go... your veggies will be uneven!

Both the 6" and 12" spacing will water the same pattern (a foot wide and down the length of vegetables), but the 6" uses twice the water (per foot) and may need only run 20-30 minutes for enough water. The 12" may need to run 40-60 minutes to give a solid wet look along the surface, and apply a half gallon per foot.

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