[Market-farming] Sprinklers for beds

Alex McGregor waldenfarm at sprintmail.com
Thu Feb 8 12:52:02 EST 2007

I use 2 oscillating, overhead sprinklers with spiked ends to irrigate a
square area that covers a number of beds.  The secret is to place the
sprinklers in diagonally opposite corners of the square area and set them
to oscillate 90 degrees, or from one side of the square to the other that
forms the 90 deg. angle.

If you're watering seeded beds, you will probably need to turn down the
pressure/flow rate of the water so you don't blast the seeds out of the
ground. I put hose-end valves on the end of the 2 hoses I use for seedbeds
before screwing on the sprinklers so I can regulate the flow rate.  Turning
down the valves to lower the water flow means they will cover a smaller
area- you can play with them to see what works best for your layout.  I can
irrigate about 35' x 35' with 5/8 hoses and sprinklers from a garden center.

Here's a tip to get faster, more complete germination- Covering seeds with
finished compost that's been sifted will stimulate faster germination.  I
did this for years after seeing the effect.  Some years ago there was an
article in Acres about a study done using humic acids to stimulate
germination.  The scientist concluded that humic acids stimulate faster and
more complete germination- and finished compost is loaded with humic acids!
The first time I tried this on carrot beds, I spent days thinning because I
sowed them as thick as usual.

Alex McGregor
Walden Farm

> [Original Message]
> From: Beth Spaugh <lists at rhomestead.com>
> To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 02/07/2007 8:38:45 PM
> Subject: [Market-farming] Sprinklers for beds
> I have a good selection of drip supplies, but last year found that I seem
> need sprinklers to get salad mix, carrots, etc germinated. My first
> was to find sprinklers (circle or half-circle) that would just cover a 3
- 4
> foot wide bed. They are hard to find, so I am thinking of planting shorter
> wider areas, lumping closely-spaced crops in a 15-foot or so wide section.
> Or using one hose between 2 beds with full circle sprinklers overlapping,
> the radius would be 4 - 5 feet.
> I would appreciate suggestions for sprinklers or management please. I am
> a heavy silty/sandy loam, and my seedbeds just don't get fine enough to
> moisture across the surface from drip tape. I think once the roots go
> drip tape will be fine, and I should be able to move the sprinkler setup
> the next seeding.
> Thank you for your advice.
> Beth Spaugh
> Rehoboth Homestead
> Peru NY
> http://rhomestead.com
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