[Market-farming] Old drip tape--why does some last longer?

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sun Jun 5 19:48:01 EDT 2011

On Jun 5, 2011, at 7:34 PM, Richard Moyer wrote:

> --Why is my drip tape lasting so long?  We leave it out in the field
> for years at a time, not even bothering to bring it in.  For those of
> you where it only lasts one year, are you using the thinnest weight
> possible?

I am using 10 mil for most purposes; 15 mil if I expect to leave it in  
place for several years. I gave up on 8 mil, which often doesn't stay  
usable for one season.

I have rocks; there are assorted critters; and we do a lot of  
handweeding. All of these things can nick the tape. Cultivating  
equipment can really do a job on it -- or occasionally, like the  
handweeding, just barely nick it, so the damage isn't obvious till the  
water's turned on. Even pulling it out of the field and re-laying it  
can do damage, if it gets stuck on a sharp piece of shale.

Again, I do often get a couple of years from it; but not always. If  
you routinely get four, I think you're doing very well.

If you leave it in the field, how do you work the fields up with it in  
there? Are you using a no-till system, and relying on herbicides?

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

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