[NAFEX] Advice on drip irrigation

Michelle Horner shelly2 at wi.rr.com
Sun Apr 2 22:06:19 EDT 2006

I only have 25 trees in a mixed dwarf orchard.  I thought I was being so 
clever.  I mapped out and planned; permanently installed approximately 30 ft 
per tree of soaker hose spiraled out from the trunk.  I pinned it into place 
with wire earthpins that I hand made over winter.  I figured I could water 4 
trees at a time with hoses from a 4 head diverter; even installed the 
requisite pressure valve.  Covered the hose with 6 inches of straw mulch. 
Did the same in several flower and hosta beds.  It was a complete bust.  It 
took me two summers to be enthused enough to clear the detritus.  The soaker 
hose was terrible; very irregular in its dripping patterns.  I'll do it 
again with the more suggested drip heads.  I think they have improved these 
a lot in the past 2 to 3 years.  They've developed reliable plugs for the 
hosing if you need to move the drip heads, timers to turn on/off that are 
easy to adjust for different times of the year (drought/wet), etc.  I just 
need to redevelop the enthusiasm to reset the whole operation.  SIGH. 
Please learn from my mistakes!

Michelle Horner  zone 4/5 SE WI

----- Original Message ----- 

Subject: [NAFEX] Advice on drip irrigation

>I am interested in setting up a drip irrigation system for my fruit
> trees in New Jersey (zone 6). I have two 30 ft rows w. trees spaced
> every 5 feet. I am a little lost about how to start. While I am sure
> that water needs vary by time of year/region, any general guidelines on
> setting things up, volume of water to use, etc. Would a simple soaker
> hose be just as good for my small operation?
> Thanks.
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