Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rain barrels working well with low pressure soaker hoses

The rain barrels are filled and the plants are thirsty.  So the next step is to get the water to the raised beds and come up with an efficient irrigation system.  One local gardener I bumped into at Home Depot was showing me pictures of his garden and recommended using soaker hoses instead of drip irrigation.  He told me that it's more of a long term solution that works regardless of how you space your plants.  He didn't have a rain barrel system and used city water so soaker hoses hooked up to a pressurized system are much different than low pressure soaker hoses and a rain barrel system.

One option was to hook a pump up to the rain barrels and make my own pressurized system but a simple system was more what I wanted to build.  After extensive browsing the internet, there was one video about a soaker hose system hooked up to rain barrels.  The guy seemed pretty happy with the system but it bothered me that there wasn't more youtube videos or websites talking about the rain barrel soaker hoses from Mr. Drip / Mr. Soakerhose.  And there wasn't much else out there that worked on low pressure and rain barrels.  So I wasn't sure what to expect when the two 50' hoses and fittings arrived in our mail.

The first thing was 3/4" PVC pipe from the rainbarrels were ran underground to the garden area (about 25-30' away).  Then a 50' section was installed in each raised bed.  One bed was installed and tested it and it really worked well.  After doing the second section, I was surprised to find out that both of them hooked together worked just as efficient as running one. Plenty of pressure and moisture delivered to the plants. This system is just right for my setup as you cannot attach a standard soaker hose from a hardware store to a low pressure rainbarrel system.  And you cannot use the rain barrel soaker hoses with pressurized city water or it will blow them out.  Here's a video of the system in action.  (sorry about the smudge on the lens)
In the future the plans are for adding 2 more raised beds and a dual outlet irrigation timer if I can find one.  Otherwise it will be 2 separate timers.  Timers I also discovered are picky about water pressure and this system will need a low pressure timer.

I have been so busy there wasn't any time devoted to blogging about the plants I put in this week.  It's a work in process and the cold weather earlier in the week messed me up.   Tomatoes, kale, chard, onions, califlower, peppers, mustard greens, and a few others were planted.  It's all starting to come together.

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