I am trying to figure out a way to create a slow release water system using rain barrels and drip lines. The default config would be a valve at the bottom letting water exit slowly via gravity into the drip lines. Problems are that at high flow, the water runs out quickly. At low flow, emitters at the beginning of the drip line get more water than those at the end. Would inserting wicking material through the length of the drip line help for a more even distribution of water during slow releases? (Mainly looking into this to keep soil wet during vacations!)
In terms of other ideas, soaker hoses release water more evenly over larger areas, and they make ones that work in low pressure systems such as rain barrels. You could also sub-irrigate the beds and have a regularly scheduled release of water to fill up the sub-irrigation reservoirs. If you're unfamiliar with sub-irrigation, it's very relevant to the idea of capillary action, and I suggest you look into it. Here's a good demonstration of it:
i have the leaky hose kinds and they seem to work better than t he emitters (used to use) and also I don't put them all on the same source, I have a 4 hose connector so I can shut some off so only those that need water get it at one time, the connector was a bit pricey (around $12) but it was worth it..
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