Hi, my name is Ben, an I'm a farmaholic. (Hi, Ben.) Starting a one-acre biointensive truck garden this year, emphasis on lettuce production. What's my best bet for irrigation on a shoestring budget? I'm well acquainted with drip tape, and I was a hose jockey in a ginormous greenhouse for many years, so in can fall back on those methods if need be, but I spent a month at CRMPI a few years back, and Jerome planted this notion of "Mexican-style" irrigation in my head, and I keep coming back to gnaw at it. Basically, it's just a hose with nails stuck through it at regular (3") intervals. Granted, i never saw one in use, but I'm convinced the theory is sound. Does anybody know where to point me for info on this technique? Doesn't seem to be much out thar on it- perhaps theres a better term than "Mexican-style" for me to search under?
Are the nails still there? Or do they get pulled out? Either way, it sounds like a miserable way to make holes.
I use 1" black poly water line, available free, used, from my local plumbers. I have a two inch honda pump that feeds four 1" lines, and I have a 3/32" hole drilled in one side and out the other about every 18". Each 1" hose has about 50' of emitter length, capped on the end with a wooden plug, which is held in with a hose clamp. I use barbed elbows for connecting sections together quickly. Being an elbow, you can tap them in and out with a hammer. I got them for $2/pound at a clearance place, which made them a lot cheaper. When the system is running, the water jets from each hole go up about 10' in the air. It works. The downside is that I have to walk 300' down the hill to start and stop the pump, and if a joint comes loose, it's easier to put it back together under pressure and get the shower.
But what I'd like to do is build a wind pump to run a single 1" line.
I have a lot of minerals in my water that plug up drippers. The hose that oozes rots quickly in the sun, and is also plugged up by minerals. I finally used 1/4" hose with a straight connector on it, and open up enough lines to make sure it dribbles. I don't have a lot of pressure, so it's not much trouble.
The disadvantage of the nails is if they slip out, you can get a flat tire or someone could step on them, or stab themselves in the hand if they get under mulch. Rolling up the lines at the end of the season so the lines won't freeze may cause some to fall out. Keeping track of them would be a real pain.
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
posted 3 years ago
There is a woman in the Ashland OR area that wrote for a homestead magazine. She managed to take 10 acres of dry foothill pasture and turn it into a lush homestead. She attributes a lot of her success to 'poor man's irrigation' where she ran 3/4 inch poly water line punched with an ice pick where ever she planted a tree or shrub. Work well for her and cost very lithe, since she was raising 2 kids on a waitress' salary on her own.
Very cool blog is you have some time to poke around and read her story.
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
posted 3 years ago
I didn't make my post about the 1/4" tubing clear. I have 1" line coming from the water source, with 1/2" black poly line coming off it, with 1/4 inch hose connected to it with an open end. I wish I could just punch the 1/2" line open, but my minerals plug holes within a couple months, that's why I use the small 1/4" connectors to keep it open.