People here say I should have dug the field and incorporated manure, but I didn't want to disturb the soil too much and didn't want the hassle...Am I overoptimistic (or just lazy)?
Moving on, I am now figuring out how much water will I need in the summer in order to purchase the right sized water tank (low budget). The only information I found says that I need around 20-25 litres per squared meter per week.
So, beginner questions: how do I translate this into need per plant? One plant counts for one squared meter? If the soil is mulched with bark or chips will the needs lower? How much?
Annalisa Bellu wrote:Thank you all for the suggestions!
How do you define high desert climate, Bryant RedHawk? I don't know if we have this type here in Portugal.
According to bioclimatological maps, this area is hyper-humid. We do have a lot of rain here. Summer is dry, it is true, but generally we have water running through the ditch system (used to water the meadow/pasture traditional system "lameiros") till July.
This is great, it means you won't have to depend on stored water for more than two to three months of the year, it also make rain water collection a possibility.
The pasture where I am planting the berry orchard can easily get water till July through this system. It only can dry out (not always too badly) in August and September.
We install those pipes at the time we plant, to do this retroactive would indeed be a lot of trouble.
Your system seems interesting but maybe it would be too labour intensive if you have 200 hundreds or more bushes.
Drip irrigation is super, we use this too. Our tanks are 275 gal. each and so far we have two of these installed. I have plans to add 4 more at the minimum. (we use "totes" these are poly tanks within a metal container, we buy used ones for between 60 and 100 dollars, they come with a shut off valve and fill cap, ours come from the food industry, food grade, so we don't have to worry about contamination of the water. Most of ours had corn syrup or acetic acid in them, the acetic acid is also called citrus flavor here in the USA.
I was thinking about drip irrigation using water from a tank (which I still have to purchase and dimension)...Anyway it does seem a huge amount of water...
Yes, as I mentioned in my last post a thick layer of mulch will kill the grasses beneath them eventually, this will also hold the manure in place and allow slow leaching of those nutrients from the manure to seep gently into the soil so the roots will be able to use them.
If I cover the manure with a thick layer of bark or chips wouldn't that help kill the grasses beneath?
Great ideas, both are worth doing and that also makes the between space productive, one of the things we all want, multipurpose spaces that give us back more than we put into those spaces.
In between rows (berries lines are 2 m apart) I will keep grass low, cutting it back several time throughout the year. I can use the fresh grass for my chicken and also dry grass for bedding or deep litter. Or I could use a chicken tractor system...
Bryant RedHawk wrote:If there is a soft drink bottling plant near you, check with them, that is where we get our totes from.
Once they have emptied the syrups out, it costs more to send them back to the place they came from so lots of times you can get them fairly easily.
This links will show what they look like +Shopping&utm_term=]Plastic Tote or Giant Carboy
as the price shows, brand new these are outrageously expensive. That's why we get the used ones, pretty cheap, durable, hold a good amount of water, and they are easy to plumb with PVC pipe.