Irrigation

Or how to effectively water the orchard with minimal effort

Our area of California is officially out of the drought with all the rain we've had and the snowpack that has just started to melt. Predictions are that the snowpack will continue to have run-off through August which means that the Yosemite waterfalls will show well all summer long.

On our property we have 3-4 seasonal streams and usually by this time of year they are all bone dry. This water year however they have been flowing continuously from late October and we had more rain yesterday.

What does this have to do with irrigation?

We have water but not in the right place and it doesn’t stay on the property. The question during the summer months is how to get water to the garden and orchard. Last year we ran a garden hose from the house across the driveway to drip-lines for our 4 trees and hand carried water elsewhere. That isn’t going to work for us this year with the expanded orchard and our new 10’ x 36’ garden.

We have determined that we need 4 separate hoses carrying enough water at the right pressure to effectively water all parts of the orchard and garden using drip lines. I am not a fluid engineer (although I did take a fluid dynamics course in college) so this is a best guess as to if this would work.

Our plan is to run a pressured line off the pump house through a single hose to just inside the orchard. There we are planning on using a 4-way splitter with individual controls and first see with all 4 controls open just how much water can be pushed into the drip lines. If we see that some areas are not getting water or not enough water, we will need to water the garden in sequence closing off 2 or 3 controls. We may also water overnight individual areas and rotate through the week.

Yesterday we had an outside faucet attached to the pump house and this weekend we expect to get the irrigation lines in and begin planting the garden. In a future post I’ll share out the results of our irrigation efforts and just how successful (or not) we were.

 I know it's not much of picture - it is however a big step for us as this completes the pump house project. And completing projects feels good.

I know it's not much of picture - it is however a big step for us as this completes the pump house project. And completing projects feels good.

Peter BergComment