20120707_079We are looking at adding in better irrigation systems in our various raised garden/veg beds.
In the past we have tried a few, including lee valley system tubing and sprayers, but the prevailing winds in our location made most of them miss their target. We saw some irrigation drip tape used in the Napanee Community Food Bank garden last year and were intrigued enough that we will probably try it out this year on a small test scale.

Our well water comes out very cold, and it is preferable to water with warmer water, air temperature should be ideal. Last year we used standard sprinklers and hand spraying nozzles, both of which are a pain, time intensive, boring, etc. We also have many rain barrels but they are harder to use as the pressure head is very low, even with them built up on stands.

So this year we will attempt to purchase some irrigation tape, run a supply hose from the rain barrels down to veg beds #1,2 and 3, leaving two or three taps in each bed in the supply line, running the line underground in between the beds, so as to not run them over with the lawn mower 🙂

Water barrel
supply line
veg1 – tap1
– tap2
veg2 – tap1
veg3 -tap1

each tap would connect to some of this irrigation tape and that would allow each bed to be watered slowly, with air temperature rain water. In times of no rain, the barrels can be filled from the well and left to sit and warm up and then used to irrigate.
Irrigation tape will be slow enough so that you should not encounter runoff from too much water all at once, the plants themselves should not get wet, only the ground and roots, and they can be watered while we are away, instead of having to be done at inappropriate times of day (like when we get home from work when it is too hot in the day).

Veg1 would require two tapes @ 56′(=112), veg2 would require two tapes at 28′ (=56′) and veg3 would require 3 tapes @ 16′, totaling 112+56+48 = 216′ it comes in both 12″ and 8″ spacing.

Googling irrigation tape canada” gets a few hits:

“Drip Tape 5/8″ (16mm) 15 Mil 12″ Spacing Hi-Flow .42 GPM/100′ – 100′ Roll
Using drip tape is an excellent way to water row crops and vegetable gardens.
Our price: CDN$12.00
This comes out at 12 cents/foot You can buy 750’@$95 or 12.7 cents/foot”

“For watering row crops & vegetable gardens. 5/8″ (16 mm) Drip Tape with outlets at 12″ spacing. Hi-Flow rate delivers .42 GPM/100′. Laser-cut outlet ensures a high resistance to root intrusion. Use threaded Drip Tape Loc Fittings. Drip tape is installed emitter side up below the soil surface. Water is applied directly to the root zone and not to the soil surface where weed seeds are most prevalent. Germination of annual weed seed is greatly reduced. Works with T-Tape, Aqua Traxx, and Chapin Drip Tape Systems.”

If this works out then we can look at adding it to the other barrels and veg gardens and even the flower beds as well.