The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Developing a permanent irrigation system

We attach our sprinklers to fence posts so they'll spray over tall plants.During the 2008 droughty summer, we were low on both time and money since I was working for pennies at a local nonprofit.  After shelling out so much cash to find a type of sprinkler that worked for us, we could only afford to get a couple of them.  So I laboriously moved hoses and sprinklers multiple times a week to reach every zone in the garden, often crushing plants at the edges of beds in the process.

This year, we're working on a more permanent setup.  The upfront cost has been about $80, since we splurged on several more sprinklers, but we've nearly gotten to the point where we can water the entire garden just by flicking a switch and then a series of valves.  Our permanent system consists of pulsating sprinklers on three foot tall fenceposts at the edges of the garden --- the height allows water to spray over tall beds of tomatoes to reach shorter plants in the background.  We turn on two sprinklers at a time, since adding any more sprinklers to the system drains the water pressure.

Head to head coverage of sprinklersWe're still tweaking the system to achieve the head to head coverage recommended by sprinkler experts.  We'll keep you posted about anything we figure out as we optimize this stage.


This post is part of our Irrigation lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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