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

Sounds of summer

sprinkler adjustment details

If I had to sum up our summer season with one sound it would be the mechanical clatter and spray that pulsate from these sprinklers on a hot day like today.

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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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Do you find sprinklers to be an efficient way of watering your garden? Maybe it's a time vs. water usage comparison? I guess my garden is a good bit smaller, but I like to put water exactly where I need it.
Comment by Jessie : Improved Sat Jul 2 17:12:25 2011
We tried a lot of different methods and sprinklers were the winners by far. You can read why here (and in the rest of that lunchtime series, linked to from the bottom of the post.)
Comment by anna Sat Jul 2 17:36:18 2011

Instead of using a filter, you could also use a settling basin. If you grow plants at the edge of that basin they could absorb nutrients from the water. Of course you'd have to muck it out sometimes, the period depending on the depth of the basin. But the sediment might be useful, e.g. as a fine clay.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Jul 2 18:33:28 2011
Our thousand gallon tank works as a settling basin, but it didn't seem to delete enough of the sediment to allow drip irrigation to work. That said, having to deal with all the different kinds of lines and making them work with beds instead of rows was a bigger issue for us. Since lack of water isn't an issue, the ease of the sprinklers just makes a lot of sense in our garden.
Comment by anna Sat Jul 2 19:48:01 2011

Your thousand gallon tank probably isn't big enough and/or quiet enough to allow sufficient clearing.

If you fill a glass with turbid water (close off the top to prevent evaporation) and leave it undisturbed in a location where you can look through it, you can determine roughly how many days of still water are required for all sediment to settle. This depends on the size and density of the sediment.

If you add water to the tank by pumping it in through a hose I'd guess you'd shake up a lot of the sediment again. Purpose-built settling tanks are made as to only create a very low and constant velocity accross the tank to allow sediments to settle.

For better filtration one can use a sand filter. Here in the Netherlands sand dunes and other naturally occuring sand formations have been used as natural filters for a long time.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jul 3 04:44:24 2011
Since drip irrigation just doesn't make sense for our farm in so many other ways, it doesn't seem worth it to build a large settling basin/filter for that....
Comment by anna Sun Jul 3 09:54:00 2011

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