The irrigation system is a fundamental component for any garden, especially if you intend to cultivate it in an organic and healthy way. Before choosing what to plant and at what distance, it is important to understand how to deliver water to the cultivated soil. Effortlessly bringing water to the plants is vital, and this is clearly important for spring and summer crops. However, for winter vegetables, we will address them separately.
In this article, we will see how to create an efficient water system. During the summer months, especially during scorching periods or after a dry winter, we cannot underestimate the importance of water supply for the vegetables in our garden. An efficient irrigation system will make a difference in these cases. In any case, given the climate changes in recent years, such a system can always be useful for any eventuality.
Creating an Irrigation System
To create an irrigation system for your garden, you need to assess your starting conditions and identify a water source. Then, you need to gather the necessary equipment and assemble everything correctly.
Tools and Equipment for Building the Irrigation System
- Firstly, obtain a polyethylene tank.
- Next, you’ll need a hydraulic pump.
- Get a 32mm tube for the water distribution.
- A mallet will be handy for installation.
- Use stakes to secure the tube in place.
- Have a measuring tape for precise measurements.
- Use tube punch pliers to make holes in the tube for connection.
- Get faucets to connect to the tube.
- Use drip hoses for precise water distribution to the plants.
- You’ll also need string and a knife for various tasks.
Identifying a Water Source
For a particularly efficient water system, it would be ideal to have an autonomous water source, such as a spring, a well, a tank, or a rainwater collection cistern. Domestic water cannot be freely used for agricultural purposes, and it is also more expensive. If you have access to a well with a collection tank, you can easily connect it to a hydraulic pump and branch out the water connections from there. If you don’t have a well or an old cement tank, you could consider using tanks fed by rainwater collection. This is a less expensive and eco-friendly solution. The tank will then be connected to a small gasoline or diesel-powered water pump, which will serve to bring water to your garden through a tube.
Connecting the Water System
Now you need to decide how to connect the irrigation system to the water source. If you have a fountain, you can use reductions to attach a 32mm tube. If you connect to a hydraulic pump, you can directly use the 32mm tube, which is available in all specialized agricultural material stores. It is a semi-rigid tube, resistant but easily laid out and secured with stakes in the field.
Define the area to be cultivated, let’s say 10m wide and 20m long, and lay the 32mm tube at one of the ends. The length of the tube will depend on how far the water source is from the garden. Measure the distances accurately so that you can buy the right amount of tube. Connect the faucets to the tube, which can be applied with a special tool. Connect the drip hoses along the 20m length. The hoses can then be collected and reused.
Connecting the Drip Hoses
The drip hoses, which are special flexible and lightweight tubes, need to be accurately connected to the faucets at the right distance from each other. If you have 10m available and decide, for example, to plant 10 rows of tomatoes, place the faucets 1m apart. This will leave space for both the plants and the central walkway. For tomatoes, use hoses with a 40cm hole, which is the typical distance that tomatoes should have on a row. If you wanted to plant zucchini, you would need different distances, placing 6 faucets every 1.5m and leaving two lateral spaces. This is because zucchini plants are very large and require more space. On the rows, they are usually planted 60cm apart. There are hoses of different types and sizes, but I recommend buying the hose with holes every 20cm as it suits all crops and ensures uniform water distribution.
Complete Water System
For an efficient irrigation system, using the drip hose is preferable to directly watering with the hose. It saves a considerable amount of water while providing the plants with the necessary water for growth in just a few minutes a day. Additionally, you can easily combine it with a timer connected to the pump at the beginning of the system.
This way, the irrigation can be scheduled. However, it is recommended to activate the water system during the cooler hours of the day when plant absorption is better. To conclude, there are several solutions that can be applied. We have mentioned the ideal condition, which is direct water supply. However, for small agricultural land, let’s say less than 100 square meters, more “rustic” solutions can be applied. For example, you can collect rainwater in a tarp or bring water from outside with bottles or watering cans or rely on the mercy of weather conditions, and thus, the rain.