Irritation – Irrigation

Download PDF

Only one letter off and not sure which word is best for this post. Nevertheless, I got it done. Today I finally set up a drip irrigation system for my tomatoes using an Orbit hose faucet timer. In this front yard veggie garden there are six tomato plants (Early Girl, Better Boy, San Diego, Sun Gold), one jalapeno pepper, two basil plants. Arugula, thyme, mint, tarragon, Swiss chard, and sage are growing in the containers. There are California gray rush (Juncus patens) on the edge of the garden. These were doing well under the avocado but will probably burn out this summer, especially since we must be very conservative with water. There is also a transplanted deer grass (beige colored) on front, left of picture. Probably this one won’t make it, though I have been surprised before. The following pictures demonstrate setting up a drip irrigation system. At the bottom of the post are earlier pieces on drip with more detailed pictures of the pressure regulator, timer, and backflow preventer.

Front yard veggie garden
Front yard veggie garden with tomatoes and herbs
Drip tubing
First thing I dragged out the old spaghetti tubing that I used in previous seasons. Drip tubing: 1/2 inch with spaghetti tube (1/4 in.) and emitters.
Drip irrigation
While setting up drip irrigation it started to rain. The weather has been crazy, crazy this year. Despite these aberrations, measurable rainfall in summer remains near 0.
Orbit hose faucet timer
Setting Orbit hose faucet timer, I first run it on manual to check all of the emitters.
Drip emitter
Green drip emitter has a flow rate of 2g per hour. Two emitters per plant.

I set the timer to go off twice a week for 15 minutes each time. This will give each plant 2 gallons of water per week. Checking the web, I have gotten wildly different numbers for the amount of water tomatoes need. I will check the plants to make sure they get even water and don’t experience drought stress. Will leave a comment when I determine the correct amount. If any of you out there have information on this, please share.

Previous blog posts on drip irrigation for vegetable gardens:

Driving east (May 16, 2014)
Quick-ties and duct tape can fix anything (July 6, 2012)
T-O-M-A-T-O-E-S (May 12, 2012)
Passport – check, credit card – check (May 10, 2011)
Water while you play (May 7, 2011)
Summer Vacation (June 30, 2010)