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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Toplef10IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG I22gcj10IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG 14dhcg10

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IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG

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Post  Irrig8The916 1/19/2023, 10:03 am

Hello Everyone!

I've been lurking around SFG for about five years as a result of helping others get their irrigation setup.  Truth is "my customers" are much better gardeners than I am. They tend to not be spread as thin as me but I think I may have more time this coming season and I'm here to get a solid plan together for initial/succession planting.

I'm in Sacramento CA (zone 9b) and it's intensely sunny and (tomato/pepper scorching) hot here from June through August at a minimum.

Irrigation is my business and I've looked at SFG as somewhat of a challenge for "automated" irrigation, especially when starting "from seed".  I'd love to see what you folks are doing to automate your watering and if it's working for starting seeds.
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Post  sanderson 1/19/2023, 12:58 pm

Irri,  I'm in Fresno.  I use drip irrigation for the beds and the water valve that feeds the veggies is on a timer. Half-inch solid tubing is connected to the PVC line that is being used and 1/4" lines come off the 1/2" tubing at each bed.  Dripworks.com carries tubing with in-line emitters every 6".  I made a mistake when I set up the tubings make them 4" apart within the squares.  They should have been 6".
IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Bean_d12


This is Docwas's set up.  There are 1/4" lines coming off a 1/2" tubing.  The 1/4" has in-line emitters every 6" for a total of 4 emitters per square foot.  I like his design because he can valve off sections of the bed when desired.
IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Drip_s10

https://www.dripworks.com/drip-irrigation/tubing


Last edited by sanderson on 1/20/2023, 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Soose 1/19/2023, 9:38 pm

Hi, irri... We're still new inept gardeners here. North Alabama. Irrigation is such an issue as we tend to inattentiveness. Luckily, we get plenty of rain most of the year here.

We've put in some rain collection for the garden on the backsides of a couple of sheds, and use a transfer pump with hose to water our raised beds from those totes.

We also built our SFGs as self wicking beds. That paid off last summer, we only had to keep the reservoirs under the beds full, about every 4 days at first.

For my first real attempt at seed starting... Thinking of putting in a greenhouse..
I was talking to a friend today. I could use a timed mister overhead like in produce sections of grocery stores, on a timer . Or a damp diaper, sitting under soil blocks and hanging off into a water reservoir . Of course there's drip lines. We just have to automate water and temp control to make up for our inattentive habits.
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Post  Irrig8The916 1/20/2023, 9:22 am

Sanderson and Soose... thank you both for the replies and photos, which prove I probably "overthink and overdo" the irrigation for projects like these.

It's the perfectionist that took control of my thoughts and actions many years ago 😁... he is the problem!
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Post  Soose 1/20/2023, 10:48 am

Ha, not a magnet person but I have a magnet on my garage fridge. "Hold on while I overthink this... "

Was hoping you'd have ideas or clarity for my
seed starting en masse... ? Looking at cheapo greenhouses (trying to talk myself out of building a good one as we might move it, better to get feet wet and learn temporarily.
But still will need to water automatically.
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Post  OhioGardener 1/20/2023, 6:12 pm

Soose wrote:Was hoping you'd have ideas or clarity for my
seed starting en masse...  ? Looking at cheapo greenhouses (trying to talk myself out of building a good one as we might move it, better to get feet wet and learn temporarily.
But still will need to water automatically.

Interesting in how different people view different things.  For me, I enjoy checking on my seedlings daily, and moving them or watering them as necessary is my therapy. I'd miss giving the attention they enjoy if they were automatically watered.  Very Happy

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Post  Irrig8The916 1/21/2023, 9:26 am

Ohio Gardener,

You are right. The differences between gardeners are like the differences between people... can't count em all Very Happy .

I agree that getting out in the garden on a daily really is key. We all know the saying, "a gardener's footsteps are the best fertilizer", and most agree. It's the tinkerer in me that takes over. I watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang too many times growing up and I'm just like Dick Van Dyke making breakfast when it comes to designing "tiny" irrigation systems, COMPLETE O-C-D!

I get the same satisfaction you get when I go out at 6:13AM cuz I know the system is "set" to water for three minutes starting at 6:15, and I watch every second of that three minutes with a huge smile. I can't help being a "systems" guy.

All that being said, I am curious what controls folks are using to automate their systems. Some have traditional sprinkler timers with a zone/valve dedicated to their garden. Many others use the hose bib timer approach and that is the one I'm most curious about. They range from the simple mechanical "wind up" countdown thingy to the high tech WiFi/Bluetooth types a la Orbit Bhyve, which I "promote" for veggie gardens.

I need to figure out how to post pictures so I can show some examples. I get sent to a different image hosting site I have no experience with.
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Post  OhioGardener 1/21/2023, 10:51 am

Irrig8The916 wrote:All that being said, I am curious what controls folks are using to automate their systems. Some have traditional sprinkler timers with a zone/valve dedicated to their garden. Many others use the hose bib timer approach and that is the one I'm most curious about. They range from the simple mechanical "wind up" countdown thingy to the high tech WiFi/Bluetooth types a la Orbit Bhyve, which I "promote" for veggie gardens.

I use drip irrigation on all of the raised beds.  The feed line for the irrigation is connected to a 30 psi pressure regulator which is on the output of a Galcon 9001BT timer, and between the timer and the water faucet is a water filter to catch any impurities that might plug the drip emitters.  The Bluetooth app on my phone allows me to change the timing according to the current weather, including turning off the water during rainy time.

A simple system that takes care of the veggies even when I am away from home for a period of time.

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Drip_i10


I need to figure out how to post pictures so I can show some examples. I get sent to a different image hosting site I have no experience with.

Posting pictures is quite simple.  Click on the "Host an Image" icon in the upper right-hand corner:

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Host_a10

Then click on "Select an Image" icon on the pop-up that opens:

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Select10

You can then select up the 3 images to post.  Once you have the images selected, click on the blue "Insert the Image" icon to load the image.

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Send_t10

Once the image has loaded, click on the "Insert the Image" icon to insert the image at the location of the cursor in the post.

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Insert10

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Post  Irrig8The916 1/21/2023, 10:41 pm

Thanks 'OG'. I've been out all day and just saw the reply and was able to follow your directions to a tee Very Happy

That's a Netafim filter ahead of the timer you can barely see it but it can take "constant pressure". Just a pressure regulator after each of the three outlets I'm using on this 4-outlet timer. Besides programming on screen, it connects to BT right out of the box with expanded programming options. Go "all the way" with their hub and you get wifi. It's a very good system... not perfect, but I haven't come out with my own yet so this'll do until then. Razz

 IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Img_2011
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Post  Irrig8The916 1/21/2023, 10:51 pm

Here's another one that has a single outlet instead of four. This was temporary so I didn't go all out with the Netafim filter upstream. I like that NDS combo filter/pressure regulator better than the popular Rainbird unit.

IRRIG8R NEW TO SFG Img_2012
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