Over the top vegetable garden irrigation—A well received Father’s Day present.
The garden got planted late this year-probably because of the preparations for the wedding at the farm on May 14. About a month prior to that date, though, in a conversation with The Gentleman Farmer, Bob Hicks, who would soon be my father in law, I heard him say, “I wish I could figure out a way to irrigate my garden in a way that I didn’t have to get all wet and muddy moving a sprinkler around.”
Well, let me tell you, I latched on to that one. I could show off my irrigation skills and Sweetie and I would not have to worry about a Father’s Day present when we got back from our trip, so off I went to my friendly Home Depot irrigation department. I chose the Orbit gear drive sprinkler head because of the ease of adjustment and because I have had really good results with it in the past.
I decided that if I made provisions for draining the system in the winter, I could just lay the pipe up against the fence on top of the ground. This was done with ¾ pvc pipe
I put a 90 degree elbow in the corners and installed a riser with a tee
I cut the riser to the right height and glued on a ¾ male adapter. I used zip ties to fasten the riser firmly to the fence.
The Orbit sprinkler head comes with a well written instruction sheet, a set of different nozzles, and an adjustment tool. I didn’t read the instructions because 1) I’m a guy, and 2) because I’ve used these heads before. If you’re not familiar with the Orbit head, you may wish to at least glance at the directions. I set the heads to a 45 degree arc so that it stopped at each fence line. The mounted head looks like this:
I installed a ¾ swivel hose adaptor to a piece of pipe that was installed in a convenient place near the faucet by the barn. I hooked up the hose and turned on the water.
Oops, I had thought that I could get by with two heads in opposite corners of the garden, but I hadn’t figured right. It didn’t quite cover. I had brought three heads with me, though, and so I added a third one. This did much better, so I decided to add a fourth head
When I added the fourth head, though, I didn’t have quite enough pressure to drive all of them, so we decided that we need to add a ball valve at the top of each riser so that we could run two heads at the time. Sometimes it takes a little experimentation to get things right. The four heads running all at once did a pretty good job, but running them two at a time will do an excellent job. I assume that Bob Hicks and his trusty farm manager, Scott have already installed the valves. If not, I will make a trip to the farm and do it next week.
I had to get a picture of everyone standing in admiration and awe while watching the new system work. The Gentleman Farmer said that now we would have vegetables for the whole family and then some.
Happy Father’s Day, Bob, from John and Dekie.
To see an article on The Gentleman Farmer, CLICK HERE
For an article on a wonderful portable sprinkler built from pvc pipe and irrigation parts from Home Depot, CLICK HERE
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These articles are brought to you by John P. Schulz, author of the novel, Requiem for a Redneck .
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