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Old October 26, 2011   #61
JackE
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I think I've got a handle on it now. Those links clearly explain how it works. I'm gonna order one.

We never did actually use any reflective mulch - got by with with TSWV resistant varieties, regular spraying for thrips - and killed every flowering plant on the property and in adjacent pasture on the upwind side. It seems to be gone now - no sign of it for several years. I think killing the flowers is what solved the problem.

I'll hafta look into that prilled fertilizer. All we've ever used is crystalized. The only way we could keep it dry here would be to bring it into air conditioning - my wife might balk at thirty bags of fertilized stacked in the living room. Of course, things are getting a lot drier around here than they've ever been - parts of this summer were more like Arizona than the Gulf Coast.

I sure do appreciate your taking time to share all that knowledge and experience with us. I still don't know your name. Is it Moon? That will work - like the old comic strip, Moon Mullens. :-)

Jack
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Old October 27, 2011   #62
JackE
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Moon-

What's the prilled fertilizer you use? I checked with our supplier and the only prilled soluble they handle is 46% urea.

JAck
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Old October 30, 2011   #63
JackE
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Has anyone used the rubber grommet/barbed fittings that insert directly into the PVC manifold? So far, we've used a T fitting for every line, but the grommets would be faster and cheaper.

What kind of bit did you use to drill the 9/16 holes? Many leaking problems?

Jack
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Old October 31, 2011   #64
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackE View Post
Has anyone used the rubber grommet/barbed fittings that insert directly into the PVC manifold? So far, we've used a T fitting for every line, but the grommets would be faster and cheaper.

What kind of bit did you use to drill the 9/16 holes? Many leaking problems?

Jack
A 9/16 drill bit might work.

Worth
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Old October 31, 2011   #65
JackE
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Tee Hee Cackel and Hardy Har Har...................

Smart A..... well, never mind. right back atcha! I guess it WAS a dumb question.

They recommend one of those conical-shaped "unibits" - like carpenters use for thin veneer - and sell them for 43.95. The hole has to be real nice and clean so the grommet doesn't leak. I tried a sharp spade bit but it made a ragged hole and I don't have a drill with a chuck larger than 1/2.

I forgot that they make those larger metal bits with a smaller shank to fit a 3/8 chuck - so that should work. The grommets and barbed fittings are ordered but haven't arrived. This has been a lot of work and money (especially the well part), but at least I'll have a small garden (up to 12K sq ft) - and I think that's all I'm gonna squeeze outta that Mickey Mouse little well - now just watch it rain next year!!

I wanna BIG well, but my DW ain't gonna turn loose of no 8-10K so I can play at farming - especially when a couple months of normal rainfall will fill the lake and solve the problem.

Jack
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Old October 31, 2011   #66
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Jack I have several straight, tapered and adjustable reamers that would fit the bill perfectly I use then for fixing shotguns chambering rifles and so forth.

I think you could find a used 9/16 reamer from a machine shop pretty cheap as they would have no use for it anymore.
Drill the hole a wee bit smaller and use the reamer to finish.

Probably over kill.
I cant be a smart ----- with out some help.

Worth
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Old October 31, 2011   #67
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Quote:
I cant be a smart ----- with out some help
That's where I come-in! LOL Just made a big pot of gumbo with some of the okra you said would never survive when I planted it July 1. So there! Wish you lived closer - I'd bring you some okra, some gumbo and borrow one of those bits - and I'd be far enough away from Woodville to have a couple brews with you. (As a Texan, you know what I mean LOL)

Jack

PS - I have to admit that keeping those 30 okra plants alive during the "August from Hell" was more than a full time job. All I did was stand out there with a garden hose from the house well - 3-4 times a day! And they were still barely surviving. After the worst was over in Sept, they took-off though. I had to have SOMETHING growing! It was depressing enough! Dear Lord, please don't let it be like that next year!!! My lake is almost totally dry - the catfish have ticks and the bass died long ago.! God Bless you and yours, Worth.
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Old November 4, 2011   #68
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CAUTION - DON'T FORGET THE DRAIN VALVES!

One thing I failed to pay enough attention to when doing the plumbing - it has to be drained when we have a hard freeze! There are low spots, stand pipes and various places that clearly won't drain - and now I'm going to have to break into the system to add drain valves!
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Old November 4, 2011   #69
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There have been nearly 2000 hits on this thread. Nobody else wants to talk about their drip irrigation system? Surely, many of you must be using it. Share your experiences.

Jack
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Old November 5, 2011   #70
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A lot of us use drip irrigation, but don't grow for market, so we just sit back and read.

It's sad, some of the things you see going on. Times are tough for a lot of people. Since the housing industry died, several people are trying their hand at farming, or should I say they jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Try to picture rows laid out straight as an arrow on a hillside. They didn't use premerge, postmerge, or any kind of merge, so the grass that had been growing in the pasture for the last 40 years didn't miss a lick. The cultivator left a band of bermuda grass 6 inches wide on both sides of each row. When it rained the high ground had good drainage, but flooded the lower half of the field. Then when things dried up they tried to irrigate with a 500 gallon tank on a trailer. They parked the trailer on the high parts of the rows and let the water run down the middles to the washed out lower parts of the row. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but they managed to haul enough water with that trailer to flood the lower half of the field again. I tried early on to talk to the guy, but couldn't get him off his cell phone long enough to talk. Busy, busy, busy. I don't think talking to him would have helped much. I just don't think it's possible to do contour farming with 8 row equipment. Claud
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Old November 5, 2011   #71
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Trying to irrigate with a 500 gal tank! That's NOTHING, not even a drop in a bucket! It takes more than that to irrigate a little backyard garden. A single lawn sprinkler at 60# will flow at
500/GPH. That guy obviously had no idea what he was doing and not enough sense to get help and advice.

Planting on a hillside is something I've never done - especially with our loose, sandy soil. It's always been a no-no around here. I don't consider a hillside suitable for any field crop but hay, where the root structure isn't disturbed - or, of course, pine trees for utility poles and paper (which is our major industry). We have the same basic terrain as y'all over in Miss.

I have 22 acres but only three are flat enough to plant, and most of that is slightly inclined. I till and plant the rows crossways to the slope. If I cultivate with the slope I get a washout.

After I retired we did a little rv'ing (until diesel passed $3 LOl), and as a lifelong gardener I really enjoyed touring the great vegetable production area along HWy 101 on the Calif coast. Every field, some were hundreds of acres, was absolutely flat - not naturally, but surveyed and levelled with machinery. There were hills on both sides of the valley which were covered with fruit orchards. All vegetable production land was flat as a pancake.

Your neighbor was nuts trying to plant row crops on a hillside. He should have planted an orchard or a hayfield.

Jack

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Old November 9, 2011   #72
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Last night we got he first really good rain in at least year - or more! Praise the Lord! It washed-out some carrot and spinach seedlings, but that's perfectly all right!!

I said something here that needs correction. I said that I wouldn't need any backflow prevention with the fertilizer injector because this well is used only for irrrigation - BUT, I forgot about the cast iron pressure pump and the galvanized pressure tank! Nitrogen fert would corrode-out those componenets in a matter of months, if not weeks!

Jack
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Old November 9, 2011   #73
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You should always use 2 back flow preventers on wells and city water.
Reason, it is the law and you dont want to contaminate a well, poisons and such can get into water you may want to use for something else.
It wont be your land forever.

The reason for 2 is backup and they should be spring check type back flow preventers in line.
That's what licensed professionals have to do.

My cousins live on the Colorado river and farm wheat, they feel that the river belongs to them and they throw there used car batteries from the big pumps in the river.
Then they say the people that float the river are stupid because the river is nasty.
These people tick me off to no end.

Not accusing you of anything Jack just some thoughts on how some farmers feel.

Worth
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Old November 9, 2011   #74
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Howdy Compadre -

I'm going to use two spring-loaded, brass check valves. That should do it. We don't have any backflow preventers on our house system - nobody worries about building codes out here - but I'm careful! The house well is not used for anything else but the house.

Last night's rain was enough to cover an island in the middle of our lake. It looks like the lake is 2-3 inches higher. It's a start in the right direction. Did y'all get some of that rain over there?

I find myself in an awkward position - if it rains and the lake fills this winter, my DW will be very critical of my spending all this money on a drip system! She assured me it would rain soon and the lake would would refill if we just prayed hard enough.

My dilemma gives a whole new meaning to the word "ambivalent."! If it doesn't rain, I'll have to live with the limited water from the well. If it does rain, I'll be in trouble with my wife for wasting significant bucks!! I always seem to do that - whatever happens it will all be my fault! The story of my life!
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Old November 9, 2011   #75
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We didn't get hardly a drop of rain.
My neighborhood is the driest place in the area, it can rain downtown but not here.
We did get 2 inches the last time I was home though.

Nobodies house has back flow preventers because the faucets arent on the ground.

You can tell your wife that the drip system and well is like a spare tire.
you dont need it till you have a flat.
Also the drip system will conserve water and you can mulch to conserve even more..

Worth
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