Slope Progress, Finally

Between taking sips of coffee, Beloved drew out this complex technical document on technical document paper (no napkins were handy).  
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Beloved did so much to get the project to this point.  I could not have done it without him.  Finally drip irrigation is ready to install.   The first section I'm going to install is the lower half of the slope. 

Using the complex technical document above, I got started.  I didn't follow the document exactly, but it gave me what I needed.  

This slope originally had high-volume sprinklers that used enormous amounts of water.  As the plants grew, the ones nearest the sprinkler heads blocked the spray and a few plants got huge while the rest died for lack of water.  I eventually pulled everything out in exasperation.

A few months ago, we added a pressure regulator and anti-siphon unit to the original automatic valve, and began the long, long wait for cooler weather to do the rest.  

I start off with a riser coming off the original system.  The riser replaces one of the high-volume sprinklers.  The riser connects to a threaded elbow.  The drip system connecter goes into the elbow.
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The distribution tubing is added to the drip system connector:
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There's the distribution tube running up the slope.  The distribution tube does not have drippers in it.  It is just a solid pipe.  Drip lines come off the distribution tube. 
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Next I add connectors to the distribution tube.  The distribution line will end in an elbow connector connected to the topmost drip line. 
The actual drip line will run off these connectors.
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Like so:
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The drip lines coming off the distribution line.  The pieces were easy to push together.  This particular product (Netafim) is easier to work with and sturdier than the typical homeowner stuff available at big-box stores.  It's used frequently for commercial properties and small farms.
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All tubes will be held in place with staples:
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I stretch out the lines.  The drippers are 18" apart, the distance recommended for this loamy soil.  The Netafim product instructions give specific suggestions as to how many lines to run based on soil and plants.  There was even a diagram for slope irrigation. 
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There will be four parallel lines of drip tubing running across the lower half of the slope.  
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It may not look like much, but after long delays for other projects, indecision, procrastination, frustration, re-thinking, re-working, digging out monster Yucca roots, and bad (hot!) weather, this sight is a beautiful, beautiful thing:
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Oopsie!  An obstacle to detour around:  the valve box.  No problem!
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It works!   Yay!
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Slope progress!  Yay!  Happy, happy drip system dance!  The lower half of the slope is done.  Next, the upper half.  And then, soon, soon, finally, plants!
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Disclaimer:  this isn't an ad for Netafim.  I paid for everything myself, they didn't give me anything and I have no connection whatsoever to the company.  


 

Comments

  1. Who puts in an irrigation system before all of the plants are in? (Organized people do.) Nice job! I was going to comment that the system looked much sturdier than those they sell here, but then you explained.

    I'll be interested to hear how your water usage will change after this improvement.

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    1. I must change something. Yet another proposed rate increase of 25%...

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  2. Yay! We are adding a drip system over the winter and I'm following your progress. The diagram is great because it gets right down to the "this goes into that at this point" detail that is not the easiest to translate from generic instructions to the reality of your garden.

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    Replies
    1. Lots of lousy drip instructions out there. It takes some practice, really. After you've done it a couple of times it is fairly easy.

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  3. Congrats, you are a determined gardener who will soon be rewarded with new plants! Have you already detailed your planting plan for this area and I'm just forgetting? Been shopping already?

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    Replies
    1. When do I ever stop plant shopping? I've got so many Aloes and Agaves waiting for a spot in the ground, the design may go out the window because the plants already here need places. Over 20 'Blue Glow' babies, and so forth.

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  4. It sure sounds like this project had been hanging over your heads for a long time. Awesome to see your progress. What better reward is there than to finally get plants in the ground!

    BTW, thank you for recommending Netafim products. Word of mouth means so much more than reading about a company's products online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is called the "Fall 2012" project, so that tells you how long it's been hanging over our heads.

      After years of the homeowner DIY stuff, I'm really impressed with the Netafim. Good instructions, good quality.

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  5. That's a huge progress Gail, the 'blood vessels' of that area that will sustain life to the plants. With that done even more exciting things will follow soon.

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    Replies
    1. So I hope! Yet another heat wave arrived today, so once again work stops.

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  6. At last there is water in the drought, your plants will grow happily.

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    Replies
    1. Now all we need is the stuff that falls out of the sky.

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  7. I'm suitably impressed! How long are you running the system each week? I ask because the one my husband installed in the succulent bed along the street doesn't seem to be doing the job - the larger succulents appear to be struggling. Of course, I don't think I can characterize my soil as "loamy" either...

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    Replies
    1. According to the product literature, running the system 33 minutes provides 1/4" of moisture. If I run it 3x a week, .75 X 4 weeks = 3" of moisture per month = 36" per year--quite a bit for most Agaves, and xeric Aloes, just right for East African Aloes...in other words, I'll start there and adjust down as needed. Back when we used to get rain in winter (remember that?) I would shut off my irrigation in mid-October and not turn it back on until mid-May. Those were the days.

      What is good is that I know the water is going into the soil at the root systems, not evaporating into the air or running down the gutter in the street.

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  8. I am really not making this up : I was eating lunch at my desk today reading this post. Into the office came our Netafim rep for a meeting with our VP of purchasing. My company has a long relationship with N. as their emitters are popular with vineyard managers/wine grape growers.The drip hose though, is always blue-stripe.

    I use soaker hoses because I am constantly digging and drip does not lend itself to that..we get twice the rain here that you do in a bad year, and 3 or four times in good rain years. I watered sparingly this summer and it shows, but since I am in a transition period it's ok. I am very attracted to your tidy installation.

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    1. Hah! That's funny! Next time she/he comes, in, say some blogger likes their stuff, okay? ;^)

      Maybe that is a different product line, the blue stripe? I got the CV product--lighter duty, I think. Soaker hoses clog up here quickly. I have some soaker hoses elsewhere--took my Felcos and jabbed holes in them so they still (sort of) work.

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  9. You are doing it right and being admirably restrained in not planting until you are done installing the system. I do love the "technical drawing" on the "technical document paper" - LOL!

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    1. Of course, a napkin would have worked better. The back of an envelope should be referred to as Alternative Technical Document Paper, I suppose.

      My restraint, I must admit, is reinforced by yet another heat wave. It's 95F today.

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  10. I have to admit I hate this technical side to making gardens -- no wonder it's a 2-year-old project. But you are so very close to triumph now, congrats!

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    Replies
    1. If it ever, ever, ever cools down...

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