It is currently Oct 23, 2018 1:08 am 




Click here for the Gardening In 2018 with hints, experiments,
results, and just plain what's happening in our gardens this year



Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

Previous topic | Next topic 

  Print view

Offline 
 Post subject: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 13, 2018 6:15 pm 
Active Pinecam Poster
Active Pinecam Poster
User avatar
Joined: Apr 1, 2011 8:56 am
Posts: 510
We would appreciate a bit of guidance on how much water potted plants should get using a drip system. Is there some sort of chart or link to one or a generalized way of deciding which gph drippers to use? We have an unusual system and can't really find anything helpful on the internet or YouTube that really applies.

Some background. We have a number of indoor plants (no marijuana!) consisting of everything from geraniums in smaller, maybe 8" pots, jade plants, Christmas cactuses large and small, all the way up to monster split-leaf Philodendrons, dracaena and huge elephant foot palms. The big ones are in very large pots, the biggest being the pot that holds the palm, which is 2ft X 2ft. There is a large asparagus fern and a few other miscellaneous plants as well.

Obviously, they take a decent amount of care and watering them is no small task, even though most of the plants are smaller and don't take much water. Currently, they get watered roughly every 5-7 days and do very well. Because of the work involved, we designed and built the first part of an indoor drip style watering system with a timer and zones and installed those adjustable spray drippers in several of the plants, figuring we could adjust the ones in the bigger pots to sprinkle a bit and the ones in the smaller pots to drip. The system works as designed, however, when the timer kicks it on, and pressure is building in the system, those sprayers spit and spray way further then they are adjusted for when the system is just running after it settles down. (No problem when a system is outside, but a big problem if its indoors!) So we built caps for the sprayers so the spray hits the cap and runs down into the pot. Works great for some, others it just blows the caps off. These sprayers don't seem to have a fine enough adjustment to get past this issue; either we get too little water or way too much. We are having to adjust these style drippers on some plants every time the system comes on, so its basically unusable. We haven't even been able to get far enough to approach how much water each size pot needs with these sprayers, so we thought we would look into flag style drippers that aren't adjustable and are cleanable. But the flag drippers come in several ratings, everywhere from .5 gph to 4 gph. How does one convert from watering 3/4 gallon once every 5 days in the palm (for example) to setting a drip for x amount of minutes, x times a week? We don't want to buy bags of drippers of each size that are way more then we need; it would be helpful to have a few basic guidelines to narrow it down.

I should also mention that the system currently has no pressure reducer (though we have and are considering installing one). Since our pressure is never constant and fluctuates between about 20 and 35-40psi depending on when the pump comes on, we weren't sure that putting a pressure reducer in would be much help, unless they make one that we can actually set to a specific pressure. The other thing is we didn't design this system to be running constantly. We want to be able to have the timer turn on for x minutes at a time, x times a week. We also couldn't just set it up so the big plants are all on one zone and the small ones are on another so there both kinds on each zone.

Appreciate any help, thanks.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 13, 2018 8:26 pm 
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
User avatar
Joined: Jan 6, 2006 3:04 pm
Posts: 15335
Location: Conifer
I remember being super impressed with your plants! It sounds like you guys have it dialed in already. I would make two changes if it was me. no sprayers, only drippers and install pressure regulator.

I run all my outdoor plants on drippers on timers. All at .5ga/hr. This time of year, I water them every day for an hour. Once monsoon hits, I will drop it to every other day. These are plants in the ground with landscaping cloth and mulch, so it retains water really well. My experience is with outdoor plants, but the ideas are the same.

You need to just watch the drippers to see if they are dripping the same at each plant down the line. If not, then you should reduce dripper the closer to the water source and possibly even increase the ones at the farthest end. Drippers can get clogged, so you need to check them each season or if indoors maybe every six months or so.

I only have one dripper per plant except for 7 foot x 6 foot lilac bush, it has 2 .5ga drippers.

I would guesstimate how much water you are giving every 5-7 days (.5 ga, 1 ga, etc) per plant and replicate that with your drip system on the same time table. No sprayers, just drippers.


We have this pressure regulator on our front flower beds. Hubbie got it at Home Depot for about $30.

Image

Image

and this is the best timer we have found because it has a brass fitting. Most are plastic and fail within a few years.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1

I don't know if my input helped at all, but if spend the time measuring water output when you hand water and duplicating that by type of dripper throughput, you should have it nailed (with a pressure regulator)

_________________
_________________
A Rainbow Bridge for Pinecammers.

If you have a pet you wish to add to the Rainbow Bridge Site, please either post in the Pet Forum Rainbow Bridge Page viewtopic.php?f=85&t=78851 or PM me with pet names you would like them added. If you have others already there, please give me their names so I can add your pet with them.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2018 6:06 am 
Oh my, Big Time poster!
Oh my, Big Time poster!
User avatar
Joined: Sep 22, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 3371
Location: in a state of gratitude (well, I try to be anyway...)
Good luck


Last edited by CooknThyme on Jun 14, 2018 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2018 9:11 am 
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
User avatar
Joined: Jan 6, 2006 3:04 pm
Posts: 15335
Location: Conifer
do you recall her plants? THEY ARE MONSTERS and been around for GENERATIONS (well that part may not be true - yet) :)

_________________
_________________
A Rainbow Bridge for Pinecammers.

If you have a pet you wish to add to the Rainbow Bridge Site, please either post in the Pet Forum Rainbow Bridge Page viewtopic.php?f=85&t=78851 or PM me with pet names you would like them added. If you have others already there, please give me their names so I can add your pet with them.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2018 12:31 pm 
Active Pinecam Poster
Active Pinecam Poster
User avatar
Joined: Apr 1, 2011 8:56 am
Posts: 510
I am sure most people reading this have visions of a standard style drip system indoors, with the plastic tubes running all the floors and holes punched in the tubes and connectors that leak etc., but that is not what this is. We would never do that to our house. Admittedly, when my husband first approached me with this outlandish idea of an indoor drip system, my initial thoughts were horror and "you've got to be nuts"! :bash: However, I knew he's not careless or offhand about anything and when he outlined the plan, it was really rather logical and feasible. We worked out what was needed over the past couple years, and built the system of PVC completely under the house in the crawl space, where the rest of the water plumbing for the house itself runs. If there is ever a leak, it runs into the dirt in the crawl space. There is not one single connection above floor level, except for the drippers themselves, which are anchored inside the pots, so if they leak, they leak into the pots. There are as few connections as possible under the house, there are shutoffs to isolate parts of the system for repairs and the timer is in easy reach to shut off the system. The system is designed to run about 20-30 minutes, be monitored and shut off. The one thing we weren't really sure of was whether to use a pressure reducer because we weren't on the high pressure city water system.

Wily- looks like what you are using is a pressure regulator similar to that used on a boiler system that is adjustable. Something like that could work for our setup. Do you have a pressure gauge installed so you know what pressure the system is running or was it more "well that seems about right" type of a guess when adjusting it?

We thought the adjustable sprayers would work, but as outlined in the first post, they just don't. If we go to differently rated flag style drippers and calculate out the water we are currently using when we water every 5-7 days and only run the drip system that often, that would probably get us close, but is that best for the plants? We would be going from saturating the dirt all at one shot to dripping it over a period of time (30 min-1hr we are guessing)- does that make any difference? Is it a better choice with dripping to run it twice a week with half the water?

Also, yes, some of the plants are very old; one of the Christmas cactuses we estimated to be over 200 years old. A few others are in the 40-50 year range. I think we cut our plants down to 28 now based on where we could safely run the drip system and we are still working on figuring how to get some plants watered by the drip system that aren't currently on it.

Thanks for the input.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 14, 2018 1:25 pm 
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
User avatar
Joined: Jan 6, 2006 3:04 pm
Posts: 15335
Location: Conifer
Hubby just sets it for what feels right. and I have never had any dripper lines fail. I use T connectors where I want to run a dripper and then run a short line to dripper. It makes it easier if you can heat the tubes when pushing over connectors to get them all the way on. Either a heat gun or in my case because I am not usually near an outlet to plug it in, I use a propane match like you would use in the kitchen to flambe something. I like it better than the disposable ones because you can refill it. I just heat up the end and stuff it onto the connector. I also use little stakes to hold the line up off the dirt.

Image

Image

_________________
_________________
A Rainbow Bridge for Pinecammers.

If you have a pet you wish to add to the Rainbow Bridge Site, please either post in the Pet Forum Rainbow Bridge Page viewtopic.php?f=85&t=78851 or PM me with pet names you would like them added. If you have others already there, please give me their names so I can add your pet with them.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 16, 2018 8:27 am 
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
User avatar
Joined: Jan 6, 2006 3:04 pm
Posts: 15335
Location: Conifer
by the way, after much research on prices, etc I have found this place to be the most fair in pricing and a great selection
https://www.dripdepot.com/category/drip-irrigation

_________________
_________________
A Rainbow Bridge for Pinecammers.

If you have a pet you wish to add to the Rainbow Bridge Site, please either post in the Pet Forum Rainbow Bridge Page viewtopic.php?f=85&t=78851 or PM me with pet names you would like them added. If you have others already there, please give me their names so I can add your pet with them.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 16, 2018 3:40 pm 
Active Pinecam Poster
Active Pinecam Poster
User avatar
Joined: Apr 1, 2011 8:56 am
Posts: 510
Yes, I saw that website and agree. They seem to have the most sizes of those flag drippers, which is pretty much what we think we need to try. Because we originally set this system up to use the adjustable style dripper, the location of the plants and what zone they were on didn't really matter, (and the majority of plants must stay where they are anyway) but if we have to use a non adjustable style dripper, we have to take into consideration the size of of pots given our only way of controlling the amount of water is by time and frequency of watering. It also seems that since the drippers seem to be available in .5, 1, 2, 3, & 4 gph, we'd have more precise control if we went with bigger drippers, down to small, and cut the time down, rather then small to big as we would normally think of doing. A .5 dripper at 15 min is still too much for a small pot, and if we go to a 1, we double the output, and 2 doubles the output of 1. But 3 doesn't double the output of 2 and 4 doesn't double the output of 3. We might wind up using two drippers in some of the largest pots- it will take some trial and error.

We tried to find that nice adjustable pressure reducer you pictured, but they are a lot more pricey nowadays (as is everything), and we kind of wanted a gauge to see what the pressure is, so we are looking at those pressure reducers they use for RVs with a gauge, but sure is hard to find one with brand names we recognize anymore. :( We are looking at running 25psi or so and seeing how that works.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 16, 2018 4:06 pm 
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
User avatar
Joined: Jan 6, 2006 3:04 pm
Posts: 15335
Location: Conifer
look at that website for pressure gauges and regulators. they seem to have a good selection, reasonably priced

_________________
_________________
A Rainbow Bridge for Pinecammers.

If you have a pet you wish to add to the Rainbow Bridge Site, please either post in the Pet Forum Rainbow Bridge Page viewtopic.php?f=85&t=78851 or PM me with pet names you would like them added. If you have others already there, please give me their names so I can add your pet with them.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 20, 2018 6:14 pm 
Active Pinecam Poster
Active Pinecam Poster
User avatar
Joined: Apr 1, 2011 8:56 am
Posts: 510
We did consult with DripDepot on our system (they were very helpful) and have decided to see if we can make pressure compensating drippers that shut off at low pressure work. Hopefully that will eliminate the issue of the drippers spitting and spraying when the system is first turned on, and put roughly the same amount of gph out in the range that our pump is operating in regardless of the variance in pressure. The drippers are also rated for a much higher operating pressure then our system uses, so using a pressure reducer isn't necessarily needed. Installing a pressure reducer at this point comes with its own set of problems and while many of the drippers can't handle the higher pressure, these ones are supposed to. We sent photos of our setup and they felt the system was filtered correctly and we have minimal flow rate requirements for what we have installed. We ordered some of these style drippers to see if they will work, but it will take some trial and error to figure out gph size and time frames to water small and large pots on the same zone.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Offline 
 Post subject: Re: Drip system questions
Post Posted: Jun 20, 2018 7:09 pm 
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
Pinecam Hall of Fame poster!
User avatar
Joined: Jan 6, 2006 3:04 pm
Posts: 15335
Location: Conifer
I'd love to hear the updates and pics when you get it all dialed in. this is going to be awesome!

_________________
_________________
A Rainbow Bridge for Pinecammers.

If you have a pet you wish to add to the Rainbow Bridge Site, please either post in the Pet Forum Rainbow Bridge Page viewtopic.php?f=85&t=78851 or PM me with pet names you would like them added. If you have others already there, please give me their names so I can add your pet with them.


Top
  Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Who is online

In total there are 21 users online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 21 guests (based on users active over the past 60 minutes)
Most users ever online was 2823 on Mar 26, 2012 7:26 pm

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 21 guests





Powered by phpBB © 2000-2012 phpBB Group

This website copyright © 1994-2018 by
Pinecam.com is a member of the Platte Canyon Area Chamber of Commerce