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Permacultura Aralar
Permacultura Aralar
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Cool Temperate

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Drip Irrigation

Project: Permacultura Aralar

Posted by Victor Barahona over 11 years ago

How we use drip irrigation with our ten kiwis

In Permaculture Aralar we planted two rows with kiwis, 4 females and 1 male each one. Kiwis need a lot of water, our site is in a wet area but in summer suffer a lot, until this year we irrigated handly but this was insufficient, we needed improve this. Once we had stable water reserves through the earth dam and water tanks , allowing irrigation by gravity , we added a drip irrigation system that works with a timer, thus we've solved the problem and Kiwis are more happy :)  Irrigation is a world. So, let us to share our experiences, perhaps could help you. In our case we have a gap of about 8 feet between the highest and lowest point, but this is solved by self-compensating droppers. They work well, we can assure you.

Here we see a picture of how the drippers are mounted around one of the kiwis. We use PE tube (polyethylene) for agricultural use, 6 ATM (atmospheres, refers to  maximum pressure without breaking, in this case 60 m water column). There are several diameters, for a facility like this 16mm is fine. Junctions are made using elbows and T’s of consistent diameter, they are solded in bags of various units and the price is cheap. Droppers are solded too in bags with multiple units , and support multiple output flows. There are standard, adjustable and self-compensating, we choose  self-compensating (uniform flow rate, it doesn’t matter high’ differences). We have seen 2l/h, 4l/h and 8l/h. In our case we used 8l/h, the picture shows 4 droppers, so we have 32 liters/hour for each kiwi. To cut the tube use the red scissors, it is necessary to ensure a clean and straight cut  in the tube, if you use anything else perhaps the tube is cut oblique and will not splice well. In the picture we see a green and cylindrical piece, is a punch used to drill the tubes wherever we want to put the dropper. Joints between parts are made by hand without any special tool, just press hard and go. The picture shows also work gloves, pruning shears and bags with  material.

Useful tools

Here we see a more detailed picture, we use a bent tube to make a circle, spliced by a straight tube with T piece, connecting the main tube to distribute water in the Kiwis row.

Droppers in detail

Here we see the tube running through the line and connecting  kiwis, the tube is still not fixed and buried in  the ground. To secure the tube used large clamps, they are made of  “U” thick wire, about 2 mm, width of 5 cm and length of 15 cm. They are easy to push in the soil, even handly, and holds tube to the ground perfectly. It only takes a few, to set the circles and points where the tube changes direction.

Installation view

Another picture, the tube is still unburied. They are the two rows that form the planting:

Another view

The tubes that supply two rows of kiwis are joined at the top and go in a single tube to the irrigation timer, each tube has a valve, this picture was taken without complete the assembly. This point of the installation is protected with a box that we’ve done with recycled materials.

Join between two irrigation lines

From here go to the water tanks, where we have 4 valve outlet. One is reserved for kiwis irrigation, and has a timer, in the picture is on the right. It’s very small and battery operated, and no requires maintenance.

Irrigation Scheduler

And finally a picture of the process to bury the tube, we use a fork to make a trench,  we moving it as a lever to open the soil enough to enter the tube, there was no need to open a large trench by other means .

Burying tubes

In the future we will use drip irrigation in other parts of the site, we hope you like the final result.


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