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Hello and help needed on watering


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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:43 pm    Post subject: Hello and help needed on watering Reply with quote

Hi everyone, first post. Well after a couple of self build polytunnels I recently took the plunge and had a 27ft x 14ft tunnel professionally installed. I love it! Ive been working hard getting in three rows of 18 inch deep raised beds and they are full of good quality top soil and horse manure.

The question I have is related to watering. I dont want to use over head sprinklers as they just soak everything, including the tunnel sides resulting in them clouding up over time. I have a four zone timer unit with each of the three beds being a separate zone. Ive run to lengths of 13mm polypipe down each bed and fitted drippers along these. The drippers should spray the water in a spider pattern however, due to the large number of drippers and low water pressure im just getting a steady dribble of out each resulting in puddles of water through the beds.

I bought a pump of amazon which has a pressure flow switch on it so it only comes on when the timer starts. That part works a treat but the pressure is still too low and only marginal improvement in the spray. The question is however, will the little puddles of water be adequate? Or should I get a more powerful pump or even change the drippers to misters?


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Last edited by mdfire on Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello there! First of all, can I say I'm sooo jealous. We toyed with the idea of a polytunnel - but just haven't the room. So I have to put up with a veg patch in a wind tunnel.

That looks a great system. I'm sure there will be an engineer along in a bit who could advise you better. But I think (with a bit of tinkering) that once the plants are in, everything will balance out OK. You may need to water seedlings with a fine rose on a can. But once they start to grow the roots should search out the water

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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol I am an engineer!!

The beauty of the polytunnel is that no matter the weather you can be out in it. Once i get the plumbing sorted and the power in, I will concrete in the floors and im good to go. Might take a break and do the floors after xmas though...the past 6 weeks has been serious graft building the beds up and shift over 180 barrow loads of top soil to fill them!

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why concrete?
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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Permanent job, no weeds growing up sides etc.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair do's! I used a mix of slabs and gravel. But then the slabs were given to me and the gravel was the old stuff that we had at the side of the house.

How thick will the concrete be? Are you putting a stone base in first? Good grief, aren't I nosey? Laughing

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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably 2 or 3 inches thick...havent got that far yet..need to get this water problem sorted first
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your water pressure is that low then have one pump per line. Change heads to misters. Are you mains or well as the following might need to change according to your answer?

Now either increase pump horse power or....
Have a reservoir of a 45 gallon plastic barrel per line or a 1000 litre lBG tank which you can fill at whatever the water pressure is whenever you like and then your pressure should be equal per line. Obviously raising that up on an external platform would increase the pressure but being an engineer you would know that.
Signed..... another engineer!!!!

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS. Personally I would have buried the pipes.
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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
If your water pressure is that low then have one pump per line. Change heads to misters. Are you mains or well as the following might need to change according to your answer?

Now either increase pump horse power or....
Have a reservoir of a 45 gallon plastic barrel per line or a 1000 litre lBG tank which you can fill at whatever the water pressure is whenever you like and then your pressure should be equal per line. Obviously raising that up on an external platform would increase the pressure but being an engineer you would know that.
Signed..... another engineer!!!!


Thanks. The supply to the tunnel is from a outside tap which is obviously fed from inside. It goes to a four way manifold with each channel having a separate timer. One feed then goes to each raised bed which has two lines. The fourth will go to high level via micro tubing to feed hanging baskets.

I could put a stronger pump in but my question is do i need to? will the soaking the beds gets from the drippers be enough?
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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
PS. Personally I would have buried the pipes.


the drippers arent designed to be buried. The soil would clog them up


Last edited by mdfire on Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the pump supplying all your household needs or just the tunnel? Or are you on mains water that has weak pressure? I'm still not clear.

The plants will get enough eventually by drip feeding. Once the drippers are connected to the hanging baskets it will be even worse.

Do you really want water dribbling out of a pipe like an ould man pissing? Increase the pressure. You will want a hose in there some day.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Is the pump supplying all your household needs or just the tunnel? Or are you on mains water that has weak pressure? I'm still not clear.

The plants will get enough eventually by drip feeding. Once the drippers are connected to the hanging baskets it will be even worse.

Do you really want water dribbling out of a pipe like an ould man pissing? Increase the pressure. You will want a hose in there some day.


The hanging baskets are on a separate zone, so they wont affect it. There will only be about 6 drippers off it so they will have adequate pressure.

The water is coming into the tunnel from a hose pipe connected to an outside tap on the side of the house. Ive buried the pipe beneath the footpath and down the garden. The pump was dedicated to and within the tunnel. I spoke with a plumber, its just the pump isnt man enough for the job. So ive packaged it up and sending it back to Amazon.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice set up there, you will make the regulars jealous. Pondigger is the man to discuss water and pressure.
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mdfire
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
Nice set up there, you will make the regulars jealous. Pondigger is the man to discuss water and pressure.


Cheers pal, its hard work but i get a lot of enjoyment out of it and solving all these technical problems not to mention the rewards from the harvest
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