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Getting Water to the Garden

 
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Hello Everyone,

We're in the process of building our first market garden.  It's roughly 1/3 acre (9,500 sq. ft) built into 5 natural raised bed sections.  The bed is 200+ feet from the nearest plumbed water source, and I'm starting to think through the most effective way (minimizing costs) to get water to the garden.  Given the distance and slight uphill slope from my spigots to my garden area, I just don't know if a long hose and diverters are really going to do the trick.  Maybe?  I've started to research gravity fed systems, but before I get too far I wanted to reach out to the best bank of knowledge sources I've come to know: this group!  I'm open to any and all ideas.

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pollinator
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Congratulations on your new market garden! Perhaps you could set up something like shown in the pictures below.
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master steward
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A water guzzler is a great idea and will probably work if you get enough rainfall.

We water wildlife and our tank is about 200+ feet from our well.  (We bought the best garden hose we could find.  We bought our at Sam's Club.  It is gray with a red stripe.)

We dug a ditch and laid the hose in it then covered it with dirt.  The ditch was deep enough so that the hose would not freeze.  It has been there since 2013 without any problem.

Instead of the hose you could use pvc pipe.

One year we grew a plot of sun flowers. It looked about the same size as your or maybe a little smaller. To water it we put a tank on a flat bed trailer.  The tank and trailer stay on the plot until it needed to be refilled.  A garden hose was attached to the tank that was long enough to reach all areas.  It took several hoses.
 
pollinator
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200ft? no problem with a hose, the important bit is the internal diameter of the hose. so we run a 330ft "hose" out to our gardens, then it is connected to 150ft of standard garden hose and that gives more than enough pressure to run sprinklers etc. But the initial run of 330ft is done with a 32mm pipe.
 
pollinator
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My family dug and installed about 300 ft of 1" PVC piping in the ground, with several hose spigots along the length. If your house water is pressurized, it *should* be able to get up a dozen feet (think: the 2nd story of a typical house). As @Skandi says, the larger internal diameter helps preserve pressure better along that length.

PVC piping is dirt cheap. The pipe connectors are a tad more expensive, but can be bought in cheaper contractor 10-packs at some stores (such as Menards).

Just make sure you have a drainage location at the low point of the pipe, so you can drain the line for winter. We just dug a 5-gallon bucket into the ground at the low point, with a few holes drilled in the bottom, and run the pipe into that bucket, with a drainage valve (to drain, don't forget to open the spigots at the top of the hill!).

[Edit:] Like Eric, below, I also use a drip system. The point of my PVC piping is to bring spigots closer to my garden and trees, and then the drip system branches out from the water spigots for everything. Otherwise, I doubt I'd get enough pressure for my drip system.
 
gardener
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Michael,

If you have a spigot 200’ away and assuming there is nothing wrong with the water, I would consider a drip system.  I have run literally thousands of feet of drip line irrigation that I got from dripworks.com.  They are surprisingly affordable and really conserve water.  Before I discovered wood chips I used drip lines extensively.  I still use the main line as a spigot far from the house.  It is really straightforward.

Eric
 
pollinator
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In my opinion, your best bet for higher water pressure and not a ton of money, is go get 200' of 1" black poly tubing. Get the higher grade stuff (they have non potable, and potable water versions) get the potable water version, I love taking big drunks from the hose. Plus the potable version will take better to a freeze or expansion of the pipe.

The poly pipe is the most cost efficient means of moving water. With a 3/4 hp well pump, I can move water through a 1" poly tube at least 500 feet and still have plenty of pressure.

If I may add though: the garden looks great, good job for making it happen! I know Lawton and others push a 5'-7' wide bed for being the most efficient use, but a 4' bed proved to be too big a pain in our asses. So now we re did the whole garden to have 24" beds with 12" paths. This works really good for us. Inevitably you'll be stepping and leaning on the center of your wide beds to harvest, this compacts soil, and makes it harder to have a nice loamy bed next year unless you plan to till it and reform beds each year.

Good luck! It's looking good! Just gotta get out there and crush it!
 
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Location: Mesa, AZ
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Annie Collins wrote:Congratulations on your new market garden! Perhaps you could set up something like shown in the pictures below.



I like all those especially #2!  I think here in Arizona it would be SO beneficial to put in a few of this structures.  Thanks for sharing.  Tom
 
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