Thursday, April 22, 2021

Establishing Irrigation and Transplanting 

                                                                    Installed manifold including filter and regulator
Laying out the irrigation is sometimes a tedious task, but when installed properly and when using quality products from reputable sources (Toro Aqua-traxx, it makes the rest of the growing season or seasons much easier. I installed the manifold seen above at my new growing area. The manifold includes a 120 mesh filter and a 12 psi pressure regulator.  The parts are designed to be attached to a hose bib for use with standard fittings around the home including municipal and clean well sources. 

                                                                5/8 inch drip tape attached to 3/4 inch poly mainline
From the standard hose bib and manifold, I attached a 3/4 inch poly line which serves as the mainline. Using a small punch, I attach a 1/4 inch barbX5/8 inch lock tight valve to the mainline. I then attach 5/8 inch 15 mil drip tape to the valve and run 100 foot rows on top of my previously constructed 30 inch beds. I run a single row of tape down the center of the beds for tomatoes, but must other beds will receive two rows of tape evenly spaced on top of the beds. 

Even with the filter on the manifold, I let the water run out the end of the drip tape for a minute to remove any dust or debris

As mentioned above, I use 15 mil Toro brand Aqua Traxx Drip tape with 8 inches emitter spacing. The 15 mil thickness of the tape allows for more abuse and when cared for can easily last 3-5 growing seasons. I also find that the 8 inch drip spacing is the most versatile and allows for intensive planting. 

                                                      Trying out  heat tolerant varieties of Broccoli and Cauliflower

First seven beds planted and being irrigated

A 100 foot row of Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes

I transplant these seedling by hand as the space is too small to require mechanical transplanting and because I have chosen to maximize use of the entire space, leaving no room to maneuver a tractor. The Super Sweet 100 and Anaheim Chili seedlings are courtesy of Greg at the Farm on 7th street right here in Norco, and the other tomatoes varieties and the broccoli and cauliflower come from Headstart Nursery in Gilroy, California (although they also have facilities in Mecca). Keep following the progress as I will be direct seeding over the next week. 

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