Dahlia Season: Plant, Support, Irrigate & Groom forum: Irrigation: Drip Tape

 
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ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:37 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
The more dahlias we grow, the more efficient we need to become in completing basic tasks. Automating irrigation is a major time-saver, and this thread is dedicated to investigating Drip Tape, or T-Tape, as a tool toward that goal.
CC
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:39 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
teddahlia wrote:I need to install the t tape this year and it is hot. (91 degrees today.). I have only one years experience with T Tape and am not that qualified to write an article. It is not all that complicated. The kit that was sent to me had a long poly hose that you use as a "header" . Each line is attached to the header by using a small valve that looks like a miniature faucet. A garden hose feeds the water to the poly header. Each line can be turned off if need be. They provided a pressure reducer that attaches to the garden hose and it keeps the water pressure even. I like it because I ran 10 T tapes off of the header, each about 105 feet long. I had them all on at the same time and the water was distributed very evenly.

CC
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:40 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
teddahlia wrote:I went from soaker hoses to drip tape and saved almost enough in the water bill to pay for most of it the first year. It is not only more efficient but is also less prone to leaks. And I went from about 10 zones to three meaning that I did not have to go out and change settings nearly as much. Also, it is much more even in the watering. Soaker hoses do not do well on even a slight slope.

CC
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:42 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
teddahlia wrote:T tape is designed not to clog despite hard water. It can be cut and configured to any size bed with the fittings they sell. Overhead watering is the simple and effective method and extremely wasteful. The water marks blooms and often blooms are too heavy and break. We live in a climate where we expect little or no rain from June 15 to September 15th. Dahlias need water. T tape is one of the most efficient and reliable ways of delivering it. However, if you have regular rainfall and are just supplementing the water, even hand watering with a hose may be all you need.

CC
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:42 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
todgor wrote:My landscaper installed something like this T tape and it increasingly got clogged over time. It seemed like it was air getting in the tape, most emitters would not send out any water. He claims he will improve it this year but I am skeptical that 513 plants will be reliably watered.

CC
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:47 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
CCvacation wrote:One master grower's garden I visited had a fertigation system set up with t-tape, with a five gallon bucket next to the house spicket, a regulator feeding in the correct percentage of fertilizer into the water flow. He irrigated with a low volume of water over a long period of time, daily. The size and petal count of his giant varieties are always breathtaking.

CC
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 8:55 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
Here's a calculator that estimates lots of things I don't understand in order to determine the proper amount and type of t-tape to purchase for the beds to be irrigated...

http://www.dripworks.com/category/calculator-drip-tape-revis...

This is why I bought more soaker hoses this spring to cover three new beds.
CC
ImageDahliaGardener
Jun 8, 2015 9:38 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
That's a really neat tool, CC! I will now have to find out how many gallons of water I get per minute, multiply by 60, and see how much drip tape I can use at once.

Ted, did you get the low flow, or the high flow?

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Imageteddahlia
Jun 8, 2015 10:01 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I got the cheap stuff. . Hilarious! I believe it has holes about 12 inches apart or something like that. There are different gauges of material too and mine is the still the cheap stuff. I figured that if I liked it, I might get a better grade next time.
“Flowers are like friends; They bring color to your world.” – Unknown
ImageCCvacation
Jun 8, 2015 10:25 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
Here's another mind-twisting site that has lots of information but you need tweezers to find the info that will actually help you...

http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/#sprinkler
CC
ImageDahliaGardener
Jun 9, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
12" apart is probably good - particularly if it's in the center of two rows! Staggered zig-zag, of course, so they are 2' apart in the rows. If the cheap stuff is working, I'm with you, Ted! Why pay more?!

When I have some insomniac time I will get the tweezers of comprehension out, CC, and go through that site. Thanks!!

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

mandolls
Jun 10, 2015 5:15 AM CST
Name: Geof
WI
I have read that on some of these sites that sell drip tape - if you send them your garden plan - they will design a system for you.
ImageDahliaGardener
Jun 10, 2015 6:53 AM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Hmmm....that's a thought, for sure, Geof! Definitely worth looking into! Do you remember if they had a minimum size?

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

ImageDahliaGardener
Jun 13, 2015 8:20 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Wilted dahlias today; must get some drip tape or something...off to figure out those lovely links, CC!!

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Imageteddahlia
Jun 15, 2015 3:42 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I have the t-tape on today. About 1750 feet of tape is divided into three zones. I have three water spigots near the gardens and I have all three areas turned on at the same time. It is supposed to be about 88 degrees today and we have had no rain for several weeks and none is forecast in the next 10 days or so. Tip: they sell the plastic couplers for the t-tape to fix leaks. Have about 10 on hand at all times. You not only can fix a leak but you can extend a line easily using them. I have only one left and need to buy more.
“Flowers are like friends; They bring color to your world.” – Unknown
ImageDahliaGardener
Jun 15, 2015 10:28 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Ted, where did you purchase yours? I looked online, and am a bit confused.

Worse yet, the Home Depot, here, does not carry any irrigation supplies whatsoever, so I couldn't even buy the poly pipe to feed to whatever t-tape I chose. Blinking

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

ImageCCvacation
Jun 16, 2015 7:55 AM CST
Name: CC
PA
Bob of Windhaven fame uses and recommends dripworks. They have an extensive website, and can mail out a catalog.
CC
Imageteddahlia
Jun 16, 2015 8:25 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I bought a kit on Ebay. I was unsure what parts I would need and a kit seemed like a good idea. The kit included too many of some parts and not enough of of others. But at least I figured out how to put it together. We are lucky to have a store 11 miles away that sells drip supplies. I need to go there and by more of those couplings to fix the small leaks. By the way, fixing leaks is an activity that must be done no matter what method you use to water dahlias. I used the leaky rubber hoses for years and they were prone to failure, especially after a couple of years. Cutting out a leak in a rubber hose is not easy and I replaced many hoses instead. Fixing the t tape is 10 times easier with the couplings. I believe that T tape is designed to last a couple of years. If you buy the heavier gauge tape it may last many years. I know that people tend to keep it for several years. I will probably go with a heavier gauge tape when I replace it. One person was able to get a lot of tape from a farm that was replacing their tape. Again, using older tape is no problem if you have lots of couplings ready to use. And when you do replace your tape, the couplings will be saved and you will not have to buy more.

Our Home Depot has lots of drip parts but no t tape stuff. I bought some poly pipe there but it was 1/2 inch and I would have preferred 3/4 inch.

Dan's Dahlias uses T tape on his 5+ acres of dahlias. He is pragmatic about it. He has no filters or pressure reducers and just connects the lines to his well water. He says he checks for the proper pressure by feeling the tape.

Swan Island uses traditional farm type sprinklers on their 40 acres of dahlias. The large aluminum pipes are moved around by the farm workers. They have the water rights to the Mollalla river that is next to their property and have no shortage of water.

“Flowers are like friends; They bring color to your world.” – Unknown
[Last edited Jun 16, 2015 8:35 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1145555 (18)
ImageDahliaGardener
Jun 16, 2015 8:50 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Thanks, CC and Ted!!

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

ImageBenny101
Jun 16, 2015 9:05 PM CST
Greenville MI - zone 5b
Hamilton uses the aluminum pipe also with moveable sprinkler heads
Thumb of 2015-06-17/Benny101/4ddac6
I would imagine that stuff does not come cheap .

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