I’m just a raggedy man…
"I am utilizing drip irrigation ,spiral emitter lines on my no-till containers. Ranging from 15-25 gallons. 4 are black netpots, 8 are white radicle bags. I employ cover crops and straw as a mulch. I was watching videos where a bigger system is used with like at least 100 gallon pots. But how do we irrigate? Under the mulch? On top of mulch?
But won’t that lead to mildew/mold on the straw?
If the point is to block out the sun-how do we achieve healthy soil and avoid problems? The pictures show I use a little straw combined with cover crops like clover-during the season. And I rotate the off seasons crops. Next fall will be Mustard and Buckwheat,and Clover.
The summers here in California get hot. This current evolution uses a timer,irrigation tubing, and emitter lines. I feel I have solved the issues with water with this new irrigation setup/drip versus deluge from watering can, hose nozzle, etc. That can disrupt the top layer of the soil,organisms,etc.
My ask-Is this it? Should I be happy or content with providing moisture (at a drip rate vs strong, forceful spray from nozzle)?? I am aware that the strong nozzle spray does not mimic nature. But I am really worried about water reaching the soil at an efficient rate versus water just wasting. Too much mulch is counter-productive, no? Even if I dice and chop cover crop? Last year I chopped,but no dicing. Covered with homemade compost and Build a soil craft blend ferts. I have dry nutrients to add(This year I’d Build A Soil Re-amend mix)also a mix of chicken manure compost combined with earthworm castings,pumice, and the last of my craft blend bucket mixed in.
Is anyone else doing a setup similar?
Thanks in advance.
Okay,so thinking out loud- I was worried about the number of stakes in the soil constantly being pulled up and out may disturb the top layer. Then I realized to apply top dressing,I may have to apply and massage in-between Tubing emitters?! Or every two weeks I do the process all over again? Hmmm.
Attitude is everything.
I have to ditch the dogmatic no till fears and just try hardest to feed and keep irrigated. I know with such small containers there is no getting around soil disturbances. Sh*t fire and save matches… Do I even go so far as to switch to smaller,directed sprayers,or cut back on the length of each spiral in a pot? When designing the emitter spirals-I allocated approx 7 feet for each container. Maybe cut back and go from a spiral to a big circle?Far enough from the base to encourage root growth, but not too far?! And of course finding room for mulch and a clover here and there. Hmmm
Everybody want heaven but nobody wanna die…
If any good ideas are presented, I will hear them out.
of all the things I have lost-I miss my mind the most…
Pulled the trigger and layered the pots in preparation for spring. Still no till,no disturbances other than moving container a few feet either way. I ended up chopping the cover crop, fertilizing the soil with re-amend from BAS, dicing the green manure in a separate tub,and then reapplying diced green manure in pots. Some were further doused with re-amend, then covered with a mix of cow manure compost and earthworm castings. Some received a sprinkle of Re-amend in the compost,and massaged in. Then I placed the irrigation on top of everything, and then covered in straw. I have been monitoring to make the proper saturation level. Currently the rain bird timer is kicking mon-wed-sat,at 15min a pop, 0600hrs
The emitter line is 12" apart,with approx 7 feet per pot/coil.
I decided to skip companion plants and cover with thick sheet of mulch/straw. The radicle bags are so porous-clovers and rye are growing out of the side!
Here goes nothin…
So far,the method has been to ;
- pull off straw from top,place on the side.
2)Lift irrigation hose up a little off the surface,but still leave spikes and spiral intact. And wipe the emitter holes to keep flow constant.
- add Humic Acid or Azomite or Re-amend, with a little bit of compost/worm castings.Massage into the surface. 3a)put a little bit of Pumice on the top layer.
4)Lay emitter back on top of compost 5)cover with straw from before.
Cover crop from before are growing out of the sides of the container,as well as some ryegrass poking up through the straw. So far I let them grow a little,and then chop and lay back on surface.
I am hoping the side growth will be beneficial The unique porosity of the Radicle bags are allowing side growth, but I will eventually migrate all the containers to Rain science bags since Radicle went out of business. Gotta wait and see.
Have you tried a grow. In them or has it just been preparation.
@DRsDank These are my no till containers that I have used for a few years.So yes ,I have grown in the containers before. Weed and cover crops. But I wanted a different method to water the containers. I was using a hose with a Boogie Brew filter attached -but wanted to try a different approach towards watering. I was curious how drip versus spray works in my garden. Also,the July heatwave has me seeking out ways to better hydrate the plants.
I have varied to time duration of 15 mins down to 3 mins.Still messing around to find sweet spot that is not too much water.
Thanks for stopping by!
Hope I answered your question
I watched Jeremy from Build a soil, and he basically answered my question-he does move the irrigation tubes in order to top dress.
In my containers, I lift the emitter spiral up, and The stainless steel spikes keep me from losing too much shape when I lower them back on top of the compost. In prepping my soil ,I have added a few ferts and some compost with- to encourage activation.
So,I guess I answered my own question/thesis. It is very possible to have a emitter line drip system underneath a layer of straw as mulch, and always on top of the compost. What is nice about the system is I can remove the straw mulch ,place to the side, and then re-apply when done. I also get to wipe the emitter holes(giggidy) to prevent clogging as much as feasible. The tedious factor is high,but I do not mind. I am still playing around with time frequency and duration. And also environmental factors here like the weather.
3x a week- 5 minutes long. 7 or 8 emitter holes per spiral. .8 gal/min line, 12 containers .5 " tubing.
(Side note. When i chopped and dropped-I also added dry ferts and compost. That was around mid January. I have topped with a smidgin of compost and dry ferts a few times. Lift up irrigation. Massage ferts in. Sprinkle a few bits of Pumice around. Repeat. I want to leave space towards the rim of the container for future growth/expansion.) BAS Re amend one cycle, Humic acids and Azomite the other.
The last top dress I will do before the season starts for me is a Neem blend-and give it soon,because I will probably put the seedlings in the soil approximately beginning to middle of May.
I cannot start too early-stealth ,neighbors and all. But what I can do is make the soil ready.
And if you stay ready- you never have to get ready. HOOYAH!
*As i typed Chopped and dropped i started having flashbacks of my waffle house days…but in the vein of martin sheen in apocalypse now…Diced,fried,smothered,covered…Waffle House,I’m still at Waffle House. When I was in California, I couldnt wait to come back off leave and eat there. When i was at Waffle House,all I could think about was In n Out Burgers…the horror…the horror
Ok,found the thread I was referencing in the other post,fyi.
Took some pics just now…No more pallets…just red bricks underneath.
That’s going to be one extremely full patio there:heart: looking super good though, great job!!
Thank you,that means a lot.
My cluster-f*ck-capacity aside, Mr. Murphy shows up to my garden every year. He makes girls go hermie,some buds airy than usual,and with his sister HEATWAVE I lose some every year. Damn shame it is…
Well for all the environmental stresses I do recommend that you put silica and all of your IPM treatments and soil drenches. This will help them be much healthier in general and strong:100: you can get organic sources of it pretty easily I know build a soil has a good one from Montana grow
I saw the latest BAS video talking about the silica !! I checked to buy but they are backordered until 6/3.
I will confess I did look for alternatives locally,something comparable if not exact. Thats why I was heavy with the Azomite for the last few feedings…
Believe it or not a really good organic source of silica that is also super cheap is diatomaceous earth, it’s not bioavailable right away but it will break down over time and feed silica to your plants Plus on a bonus it’ll take care of some of the pests. I always mix it into the top 2 in of soil usually two or three times during an entire grow.
Another product that is a little bit pricey but it is probably the most bio-available form of silica available on the market is Power Si. You only use 1 ml per gallon I use it in all of my foliar sprays.
You spoke.I listened.
Bought the DE. Worked it into the top of the soil. Also made a coctail of Aloe Flakes from BAS and Harmless Harvest to soil drench when done.(using Home Depot Buckets)
First off-congrats on being Cancer free.
I saw that you used Aloe Flakes also. This is my first year doing so. I was thinking every two weeks-what is your frequency? Sorry if I missed you discussing it on the other thread already.
@Slug_Life. The aloe flakes are a new item for me but ive been whipping up some aloe water once a month or so. Thanks for the cancer free
@Slug_Life. I see you got some high hopes for this year. I hear about your heat stress problems, have you thought of stringing up some shade fabric for the heat wave? I use 40%. Today was 98 in my area.