SummerWorks Crew Installs Drip Irrigation!
This week, the SummerWorks employees at Americana’s Community Garden, Day Day and Amina, installed drip irrigation in the high tunnel with help from Lilias Petit-Scott (Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District). They learned how to use new tools to put their Urban Ag skills to work!
First, they attached the gutter to the high tunnel’s hip board using a power screw driver, making sure the gutter was on a slight angle so the water would flow downward to the tank. Then they cut off the excess gutter with a saw.
Next, they attached drain pieces to lead the water from the gutter to the tank, and covered the opening in the top of the tank with a screen to prevent mosquitos from getting inside and laying eggs. They then cut down PVC pipe to install at the base of the tank, leading the water from the tank to the drip line inside the tunnel, securing the PVC pipe with plumbers glue to avoid leaks.
Next, they lay the thick drip tape across the width of the tunnel, secured one end to the PVC pipe and clamped the other end. Finally, Lilias helped us punch holes in the thick tape every foot and insert valves which then fed into thin drip lines running the length of the tunnel.
Now, to irrigate the high tunnel crops, all we need to do is open a few valves!
*Americana’s high tunnel was built with grant money from the USDA. If you are interested in building a high tunnel in Jefferson County, contact Kurt Mason, the lead district conservationist with the Jefferson County Natural Resources Conservation Service.
**Below is the list of parts we purchased for our installation in a 12’x24′ tunnel. Everything is available at Lowes or through the Conservation District.
- 3 10’ sections of 5K vinyl gutters
- 12 Hidden Hangers (attaches gutters to 2 X 4) placed every 2’ (need 5 for every 10′ of gutter)
- 5K vinyl end caps – 1 set (comes in sets of 2)
- 2 Joiners – connects sections of gutter together
- 1 end with outlet
- 1 Box of Bulldex TEKS Self- Tapping Screws (#8 or #9 x 1 ½”)
- 2 section 2” X 3” flexible downspouts
- 1 Screen to cover hole on top of tank (conservation district had extra)
- 1 6″ pipe clamp to secure screen over hole on top of tank
- 1.5″ schedule 40 PVC
- PVC pipe glue (used conservation district’s)
- 2 1.5″ PVC 90′ elbows
- 1 1.5″ barbed nipple
- 1 1.5″ metal pipe clamp to secure layflat tube onto nipple
- 12′ length of Layflat Hose (available at conservation district office for $0.40/ft)
- Layflat valve (connects Layflat to your drip tape) Need as many as the number of lines you want to put in. We have some at the office but I would need to see your drip line to see if it will work with the valves we have. If not, you can order the right ones from RainFloIrrigration.com)
- Layflat Hole Punch (borrow from conservation district)