Author Topic: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???  (Read 1869 times)

Offline IKN

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: 12
  • New TSP Forum member
Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« on: May 06, 2018, 08:27:23 AM »
I recently had to do a little clean-up and repair for a spring on my property.
Initially, the spring was piped to a tank for animals to drink from, but the ground around it was so saturated and swampy you couldn't hardly get near it and caused a large, muddy area in my field along the river.
A few years ago, I trenched in a field tile from the tank overflow, through the swampy area, across my field to the river in an effort to dry up the area. This worked perfect until a record river flood caused the tile to become plugged full of silt and mud.
Anyway, I went to re-tile it again, but this time I ran the tile out to a higher ground area above normal river flood level with the idea of prepping the area as a garden.
The idea was that the tile would continually water the soil underneath the garden negating having to water it.
Any thoughts or concerns ???

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7075
  • Karma: 597
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 04:42:41 PM »
Does the spring dry up during the hottest summer months?

Offline IKN

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: 12
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 11:07:51 AM »
No, have never seen it dry up in the past 20 year. It does slow down during very dry times, but never stops.
My only concerns dealt with potential over watering and minimal possibility of root contamination due to the water first going to a livestock tank and overflow then going to the garden via the tile.

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13106
  • Karma: 710
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 02:19:21 PM »
  You might invite disease and plant problems with continuous watering unless raising water lilies.Not to mention the soggy soil can make tilling the soil and harvesting the crops tough. Except for some varieties of rice,maybe.

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7075
  • Karma: 597
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 07:09:54 PM »
Maybe you need to build a pond?

Offline IKN

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: 12
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2018, 06:33:48 AM »
Soil in that area is too sand to build a pond without a great deal of work and money, not to mention excess overflow would still go to the field which I'm trying to avoid.
As far as soggy soil goes, I tilled up a larger area so that wicking action and evaporation should keep the area from getting soggy, but maintain the soil hydrated. I can also expand the area to mitigate soggy soil if needed.
I plan on planting plant that need a larger amount of water over the tiled portions like watermelon & tomatoes and other stuff in the rest.
I'll try to remember to post how it turn out.

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7075
  • Karma: 597
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 05:01:29 PM »
Yes... please let us know...

Offline IKN

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Karma: 12
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 06:24:56 PM »
So far garden is doing great except for a big rabbit problem, keep eating the tops of the beans and taking bites out of other stuff.
Electric fence doing great job keeping deer out though. I see tons of whitetails in the corn field and alfalfa every day, but not even a single hoof print in the garden.
As far as the tile, I think I buried it too deep, but I have a small semi-trash pump from Harbor Freight that I use with garden hoses and sprinklers to water from the stock tank when necessary.

I'll try and remember to get pictures the next time I'm down there to post. Still waiting on tomatoes to ripen, but getting tons of cucumbers and zucchinis as well as quite a few peppers. Also tried one of the bigger water melons, it was sweet and juicy. Thinking I'll expand the garden area this fall and put in a chicken wire fence around it to keep the rabbits out next year.

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7075
  • Karma: 597
Re: Self Watering Garden, Good Idea ???
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 10:30:20 PM »
Sounds great, IKN.

My husband finished the fencing around my garden and I'm seeing a lot less damage due to bunnies, etc. than before. I don't have a large garden, but am getting a steady supply of tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs... my peppers are lagging...