watering a garden with well
I have a large vegtable garden(3000+sf?) that i'm interested in irrigating. I plan on using drip type and soaker hoses. my father in law says I will damage my well pump by doing this(cycling on and off frequently). I have a 35-40 gallon(I cant remember for sure) pressure tank. Will this damage or significantly decrease the life of my pump or well? Thank You.
Barry County Michigan
This will not be an issue. Depending on how you design your system it is likely your well will operate almost continually during the time you irrigate. You need to determine your well capacity in gallons per minute. Simply turn your faucet on full and capture the water in a five gallon bucket/s for one minute. If you get 10 gallons a minute then design your system to stay under 10 gallons. Drip tape will give you a rating of so many gallons per minute per 100 feet. Low flow tape is 0.25 gallons/minute/100 feet. So if you use low flow tape and have a well capacity of 10 gallons per minute you can operate a maximum of 4000 feet of low flow drip tape. If you need more than that just break it into different zones. You may also want to break it into different zones for plants requiring different amounts of water. One roll of drip tape is 8000 feet and will cost around $120. I'm not sure of your local sources for tape but you could come over to St Joe and get it from either Trikl-eez (www.trickl-eez.com/) or Zirk's welding in Eau Claire. Kirk's does not have a web page. You can also get the necessary fittings from each of these businesses. Buying a sizable system from K-Mart or Walmart will be quite costly compared to these two places.
It is also easy to automate this system if you need to. Simply buy a battery operated timer that hooks up to your faucet between your faucet and your hose. Then you can irrigate your garden while you are gone if you need to. You can also use the system for fertilizer injection but you will need to build a back-flow prevention valve into the system between the injector and the faucet.
Do not use the soaker hoses. Their efficiency rating is not very good. They put out a lot of water at the beginning of the hose and then it goes down quickly.
Let me know if you have any further questions.