When you decide to run your mini-farm, there are many important factors to consider. The most important factor is how you will get water to your crops and land. If you are a small farm, you probably don’t have a huge budget to spend on hiring someone to install irrigation. Thankfully, there are many ways to create an irrigation system for your crops. A proper irrigation system is essential for when rain is lacking and your crops are due for a watering. This information is also appropriate to understand when searching for WA Farm Jobs.
Irrigation Considerations For A Small Farm
Several types of irrigation kits will hook up to surface water or wells. Most of the components are identical or very similar. The main components for all irrigation systems include:
1. Pump- This will vary depending on how much water you need and the pressure and volume requirements for your mini-farm.
2. Water Source- This may be a river, well, irrigation pond, irrigation ditch or something else.
3. Pressure Regulator- The pressure your kit’s regulators will give depends on the type of emitters it has. The emitters are responsible for the amount of pressure your kit can regulate. This amount can vary significantly between systems. The regulator is important for reducing pressure and ensuring it remains consistent.
4. Backflow Prevention– This component will help prevent any foreign materials, contaminants or fertilizer from backflowing into your water source.
5. Filter- There are different types of filters to choose from, and the type you choose will depend on your system. However, they all work to remove unwanted particles from your water supply that could potentially clog your emitters.
6. Injectors- An injector is used to introduce fertilizers into the irrigation kits.
7. Adapters- These components can vary by irrigation systems, but are all used for connecting different types of irrigation lines and equipment.
8. Main Lines/Distribution Lines- These lines are needed to move the water from the source location to the application location.
9. Headers/Sub main Lines- These are the lines of water used to enter the field and feed water to the separate emitters.
10. Emitters- Overhead or drip tape sprinklers filter the water to the crops. Mini farm and crop growers have two main types of irrigation kits to choose from.
Overhead Irrigation Kits
This type of water irrigation kit will filter water using sprinklers to cover large areas. This is the preferred method when growing seeded crops because it offers uniform moisture to the entire bed crop or field. It can also be good for cooling down the crops and fields during the hottest months of the year. However, this type of irrigation system will require higher flow and pressure rates to work. This means overhead irrigation systems may not be best for all applications. Wind can also play a significant role in how well overhead irrigation systems work.
Drip Irrigation Kits
These types of kits need less pressure to operate. For direct-seeded or transplanted crops in heavier soil, this may be the best option. Water is applied to the root zone of the plants. It can also be applied under mulch or beneath the soil. The direct application of the irrigation means that wind and evaporation will not have a significant impact. For lighter types of soil, drip irrigation may not be best. It will not offer the same coverage because of the increase in drainage from the soil type. In this case, more lines will need to be used for each crop bed. Plastic inputs will have to be replaced more often with drip irrigation kit systems.
Figuring out how long to run your mini farm irrigation system will require knowing the specifications of the system you chose. Particularly, you will need to know the flow rate, pressure and coverage area. You will also need to determine the amount of water you need. Your crops will depend on getting the right amount of water to survive and is dependent on the weather conditions, the stage of growth and the soil type. To begin, most mini-farm crop owners can begin with an assumption of needing a one-acre inch each week of water for vegetable farm crops.
Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community. You can reach him in his email if you have any questions – firstname.lastname@example.org