Watering a garden that has no running water available
My wife and I purchased 28 acres in the country that will one day be our “forever farm”. I’ve already begun my composting for my garden I’m planning for next year. The only concerns about growing on the property is that we don’t have running water out there and it’s about a 20 minute drive from where we currently live. I’m concerned if I can’t make it out there for a week or so then I may take the chance of losing it to a drought. I’m racking my brain trying to come up with a viable gravity fed irrigation system to use when I know it’s not gonna rain for several days. This garden will be about 1/2-2/3 of an acre. Maybe get a large water tank, run a capped off water hose down each row, then up to connect to the tank, and put some pin holes in the hoses so that they will slowly leak. My worry with that is that it will get too much water over the course of several days. Any advice?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Your idea of creating your own irrigation system is good. If there is no running water I will assume there is no electricity for a pump.
If you install a water tank it has to be big enough and elevated enough to get the gravity feed water pressure you would need to feed your perforated hose or "soaker hose". A generator run pump could help, but maybe only when you are there to manage it.
Then of course you have to have a way to fill a water tank. One way is to hire a water truck with operator from a local construction or asphalt paving company. If you have a heavy duty pick up, 1 ton preferred, you can rent or buy a "water buffalo" trailer to haul water yourself. Or buy a 'skid mount' hydralic sprayer with a 100 or 200 gal tank that can slide in the back of your pickup.
Intall a simple plumbing system from the tank to run the water to a standard hose faucet.
There are battery operated automatic timer water valves available in irrigation supply stores and probably online. The one I have is from an Irrigation and Landscape Supply. It has two time periods possible so that I can set it to open and allow water to my garden twice a day.
Instead of poking holes in a water hose, buy some 50 foot "soaker hoses" (garden center/Home Depot). Some of them have fittings to enable joining them together end to end for the length you need.
Good luck and happy gardening.