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 Deep well watering 
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 188
Post Deep well watering
It seems many hate to water in the Pacific Northwest, thinking we have an abundance of rain.....but we know that fruit trees do better when they receive water in these dry summer months of July and August and that actually, during this key time when the fruit is sizing up, these two months are historically inadequate in terms of precipitation.

I was curious to hear what watering strategies others use during the summer months, particularly if all they have is a garden hose and want to do deep-well watering around the drip line.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4601446_water-f ... hards.html


Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:17 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Deep well watering
I think once or twice a week deeply works well. When the trees are mature, if they have been trained that way, they can survive without water, but as you said, they'll do better with water.

I use a drip system, usually 30 minutes 3x /week.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:47 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Deep well watering
Good question. I’ll have two hoses running around the yard, I have both well water and (gravity fed) pond water. I’ll leave each hose trickling on the ‘uphill’ side just above and inside the root area but not quite to the drip line. I try to switch them once during a 24 hour period to the lower side (closer to the trunk) then simply try to remember they’re being watered …which is why I’ve a card to set up on the TV reading “Water’s on” – which should actually be on this monitor

This is only done during the driest of times and while the trees are ..from 8 years in and under. The older and established trees appear to find all they need as my fruit size is average, much depending on the richness of soil in that area…

It’s also very important to remove the lawn or grass above their roots. While cultivating around young trees it’s amazing, and not likely very healthy, to find mats of roots very near the surface. Not only are they competing for moisture and nutrients with any grass or weeds, that’s obviously not their deepest and most reliable source of water during our dry months. Deep watering will draw those roots down.

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Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:44 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Deep well watering
Also the deeper roots will find minerals such as calcium and magnesium (among many others), which have been found to be vitally important in long term fruit tree health, and quality of fruit. Shallow roots don't get those.
John S
PDX OR


Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:39 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:54 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Deep well watering
I have a rain water roof collection system. It's really simple, run off from the roof, to the gutters, to a big barrel. I then use this water for irrigation only. This allows me to store water for dryer months. I'm also able to irrigate without using any city water, so I save money there too.


Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:58 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Deep well watering
How big is your tank? In the PNW, it hardly rains MOST YEARS during the summer, so we need a big tank to move the water from winter falling to summer watering of plants.
John S
PDX, OR


Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:26 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:54 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Deep well watering
I currently have a 1100 gallon tank. It cost just under $400. Around August the tank does get low but I've never run out. There are tank systems that go 10,000+ gallons.. It all depends on how much you want to spend (and how much water you need). I cobbled my system together on my own, so it was pretty cheap. I've got under $1000 in the whole system.

So long as you don't hook into your house water system (especially if you're on city water), these systems are very easy to set up. If you're on city water, there are usually codes that make it difficult/prohibitive. They're concerned about you "back flushing" your rainwater into the local water supply (and your rain water ending up in your neighbors house). But if you're doing irrigation only, there are usually no codes.

All my system is, is roof water drained into a big tank. There are two screens for filtering (mostly for leaves and dirt). A big screen then a smaller one. There is a small circulating pump inside the tank that keeps water circulating and helps to reduce algae. This isn't really a big deal as I don't drink the water. The tank is sealed and not in direct sunlight, so mosquitoes/etc are not a problem. The circulating pump is run off of two solar panels I set up. Finally, there's a slightly larger pump that runs the irrigation system, all on a timer.

It's also handy if you live in an area where they limit the days you can water on. When you're on a system like this, there really aren't any limitations.

If my tank ever ran out of water, I could, if I absolutely had to, put some water in the tank from a house water hose. I would do this only because the irrigation system is a closed system and it would just be easier. The irrigation lines, etc are all fed off the rain water tank. But my tank has never ran out of water... yet ;)


Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:10 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:06 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: Deep well watering
astridj74

You have a neat set-up..Where do you find these tanks?


Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:12 am
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