In the Trenches

Here's how I spent most of today: digging this trench (with significant help from Noel).

The trench

The main irrigation trench in the back runs thirty feet along the East fence. Four pipes will go in there: the back lawn sprinklers, the drip for plants along that wall (the planting bed is going to be between where the trench is now and the fence; to the right will be a pathway), and two lines for the future greenhouse that I'm just going to cap off. I'm actually considering a fifth line, to run to the very back of the lot, but I think I will run that up the other side through the orchard.

As you can see, we have not been watering the lawn. This is half because we are lazy, lazy gardeners, and half because it's a tremendous waste of water now while we're still using municipal water for irrigation.

Laid out pipe

Before I began trenching, I laid out the pipe I have along the paths it will follow, which is giving me a much better idea of how much more pipe I need to buy (lots). It also showed me where the trench needed to go, though I pretty much knew that from my drawings already.

The sprinklers in the back lawn (red flags mark where they are going) use the most water of any part of the system, so they are fed by a 1" pipe. Everything else is on 3/4" that steps down to 1/2" for the microsprinklers. Most of those pipes will be routed under the house, and then shift to drip mainline (1/2" black tubing) when they pop out near the center of their zone. The PVC pipe is just a lot more durable than tubing, so I'm trying to make long runs be PVC rather than tubing where possible.

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posted by ayse on 06/11/06