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Old 07-29-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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Mushroom bubblers for watering podocarpus trees


How far from the base of the bubbler (the bottom of the bubbler that is screwed on to the riser) should it extend above the dirt. I am trying to keep them close to the dirt so the water pressure available is not trying to push water up all these risers. Each tree is supposed to get about 3 gallons of water twice a week. I have 10 trees on one line and 10 on the other. The bubbler says 2.5 gpm per minute so I am going to adjust them down with the adjusting knob and just let the timer run longer. The ones I have installed are about 2" above the dirt to the bottom of the bubbler. When I get everything flowing I can watch but I am curious now and I wanted to see if someone knew.
I used to have sprinklers that watered these same flower beds and some trees before and had no problem with lack of pressure. But I think these bubblers put out more water per minute. Any thoughts?

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Old 07-30-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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Mushroom bubblers for watering podocarpus trees


Your problem is probably not lack of pressure but lack of water flow with so many bubblers on one line. You can get flow rate from your water company or measure it yourself with a bucket and a stop watch. Just close off all water flow and then open a hose bib to fill a bucket. Extrapolate to get your GPM flow rate. Typical residential is 8-12GPM as I remember. If you have 10 bubblers on each circuit you are trying to draw way more water than you have available! You may have to put them on more circuits.

But you know, why not just switch to drip irrigation and work in gallons per hour instead? Pressure will not be a concern with drip. It is better for the soil since you will not add water so fast it clogs up. The water conservation is obvious I hope. Plants love it and it will encourage nice roots. It goes only where you want it so will reduce weed growth and it doesn't splatter disease spores up on plants.

Drip emitters come in all sorts of configurations from basic drip, and bubblers to misters and even mini rainjet type things. They have draws in a range something like .5 to 12 Gallons per Hour (GPH). There are self cleaning types and versions that compensate for pressure along long pipe runs. Most of the designs I did were with simple drip emitters in the 1-4 GPH range. I did use some 1-2GPH misters for plants like azaleas that liked their leaves moistened. I started using it during Northern California water rationing when working as a landscape designer. I never stopped and put most designs I did on drip systems except for turf areas. Clients loved it too.

Drip components are easy to install and are inexpensive. Some legacy irrigation valves may not work with the low flow rate but they are not expensive either. Some timers may not allow long enough watering cycles but you can usually set them to repeat.

You should shop at an irrigation supply outlet or online for best selection. Box stores have limited options and of course cheap quality emitters. I guess you could get the tubing from them.

You can also add things like fertilizer injectors to drip irrigation systems. Installing the emitters is a matter of using a punch and inserter for the type emitter you buy. Punch a hole. Plug it with an emmitter. It does not get much easier? You do want to make sure you put a filter on drip lines.

For your podacarpus trees, consider placing several smaller emitters rather than one large one.

The only drawback to drip irrigation is that at least the part of the tubing with the emitters has to be on the surface. Ground covers and other plants will soon disguise it though. However, it may not be the best choice for areas subject to a lot of foot traffic from people or pets.

I warn you, a nicely designed drip system is as much fun to watch as paint drying so if you are looking for high drama while you water, some wasteful approach in GPM would be better.


Last edited by user1007; 07-30-2012 at 06:10 AM.
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