We've installed a bunch of automated plant watering systems throughout the years. We've done a lot of them based on water timers and pumped water. Lately we've been trying to water directly from the two water tanks we have as it saves on electricity and simplifies the system. This year we did a complex install on the tomato plants that I need to describe in full in another post. But to start here's a simpler install we did in the kiwi plants. Kiwis like a lot of water so they were a good candidate for just giving them drip irrigation continuously.
We used an old vineyard to install our kiwi plants. We planted 6 female plants and one male in the middle of them as kiwi plants need to have both to polinate and grow fruit.
When we overhauled the water installation to that part of the farm a few weeks ago we installed a new tap to use for this kind of purpose.
Unfortunately the tap was on the other side of the small field so the first job was to open a trench. Not an easy task with the summer heat wave we've been going through.
Into that trench we put a 3/4 inch tube to act as the conduit for the actual water tube.
The easiest way to install these tubes is to hold them down on one end while you cover them, otherwise they'll spring up quite easily as they have a natural bend from being spooled.
Once we had the tube in place and the whole trench covered we pushed the actual half inch tube into it and connected it to the tap.
We used a filter on the tap as the water coming from the water tank often has a lot of algae. To water all the kiwis we used a single drip tube which is much more convenient that installing tiny sprinklers all throughout the tube. Because the trench ended in the middle of the kiwi line we spliced the tube with a t-connector and then used simple closure fittings to close both ends.
We just leave the tap continuously open to water the kiwis. Since the tap is fed by the water tank which in turn is filled by our horizontal water well the whole system operates on gravity alone. Come late fall all we'll have to do is close the tap, to be opened again in spring.