Prepping Positively

Watering Options for Your Food Forest

August 29, 2022 Ann Marie Season 1 Episode 15
Prepping Positively
Watering Options for Your Food Forest
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode we are discussing the watering options for your food forest.

Episode 15 PP

Watering Options For Your Food Forest

Last week we finished up the layers of the food forest. Today we will be talking about how to water your food forest and the options available.

Here we go...

Hi and welcome back to the Prepping Positively Podcast. I’m Annie and today we are talking about how to provide water for your food forest.

Eventually you will not have to really water your food forest. At least not regularly. In the long-term, it should become pretty much maintenance free for the most part and should flourish from the rainfall.

However, if you are just getting your food forest established, water is going to be an important factor to consider.

There are quite a bit of options available for providing water to your newly established food forest. However, we are going to talk about three of them today.

The three most common watering types are:

  1. Ground irrigation
  2. Overhead sprinklers

3. Swales

Let’s talk about these one at a time,

Ground irrigation is probably the most common form of irrigation. It may include things such as soaker hoses or PVC DIY watering.

I have some rain barrels set up on the main house that collect more than enough rainwater. We attach soaker hoses to these and allow the water to trickle to the plants we choose.

If you are wondering how to do this let me explain. I have raised beds in the backyard. I took a few old hoses that were not in the best shape and laid them from the rain barrels throughout the beds. Everywhere that the hose was close to a plant we drilled small holes that the water could barely drip out of.

The hoses stay in place at all times. We simply turn the faucet on the rain barrel on and voila, drip irrigation.

I currently have not removed the grass in that yard, so when we mow I do have to lift the hoses and then put them back. Once we get all the mulch walkways in, the hoses will simply lay along the ground or we can bury them.

I also have some soaker hoses in my food forest. I simply lay them wherever they need to water and if needed I just connect the other end of the hose to the spigot and water.

You can also make a more permanent watering system that drips out of PVC. You simply run your pipes where they need to go except you bury all the pipes except where the plants are. Then you drill tiny holes randomly to allow the water to spray the nearby plants.

The PVC system is ideal, but it does cost to buy all of the fittings and pipe to get started. In the long run though, it will last longer than any hose. So you have to weigh your options here.

The second option for watering is with overhead sprinklers. This option includes a sprinkler attached to the end of a hose and can be moved and placed wherever it is centrally needed and does the most coverage.The sprinkler can be put away when not needed.

I use a tripod sprinkler from Home Depot. I love it because for a large area it works well. Mine covers 80 feet easily but that will depend on how much pressure your hose puts off and how long the hose is too.

Sprinklers are great, however, they do need to be moved. The are not spot on, meaning that they water an entire area which in many cases may be too much water going where you don’t necessarily need it to go.

Rolling up hoses can be pain in the butt too. However, there are many sprinkler styles available so be sure to find the one that works best for you.

The third option is by using swales. Now this is one area that I have not really become educated in simply because I live in a sand pit basically with completely flat ground.

A swale is basically a raised mound of dirt that allows the water to stay or run where you need it to be. Like I said, we have a lot of sand so unless it is really pouring down rain, the water goes in the ground way before we could direct it.

I do use concrete blocks and logs strategically placed so the rain water when running does not wash out certain areas, but swales are not for me.

You can search YouTube for some videos on how to create swales if you think you might want to try them.

So now you are aware of three different methods of watering your food forest. Do any of these work for you? Don’t be afraid to try new things on your property. If something doesn’t work, try something else.

OK, get ready for next week! We are going to go into the specific plants for your food forest. Until then, happy gardening.