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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Fw: Synthitic Carpet Mulch [continued]

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  • les landeck
    Morning John, i m going to try to explain my irrigation lay out, maybe it will give you another way to look at your needs. i was on an old apple orchard
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 17, 2003
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      Morning John,

      i'm going to try to explain my irrigation lay out,
      maybe it will give you another way to look at your
      i was on an old apple orchard planting between the
      trees.the trees were in a 20' by 30' on a south slope
      many trees had come down and those that remained we
      trimmed up to walk under.
      to reduce erosion we ran our beds in the twenty foot
      wide lanes this provided room for three four foot wide
      beds with two foot wide walking lanes, and a possible
      one foot wide bed down the tree runs. the beds were a
      hundred foot long on average.

      this required ten low flow Israeli sprinklers putting
      out .9 gal. per minute these mount on 18" steel rods
      that we mounted on 3' to 6' wood stakes to get above
      the plants. this gave good head to head coverage. i
      called this 20' by 100' area a section (2000 sq. ft.)

      each section had a manual red/black 3/4" valve with
      three or four sections per 3/4" buried polytube that
      returned to the well and a double valve one manual and
      one electric. with only 15 gal per minute only two
      sections could be open at a time.
      the established beds were watered at night and new
      beds germinating in the day some times twice do to the
      uncovered seed, until the seed opened.

      as you noted sections were planted with seed of equal
      need and production time so sections rotated as a
      unit. as you mentioned you work with 50' beds this
      only adds the cost of extra section valves.

      you are already on the right track so not much to say
      maybe no more than a sounding board.

      my supplier is Harmony farm supply in Graton, about 8
      miles west of Santa Rosa. web page
      http://www.harmonyfarm.com with a standing account
      there is a break on irrigation cost only. i pay about
      half for my T-Tape couplers.

      hope this dosen't distract you the next two weeks.

      Do Well John Les

      --- John Warner <daddyoat@...> wrote:
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: John Warner
      > To: Fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, November 17, 2003 6:50 AM
      > Subject: Synthitic Carpet Mulch [continued]
      > [This, hopefully, will come through as corrected
      > version of my previous post in which a number of
      > lines, usually ending the paragraphs, did not come
      > through. The original version has eight distince
      > paragraphs or sentences separated by paragraph
      > breaks. If this comes through the same way as the
      > original, my apology for cluttering up the board. --
      > John.]
      > Thank you Jamie and Les for your extensive comments
      > on carpeting.
      > I've been giving the most serious consideration to
      > the problems with irrigation that Jamie has been
      > pointing out. Actually I'm had nagging doubts that
      > I have not been doing it right for some time.
      > During the rainless summers here near Fresno,
      > California, my 2 horsepower well pump runs all day,
      > every day, and sometimes into the night, watering,
      > to a large extent, spent flower crops and weeds
      > already killed with RoundUp. I have thought it a
      > virtue to have biologically integrated beds--each
      > bed holding a variety of crops, even mixing in
      > alfalfa and clover. An idea that I've found
      > unsustainable is selectively yanking out old crops
      > and plugging new crops in the holes in the beds.
      > There are some problems with this. One is that the
      > babies hardly ever amount to much when planted
      > alongside more robust and mature neighbors. Another
      > is that new plantings get scattered all around my
      > acre garden but the daily hand watering required to
      > get them established gets quite unmanageable.
      > Walking and dragging hose are not tasks that have
      > much direct payoff in the market garden.
      > So I am coming to the conclusion that everything
      > needs to be getting off to an even start. This
      > means breaking down my 150 beds in to separately
      > irrigated, say, 50 foot beds all planted to the same
      > crop at the same time. Then as soon as the crop is
      > over the hill, the water gets shut off and
      > preparation starts for the next planting.
      > No-till has been defined as planting into a "killed
      > cover crop". I side-step this a little bit by
      > growing my some of my mulch in my very wide
      > interbeds for raking up and applying to the
      > permanent beds covered with more or less permanent
      > drip tape. Mowing over drip tape is not a very
      > viable practice because one ends up fixing a lot of
      > drip tape. Even splinters thrown by the mower blade
      > will damage the tape and repair couplings cost 60
      > cents or so and take time to install. And, thanks
      > to Jamie and others on this list, I have growing
      > doubts about RoundUp.
      > So I'm thinking of a way to use carpeting that goes
      > beyond cutting it into strips, laying them on a
      > previously mulched bed [mulch weed contaminated
      > though and decomposed and mixed with enough soil to
      > support weed germination]. This is to cut the
      > carpeting into 4 to 6 foot squares to apply on top
      > of a stomped down or rolled down previous crop laced
      > with sheet mulched material from the interbeds.
      > Jamie has raised the correct objection that nothing
      > is going to grow up through the carpeting and
      > consequently the carpeting will lead to an overall
      > deterioration of soil quality or perhaps less
      > increase in quality that might be otherwise
      > possible] due to less production of organic matter.
      > But this objection would be side-stepped by only
      > leaving the carpeting in place for the 30 or 40
      > days, or perhaps a little longer, that Les has
      > suggested. Now think of this, Fukuokans: suppose
      > one's garden had 12 thousand square yards [or
      > meters] of beds and this
      > aspiring-to-get-more-with-less gardener cup up 100
      > square yards of old carpeting as mentioned above.
      > She would then have enough carpeting to keep one
      > twelfth of the beds covered at all times. On a
      > monthly rotation,all beds could be weed sanitized
      > once a year. A somewhat longer treatment may be
      > necessary--I would think particularly for nasty
      > perennials such as nut sedge, johnsongrass and
      > bindweed. This then would seem to be a very viable
      > alternative to herbicide, tillage, hand or
      > mechanical cultivation. And I think it would
      > overcome Jamie's objection with respect to
      > impingement of overall plant growth particularly
      > when seen in the light of the other inputs the
      > carpeting would replace.
      > It has been my desire to live the very simple life
      > suggested in the Tao Te Ching -- and by Blake too
      > -- to see the world in a grain of soil and to know
      > the world without ever having to leave earshot of
      > the crowing cocks and barking dogs in my own
      > neighborhood. But I'll be leaving tonight on one
      > of them there fancy airplanes for Kansas City to
      > visit a lady whose charms are such that she might
      > possibly persuade George W. Bush to consider
      > pacifism as a life-style. I'll be leaving the
      > garden [and the kids too--I'm a single daddy] ] to
      > the self-organizing principle of wu wei and do not
      > expec to be doing much posting in the next week or
      > more.
      > I'll try to catch up when I return.
      > Best wishes to all . . . John
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
      > removed]

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