Automatic watering systems

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Automatic watering systems

Post  David D on Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:25 pm

While my trees are sleeping I am planning for spring. I was wondering if anyone has some suggestions on automatic watering systems. I plan on handwatering daily but there are times during hot dry days my trees suffer while at work. I have looked at prior posts but was looking for suggestions on set ups or some guidance as to systems either homemade or purchased which members have found reliable.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  DougB on Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:29 am

Many use the drip systems on a timer. A pain to set up, but as a back-up they are not bad. Use the 'search' function above and search for 'automatic' and you will get several threads. Have specific questions - just ask away.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  David D on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:52 am

I have several questions mist vs drip irrigation? Sources of supplies or kits members have used with success? Designs or plans for do-it-yourselfers.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:30 pm

David D wrote:I have several questions mist vs drip irrigation? Sources of supplies or kits members have used with success? Designs or plans for do-it-yourselfers.

I use  DripWorks (dripworks.com) mister/sprayers, and a Home Despot battery operated timer.  But I use it as my primary source of watering.  Change the 9V battery every spring.  Water once or twice a day, depending on the time of year.  Remove the timer in the winter and detach the spray system from the faucet.  I hook up the spray system during warm spells and water manually in winter.

This is a better system to use if all your trees are together on large tables, but not so good for fancy back yard pedestal display set ups. Too much hose snaking around the yard.




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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  Wander on Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:27 pm

Jim, I am going to be putting in place a watering system for my trees this summer. Automatic of course, with it being my main source of watering for this table. The table is about 3ft wide by 6ft long. In your experience, would I be better off with misters, or with drip watering for each pot?

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  FrankP999 on Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:50 am

Jim,
Thanks for the photograph. How long does the timer run for your summer 2x a day waterings? Thanks.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:52 am

Obviously, I like misters. Drip systems tend not to get the entire pot evenly watered, I suspect. However, in some areas you may get a few fungal issues if misting is your only route -- as mine is.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  Tom on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:02 am

As Jim indicates it depends on your local climate.
Misters give great coverage but they get everything wet. I found that in my climate (UK) this led to lots of growth of moss on tree trunks, branches etc, and algae on the benches. I've used drippers exclusively for 2-3 years now. In a hot, dry climate I'd use misters.
I was also concerned about evenness of watering throughout the pot, though it's not caused any problems so far. I use a very free-draining granular substrate (mainly moler clay) and water heavily. How long you actually need to water for will depend on your flow rate at the nozzle.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:13 am

In the full heat of the summer, the misters go for about 15 minutes each time. Less when it is cooler for a spell.

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Misters

Post  Wander on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:02 am

Jim, can I ask which mister you use?
http://www.dripworks.com/category/misters
I didn't see anything here that looks quite like what I see in your picture.


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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:38 am

My system is at least 20 years old. I'm sure dripworks has many different choices these days, but the stuff on this page -- http://www.dripworks.com/category/misters -- looks right. You'd do best sending them an e-mail and getting their suggestion.

FYI, Home Depot carries DripWorks stuff (and others) and the folks there seem to know the answers, too, so ask them. I assume Lowes does too.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  John Quinn on Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:35 pm

David, I totally redesigned my yard in 2013, installing a pool and designing a display area. I have some pictures here.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t13838-my-new-display-area#142877

As you can see, I have some mister heads in the elevated area...similar to what can be found at the big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot). They are tied into the inground drip irrigation zone for shrubs in that area. I did incorporate a simple in-line on-off valve to isolate the misters in case I want to shut them off and rely on hand watering. I have that zone come on again in mid afternoon when it's hot for 15 minutes to cool things off. The various mist heads are very inexpensive so you can experiment and see what you prefer.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  fiona on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:34 am

John Quinn wrote: I have that zone come on again in mid afternoon when it's hot for 15 minutes ...
Gosh, you only have 15minutes of heat in an afternoon. Have you moved to Scotland? Laughing

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:14 am

fiona wrote:
John Quinn wrote: I have that zone come on again in mid afternoon when it's hot for 15 minutes ...
  Gosh, you only have 15minutes of heat in an afternoon.  Have you moved to Scotland?   :lol:

Danged English teachers! (Or is that danged "teachers of English"?) Where DID that modifier go?

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  juniper07 on Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:28 pm

A lot of people will say that they need watering system in summer, but keep in mind that spring can make the soil equally dry. Plants absorb more moisture when leaves haven't hardened up. Spring air can be a lot dryer than summer air (though not hot). Not to mention, some spring days can be really windy and can dry up your bonsai pots within few hours (especially if your tree has leafed out).

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:21 pm

juniper07 wrote:A lot of people will say that they need watering system in summer, but keep in mind that spring can make the soil equally dry. Plants absorb more moisture when leaves haven't hardened up. Spring air can be a lot dryer than summer air (though not hot). Not to mention, some spring days can be really windy and can dry up your bonsai pots within few hours (especially if your tree has leafed out).

All depending on where you live, of course.

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Re: Automatic watering systems

Post  John Quinn on Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:06 pm

fiona wrote:
John Quinn wrote: I have that zone come on again in mid afternoon when it's hot for 15 minutes ...
  Gosh, you only have 15minutes of heat in an afternoon.  Have you moved to Scotland?   Laughing

It's only hot for 15 minutes. The rest of the time it's uncomfortably warm. Cool

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Re: Automatic watering systems

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