Rural Water Sources: Irrigation Tips

If your land doesn't have running water try these rural water sources irrigation tips to set up water for your farm.

| July/August 1977

  • Learn how these rural water sources irrigation tips can help you on the farm.
    Learn how these rural water sources irrigation tips can help you on the farm.
    Photo by Fotolia/sergei_fish13

  • Learn how these rural water sources irrigation tips can help you on the farm.

The problem of farm land without a water supply can be solved with these rural water sources irrigation tips.

Rural Water Sources: Irrigation Tips

Dear friends out there) in Rural Land, and those who hope to be: Don't despair if you couldn't (still can't) afford to buy a piece of acreage with a river, creek, or spring on it. That's no reason for your garden to dry up every summer for lack of water. Mother Nature, in her gravitational largess, has given you Pond, and Siphon, and Drainpipe . . . and all three are quite easy to use.

The Irrigation Plan is Very Simple

I believe it is generally accepted that pond water — which contains dissolved nutrients leached out of the soil — is superior to well, creek, or spring water for irrigation. If you're still looking for land, then, you'd be wise to check out any prospective piece of property with an eye open for a hill or slope that can accommodate a pond on its top or side . . . and a garden at its foot. And if you've already bought your homestead, I hope you're lucky enough to have such a hill somewhere on the place.

We have just such a situation on our 40 acres down here in the Missouri Ozarks. And halfway up what has become our favorite slope — right across a gully that used to fill with runoff during heavy rains — we've built a dam. And at the bottom of that hill, ten feet below the surface of the pond which now stands behind the dam (and off to one side where natural overflows from the reservoir never reach), we've put in a half-acre garden.

So much for the pond. Our drainpipe is 200 feet of 3/4 inch black plastic (PVC) pipe which runs from within the mini-lake, over the dam, and down to the garden. The upper end of the drain is wide open (if your pond contains a lot of floating trash, it might be a good idea to put a screen over your pipe's inlet), and the drain's outlet end is fitted with an ordinary on/off valve or tap or spigot such as is used as an outdoor faucet on most home waterlines. We've screwed two pieces of threaded (on both ends) 1/2 inch galvanized iron pipe into the valve's inlet and outlet openings. The PVC pipe is securely fastened to the first with hose clamps and, any time we want to, we can screw an ordinary garden hose onto the second.

We've set our waterline up this way, of course, so that the plastic pipe — which won't take much bending or stress — can remain more or less stationary while we drag the attached hose around to water the far corners of the garden.

5/3/2013 7:45:07 AM

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Olmec Sinclair
7/26/2009 2:31:29 AM

I am looking into this siphon idea. My situation is a little different where I have a dam that I want to empty automatically when it reaches a certain level, resetting the siphon ready to fill the the level again and repeat. My thought is that since the level of the dam would fill slowly, the point at which it would 'tip' over a u-bend in a fixed siphon outflow pipe would only start it siphoning slowly and not at full capacity. Anyone have any thoughts on this to share?

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