Irrigation & bark

Yesterday I added irrigation for some of the new trees in the field. I didn’t have enough parts to do all of them, so will have to go to Home Depot sometime to complete that, but at least a bunch of them are now getting watered:

The corkscrew willow tree is putting on some leaves:

As is the tulip tree:

Irrigation for the leyland cypress additions:

And extended the irrigation to two of the new apple trees, but the new third row doesn’t have irrigation yet, since I didn’t have enough pipe:

Here’s one of the apple tree additions:

Blossoms on one of the new apple trees:

I also shoveled a bunch of bark onto the triangle area between the veggie garden, old chicken coop, and back lawn. This area used to be part of the lawn, so has just had dead grass for a couple of years, so good to finally get it barked:

Another angle:

Turning on garden water

During the winter months, I turn off the water supply to the gardens, to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. Once the overnight temperatures are safely above freezing, I turn them on again, which I did yesterday.

This year, I didn’t have any burst pipes… but I did have one broken tap to repair, that was probably kicked by a landscaper or deer:

An easy repair:

I could then turn on the water. For the east side, I have a valve box that I installed last year, that lets me individually control the water to the chicken coops, veggie garden & shop, and pond/gazebo areas (plus an underground tap that I used over winter to refill the chicken water):

For the west side, there’s another valve box. The boxes tend to fill with dirt, which is fine as it protects them from freezing, but has to be dug out a bit:

I then added water timers to the various garden beds. Large areas typically have automatic timers like this:

Here’s the repaired tap again, with a manual timer attached. We use these manual timers for lower-priority irrigation areas:

I then started filling the fountain. Here’s the frog that lives in the center of the fountain:

The fountain nearly full. We plan to remove the flower girl statue part of the fountain at some point:

I also scooped leaves out of the small pond at the end of the stream. That took a while; it was pretty much chock full of them. Here, you can see the pump:

Then I turned on the pump, and the stream started circulating. So nice to have that running water again, and I’m sure the cats will enjoy it too:

Finally, I mowed all of the lawns and the field:

Mowing selfie:

A busy day of garden maintenance!

Garden plumbing by chicken coops

I have a couple of taps by the old chicken coop, but wanted to add some by the new one too. 

So first up, I dug a ditch for the new pipe, intercepting an existing pipe:

Then I laid out the parts:

And assembled them:

Looking closer, there’s a valve to shut off the pipe after this point (water flows from right to left), since that isn’t used, plus a capped expansion point for possible future use:

And a two-headed tap, so so I can have both a hose to refill the chicken water, plus a timer and irrigation for the window boxes:

And another expansion point inside the chicken run, for a possible tap there:

I also wanted to replace an existing junction next to the old coop, that had a valve with a broken handle:

The new multi-valve system, that lets me shut off water to different areas of the garden, and includes an underground tap that I could use in winter, when the rest of the taps are off:

Here’s the overhead view, showing the valve box:

Orchard irrigation

The new orchard has been watered via a temporary hose & sprinkler recently, but I’ve finally got around to installing proper irrigation.

First I needed to fix a broken tap:


Then I dug a trench and added a pipe and tap for a new row of the orchard that didn’t have a tap before:

While I was at it, I intercepted a pipe and added a tap by the white gazebo, for the new cherry trees there:

Then I could add irrigation sprinker heads around those trees:

And each of the orchard rows:

Extending irrigation to new trees

Much as I’d like to be working on the coop, to get it ready for occupation, it’s a hot day with no sign of rain for a while, so I thought I’d better add irrigation for some new trees around the property. Meanwhile, Jenn started painting the siding; more on that probably tomorrow.

Irrigation pipe inside PVC pipe as conduit under the path.

The “dessert” apple trees (as opposed to cider apples); the one in the foreground is a McIntosh variety that was planted earlier this year, now with irrigation.

Two dogwood trees and dogwood shrubs around the pool area, now irrigated.

Irrigation for a couple of the new cider apple trees.

And a couple more.

A branch off the row of apple trees out to the new oak tree in the field, again buried in conduit. Nothing like digging a ditch in 90°F heat.

Irrigation for the oak tree.

Garden plumbing: pond tap repair

It’s warming up, so it’s finally time to turn on the garden water. We have lots of taps around the property, divided into south, west, and east zones. They are normally turned off and drained over winter, to avoid them freezing and bursting.

Unfortunately, I left the east-side taps on too late last year (so I could refill the chicken water), and I had a couple of bursts: one in the veggie garden, and one by the pond.

So before I could turn on the east water, I had to fix those, which I did late today. While I was at it, I extended the tap by the pond to add a second tap closer to the pond, a bit lower down, so it can be used to drain the water out of the system (and top up the pond, as needed).

I must say, it was fun to get back to garden plumbing projects, even a tiny one like this.

Here’s the burst and resulting ice sculpture, from back in January:

And today’s repair & enhancement (not yet buried):