In recent years there has been an increased level of interest in small farms. Some of these are being bought by retirees, others are investments made by younger people who no longer wish to be part of the traditional rat race.
Of course, choosing to run a small vegetable farm is not an easy option. Many chores need to be done, from plowing the land to planting, fertilizing, and nurturing. Perhaps one of the most important elements is watering. It’s not practical to walk around your farmland daily with a watering can. It’s not even something you can do with your hose pipe. You need an irrigation system!
Choosing The Irrigation System
The first step in this particular battle is choosing which irrigation scheme is going to work for you. One option you may not have considered but is a practical solution is traveling irrigators. These are effectively huge reels of hosepipe that can be moved between fields.
They work very well with a spray system.
The idea is you connect the traveling irrigator to the water supply and it pumps water across your vegetables in a spray, turning as it does to ensure it captures the entire field. When finished, you move it to the next field and repeat.
A traveling irrigator can reduce the cost of your irrigation system and requires minimal effort to establish.
The Water Supply
Generally, farms don’t just connect to the main water supply and use the water. This is treated water that is needed by households. Farmers need to find or create their own water source, in line with current government guidelines.
For many farmers, this means locating the local water source and creating a pumping station. There are many water channels that run across the land, if you can connect a pump and direct it to key points on your land you’ll be able to attach your traveling irrigator and water your plants as needed.
But, if this isn’t an option because there is no water source, or it dries up in the summer months, you’re going to need to install a borehole.
These are drilled by specialist companies straight into the ground. They go below the level of the water table to ensure you hit the water level below the earth, effectively ensuring you have water whenever you need it.
The borehole will need to be connected to a pump which can then connect to your traveling irrigator. It’s a very effective way of ensuring your vegetables have the water they need and it’s surprisingly cost-effective.
Extras To Consider
Don’t forget that your irrigation system needs a good filter to ensure only water is distributed and no backflow occurs. You’ll also need a power supply for the pump, to ensure the water can get where it needs to go. It is advisable to speak to a qualified electrician regarding this.
Other available options are drip irrigation and sprinklers. However, the traveling irrigator is easier to set up, use, and move. That makes it the best option for irrigation on your small vegetable farm.