I spent part of the week at work helping out David who is our Irrigation Technician to get our irrigation system going for the summer.

Through this experience I have developed a much deeper appreciation for his work, going down every row to flush out the pipes on both ends. Checking the sprinklers to first make sure they are there, on the stake, not on the ground, or missing, or on a broken stake. Then to make sure the sprinklers are working fine, not blocked, not broken. Not to mention, a real nuisance are irrigation pipes punctured by ladder holes by the field staffs, accidentally, or absent minded-ly. Then, there’s also the damage down by hydra-ladders, the irrigation system definitely doesn’t like heavy things running over it. That said, there’s about 50 sprinklers down a row, and about 20 rows a block, and about 21 blocks in total. Getting wet is part of the job, irregardless of what the temperature of the day is. Its just a mind blowing time consuming work that could have been done faster if people have been more careful.

I also learned a lot more about irrigation working on my garden at home. I have got two taps, one at the front of house which gives out 8.5 Liters per minute and another at the back of house which gives out 10.3 Liters per minute. Its pathetic thanks to the gravity fed water supply system, it won’t power anything that is larger than a brussel sprouts.

The front of house tap is only going to supply for a rather small patch just alongside the house, which I have set up using one-piece spray jets, which requires really low Lpm. On the other hand, for my wildflowers meadow, I need to have an irrigation system that provides maximum coverage with minimum Lpm. I have accepted the fact that I will not be able to irrigate the whole 0.3 hectares at the same time, I have in fact designed a skeleton systems which I can switch individual irrigation lines on and off, and have an irrigation program that alternates through each line. There will be 5 lines with 3.4m spacing apart, each line with 6 micro sprinklers. As the saying goes, 5 bins, 1 cover, you can only cover 1 bin at a time, take turns.

In the future, the 10.3Lpm supply will also have to cover for the strip by the fence. But they will most likely be on drips only. My winter project is to clear up that strip, transplanting most of the plants to the side of house where the clothes lines are. Then, put in some heritage variety plants that will provide for the stomach along the fence line patch. Disease resistance are the most important because I do not want to apply any spray on them. In the name of organic growing out of pure laziness! I’ll also have to salvage one of those 200L drums from the orchard and try my hand on DIY fertigation system. Just seaweed, and maybe compost tea.

Cherry blossoms are coming to an end and we’ll be picking cherries in 6 weeks time. I am taking my practical driving test on Wednesday to finally convert my Malaysian driving license to a New Zealand driving license. Hopefully, I don’t drive like a Malaysian on Wednesday, we may be the best drivers on earth but we’re as close to reckless driving as we can get. Will try to drive like a Kiwi or an Aussie on test day.