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feef706

Sprinklers for palms

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feef706

Im am currently working on my sprinklers for a p. sylvestris and a queen palm i just planted. I currently have installed 2 shrub bubblers on the sylvestris and one bubbler on the queen just wondering what kinda other setups people are using. I try to check out how the landscapers do theirs here locally in the shopping centers. For the most part I just see plain pop-ups spraying all over the base of the palms which isnt how I wanted to go. Ill post a pic of my set up once I get a picture. Thanks James

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DoomsDave

James!

Nice to meet you!

You actually have hit on an interesting topic about which a lot of us may disagree . . .

In my case, here in Cali, I water everything using a hose.  The trouble with automatic systems is they can be a headache to maintain, and you end up using a lot more water than you need to, in my experience.

I'm sure others will disagree . . .

In any case, nice to meet you, and maybe post some pictures of all the wonderful palms in your garden, or around the town . . . .

dave

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Trópico

I use a sprinkler system that has 6 zones, otherwise I'll be using a hose for about 3 hours every day. Automatic system has saved my plants during dry season vacationing. I lost about 85% of my lawn when the system was down for a few weeks. Realize, though, your palms are going to outgrow any overhead watering setup.

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feef706

Heres a few pics of what I just planted and the sprinklers I put in.. My sprinklers are on a lawn pump that runs from a well and is very necessary especially since we had 2 months straight this summer with no rain..

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P. Sylvestris with 2 bubblers

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Another angle

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spockvr6

Feef-

The arrangement youve used is exactly what Ive seen on state/county/commercial palm plantings.  I am sure that, as long as they are run often enough, that the palms will be fine.

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feef706

I got the idea for mine after doing some work in a very upscale neighborhood in my area called Seacrest, it is a neighborhood of beach houses close to Panama City. I saw another arrangment the other day at an outback steakhouse in Destin Florida where the had bubblers running into a piece of 2 or 2 1/2 inch piece of pvc going into the ground at an angle, I dont know if it had a circle connected to it running around the whole root system or what because it was burried but that is what sparked my curiosty as to see what everyone else is doing to keep from spraying their plants directly. Thanks James

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Jeff Searle

(Trópico @ Sep. 06 2006,13:26)

QUOTE
I use a sprinkler system that has 6 zones, otherwise I'll be using a hose for about 3 hours every day. Automatic system has saved my plants during dry season vacationing. I lost about 85% of my lawn when the system was down for a few weeks. Realize, though, your palms are going to outgrow any overhead watering setup.

I am on 2 acres, with a sprinkler system set up. I have 8 zones, there's no way to do any hand watering on my property. But in Calif. where water is expensive and maybe the house lots are small, it might be a good idea to hand water. It also depends how much time you have on your hands. Most of the heads are pop up rotars that cover a large area. And smaller pop ups along my driveway and sidewalk leading up to the front door. I do know one thing, over time as plants grow and fill in, some of these heads have to be raised up some or moved to side.

   Bubblers work good in a concentrated area. It just all depends on your yard size and how costly is the water(I pump out of my own pond,no cst there)if you have to pay for it.

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TooShort

I like that idea I think, but what about the grass. You must have a lot of sprinkler heads to cover your yard. Those are good heads for planter boxes, Ok I guess if you have a large pump or small watering area. I would use that system for my prize palms. Good job I like it :cool:

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feef706

(TooShort @ Sep. 06 2006,15:08)

QUOTE
I like that idea I think, but what about the grass. You must have a lot of sprinkler heads to cover your yard. Those are good heads for planter boxes, Ok I guess if you have a large pump or small watering area. I would use that system for my prize palms. Good job I like it :cool:

The sprinkler system isnt just for my palms, im not that crazy. My lot is about half and acre and the house is only 1100 square feet so I have alot of grass and yes alot of sprinklers. Im just adding to my existing system and Im just wondering how people water the palms directly cause from what ive been told and what Ive notice water directly hitting the base is not good and seems to make the old boots fall off prematurly on palms such as washatonia's..

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TooShort

Maybe, If you water all the time but now it looks like they would just get flooded. If you got good drainage around them palms there shouldn`t be a problem. I think standing water would be bad. just adjust them heads down (GPM) if it looks like water not draining to good. I seen queens growing good in drainage ditches that standing water is always present.

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Matt in SD

Based on everyone elses responses I guess I'm an automatic watering junky.  I have 10 zones on a lot that is a little under 1/4 acre.  Six zones are low pressure (20 psi) drip lines, and 4 zones are pop up spray sprinklers.  Most areas are covered by both drip and spray irrigation.  The pop up or spray heads are very inefficient for larger palms and trees as you'd have to water daily to really get the soil wet down deep.  The drip system is very efficient at doing deep watering in a small area (i.e. minimal water use).  But the spray heads are obviously required for lawn areas, and I also think that palms like to spread some surface roots away from the trunk farther than a drip system would allow.  

You're bubbler system looks fine to me.  The only issue I'd see is if you are going to plant a lot of palms, it's going to take a lot of tubing and couplers to do it that way and it would be cheaper to set it up with drippers (running 1/4" tubing off of your main 5/8" drip line).

I'm pretty responsible about watering, but my plants always look better and grow faster when they're on an automated watering schedule.  I think that the consistency is key and it's really hard to be so consistent doing it by hand.

Matt

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doubravsky

Matt, your setup sounds like what i've been thinking about doing. I've got a 1/4 acre lot. I currently have only sprinklers, and have to water daily to keep everything happy.

I'd like to set up a drip system to help with the deep watering, but I'm worried since there are lots of plants that need more of a surface area watered, like alpinia zerumbet, aroids, musa, and bamboo.

With the two different setups, were you able to cut back on your sprinkler usage much?

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Matt in SD

Doub,

I have the drip line on palms and trees.  Bananas, gingers, smaller shrubs, just get water from the sprinklers unless they are in areas where my sprinklers don't reach.  I started with just the drip system so it's hard to say if I've cut back on watering, but I don't think it's possible to optimally water palms (especially newly planted palms) with just sprinkler heads.  You would still want to do a deep water occaisonally to supplement.  I'm sure this all depends on your soil and climate.  

Honestly I don't worry about water usage much, I don't even look at my water bill anymore.  I just keep the soil moist everywhere all the time.  If my plants are happy, I'm happy.

Matt

PS.  One recommendation on the drip line...don't bury it.  Just lay it on the ground and cover with mulch.  It's much more convenient to have it easily accessible for new plantings, and you're much less likely to accidentally cut it when digging, which causes a real mess downstream of where cut it.

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doubravsky

Thanks, Matt. I've gotta get off my butt and get it done. I added lots of sprinklers along the planter areas to get enough coverage.. and I water heavily... my soil is all DG.. really drains well. But I use too much water with the sprinklers, and get too many weeds covering everywhere so much.

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Walter John

This is a banned topic for me.

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surgeon83

I use those exact same mushroom bubblers on my system.  I like them because you can turn them off and adjust flow. I installed it myself last year and none of the palms have been complaining.  This actually saved me money on water because I tend to stand there with the hose for too long, plus the water comes out of the bubblers slower and has time to soak in whereas when I water with the hose most of it runs off to the sides.

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cryptobionic

Due to my absent-mindedness, every piece of original drip-line has been mangled by shovel and mower years ago, so hand-watering natually suits me best, water pressure regulated by thumbs and I have the callouses to prove it.

As Jeff stated, hand-watering is best for residential lots; you have total control of of your water. You can wash foilage where and when needed (which most palms thrive on, of course) and when done regularly, assures your plants won't host insect infestations.  

When there is absolutely no spare time, I break out the ol' oscillating sprinkler (much more gentle than rotors and portable), which also serves as an effective deterrent against noturnal burrowing animals such as 'possums and armadillos.

My growing areas which depend on my watering adds up to about an acre, so yes, I spend a lot of time doing it, but I've come to think of it as spending quality time with my loved ones.

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cryptobionic

Wal, now you have me curious. Why is this a banned subject for you?

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feef706

The one thing I was worried about with the bubblers is uneven watering. Right now since the palms are freshly planted I still have a little ring barrier about a foot around them to hold the water directly over the root ball. Once I level the dirt out i'm wondering if the water is only going to hit where the bubblers are located and not hit areas where there are no bubblers.. Any thoughts on this? Thanks James

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surgeon83

James, the only way to soak the whole root ball is to make sure the soil topography is just right and have something surrounding the perimeter to keep water in.  Most of my stuff has had a year to settle and the water certainly doesn't cover the rootball perfectly anymore, but the palms don't seem to mind; they take water where they get it.  Another thing to think about as you add more bubblers to your system is that as the flow out of each bubbler decreases, the area over which that water will spread decreases, for example imagine a slow drop moistening a very small area whereas a gush of water may cover the entire rootball from one focus.  I had to keep dividing the zones as I planted more stuff.

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