Hello everyone. I’m sure most of you have gone over this before but I can’t find answers to a few specific questions. I will post a few pictures with what I have done so far but I think it is wrong and overkill from the research I have been reading😩.
I have several mixed fruit trees that are 2 to 3 years old and all semi dwarf with a few dwarf. All of them are spaced around 12 to 15 feet other than a few in an area on the north side of my yard. On that side I am trying to do a Dave Wilson style with a few trees. In all of these areas I will be placing a layer of cardboard and 4 to 6 inch layer thick of wood chips. They also have a flow control valve with a filter in each area.
So the first set of trees are on the southside in a row and there are six of them. I am also going to be planting down the side of the fence A blueberry bush, row of raspberries, blueberry bush and so on all the way down the fence. For a total of five blueberry bushes and five rows of raspberries.
The second set of trees are in an L pattern on the North and west corner of the fence. There are eight trees. Three on the northside and five on the Westside. I will be putting in strawberries in rows in between some of the trees or in front of them. A few dwarf blackberry bushes in between other ones.
Then on the southside of my property I have several trees in a different type of pattern. Some are planted close to each other. 2 peach pair. Nectarine and pluot pair. Single peach and a persimmon tree. In between these trees I’m going to put small grow boxes for squash, melons and pumpkins. They will be tied in with watering of my garden that is on the north side of my house.
When I first set up a watering system for my fruit trees I thought of doing spirals around the trees and drilling small 1.4 mm holes every 1 foot. I was going to try and see how it would water without drip emitters to try and save money With the plan that if it did not water properly I would replace the holes with drip emitters. They work amazing but One of the challenges I have had during the summer is the water that is left over in the tube in between waterings builds up calcium as it evaporates and has been plugging the holes. After re-drilling several holes I have decided to look into drip emitters. I have researched a ton and called several nurseries and can’t get answers.
Every nursery that I have talk to and most of the Internet sites Suggested setting up a drip system and generally you will put two 2.0 gal dripping emitters on each side of the tree when they are first planted And water X amount of hours to get X amount of gallons per week. I understand that part. I decided in the end to go with big water wells underneath the newly planted tree as suggested when reading a blog on this site. Thank you to that because my trees have growing amazing. Rarely do any of the sites/nursery talk about the set up of a mature fruit tree and watering. I talked to a landscaping gentleman who told me the most I would ever need is 4-5 drip emitters and one large circle of the drip line of my tree that put out 2 gallons per hour and run X amount of hours. This goes against my whole plan of putting in one drip emitter every foot in a spiral around my tree. It also does not seem like it would be enough for the tree and it’s root growth. I would imagine that if I am only supplying 4 emitters in a 15 foot circumference that there would be dry spaces in between the emitters and roots would not grow there. I would like to give my fruit trees and garden the best chance possible to provide good fruit. I have already purchased a lot of 1/2 inch drip emitter tubing so to switch to a different watering method would be a huge waste of money. if one ring around the tree is sufficient though I could use the drip tubing for other areas of my yard. My grandpa used to just throw down a hose at the base of each tree and forget about it for a day. It worked perfect for him. LOL his trees were amazing. So after my big long explanation here are my questions.
If I install drip emitters will I have the same calcium buildup problem?
Do I need to consistently cover the entire area underneath a canopy of a mature fruit tree with drip emitters? And if I were to do this like I thought I would run one drip emitter every foot in a spiral Which would equal 50 to 60 emitters ( this is what I think might be overkill after reading a lot and also cost a lot)
Would one circle underneath the drip line of the canopy with a emitter every foot water the tree enough to grow properly? With increasing the rings size as the tree grows( i realize I would have to calculate the amount per wk but would this style provide enough?)
Is it more about the amount of water that is put out under the tree then the location of emitters?
One YouTube channel I watched only had four 2gallon emitters About 3 ft from the trunk in a square pattern for a large apple tree. It was underneath a lot of wood chips but appeared to work. I just don’t understand what would be the best set up for drip emitters underneath a mature fruit tree in the end. My plan was to set everything up now, cover it with wood chips and forget about it for the next several years. Well , just maintain and check them to make sure they are working. But that’s it. If the suggested way to do it is one single ring around each tree that is what I would like to do. It would seem like it would be less to maintain than several circles around the tree in a spiral. Also less costly with drip emitters. Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Even if you tell me I’m crazy. LOL i would love to see photos of anyone’s set up if you have them also.