This is a second video of my plants 074property - YouTube

Are those trees Nellie Stevens holly? I planted a row over ten years ago and for 2-3 years they needed to be watered during dry periods but after that time period they flourished without any care at all and were beautiful.

Yes they are Nellie R Stevens. Everyone tell me they will do well. Ive lost easily 100 plus so

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the fine sand could be a fraction of loam or clay. once it’s wetted it usualy lets water pass better. But when dry, water just lays on top.

Have you done a soil test?

Could also help you with your choice of drip. (faster draining soil needs more smaller emitters spaced out)

Chipdrop has been futile for me lately as well. During the winter the response was instantaneous. I can understand why the demand would be high where you are if your soil is the common thing around there. Any organic matter you can get for free, such as stable waste or leaves can do the job. But I suspect you already know the drill based on your response to my comment.

I keep saying I am going to have it tested but I have yet to do so, the guy just came out for the soil test for septic and concurred that its nothing more than sand but I get your point, it really should be tested.

Marion County evidently sells their organic matter to another to I think Lee county? Anyway I believe or have been told that there is another somewhat local county that will give them away but Id need to get someone with a large truck to haul them ( as in a very large dumptruck ) and Im just not at that point yet.

If I can somehow manage to keep going the trees Ive planted so far with what chips I have than that will be a good thing.

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I’m guessing your mean Ocala, Fl.

You could sink a 4" pvc pipe next to each tree. About 18 inches of that is a gallon of water. It basically holds the water until the soil drinks it up, by the time you finish one end you should be able to do another round to top it off.

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But would it get the water to where the trees can best use it? I suspect the roots would find it so it seems like a good idea, but I might try 2 of them half that height.

The purpose of the PVC pipe on the ground is to hold water so the soil gets a chance to suck it up before it evaporates or flows away. You stick the pipe in the ground about 10 inches, fill it up with water; it may take an hour or six but it will slowly seep down, where just as slowly capillary action distributes said water.


I’ve tried a slow drip with a hose in some soils and it can run for hours and only moisten a tiny area while it drains below the root zone. Capillary action only gets me so far.

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unless your in heavy clay soil. I would not expect this much from capillary action.

This playlist goes into it.

Another episode (on drip) also specifies the different area’s each emitter can effectively wet (inc capillary action) And thus the needed emitter spacing for different soils.

I can’t quickly find the exact episode/time right now though.

edit: i here is the link going on about drip emmiters on different soil types.

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The sole point of using PVC pipes is to slow down the water long enough for it to be absorbed. His is not even clay but a particular soil where water would just run off. Such soils you can get upwards of 70 water runoff, water that doesn’t get anywhere near the subsoil. With a pipe that water will be there as long as it takes for the soil to take it.

There is not really much more than capillary action and gravity to move that water down. If the pipe will fail, any other irrigation system will fail similarly on top of the amount lost to runoff

There is soil wetting. Capillary action and gravity but also some other things. In my experience the reality is usually more complex than i think.

However your pipe likely fails to efficiently water.

Does not mean other systems will fail. Like drip, drip works excellent on poorly wettable soils.

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Those are great resources but you don’t seem to get how the pipe works. Just answer me this: You fill the pipe with water, you come back a few hours later, the water is gone. Where did the water go?

Wettability? Dealt with. Hydrophobic? Dealt with. Evaporation? Dealt with. Runoff? Dealt with. It is not an efficient system if you have thousands of trees but to help establish a small orchard/tree lot it works pretty good at putting water into the soil. If there is a cap of mulch on top even better.

One thing I would add; PVC pipes were a good alternative to drip bags because of costs. It looks like the jump on construction materials have also affected PVC pipes. Still cheaper than drip bags but not as cheaper as they used to be.

you don’t seem to get how capillary action and efficient irrigation works.

The water from the pipe mainly drained to deeper soil layers or to the groundwater. only a tiny fraction actualy saturating the rootzone of the plant.

There is a reason almost all irrigation systems don’t burry the drip lines or irrigation point 10-18 inches or even deeper.

Especially since in this case we have very sandy soil, with a poor wettability, a system that releases water on only a few points and very deep into the soil, in a soil with low capillary action. Seems like a horribly inefficient system.

What exactly do you mean with?

Hydrophobic? Dealt with

And how does this differ from?

Wettability? Dealt with.

Or are you just saying the same thing twice?

you’re also talking about mulch. However if you have mulch you rarely run into wettability problems. Wettability has as one of the sources the topmost layer going so dry it gets poor wettability. This happens way less if that topmost layer is protected by mulch.
One of the problems with low wettability is soil erosion due to runoff because the large peak flow from irrigation can’t saturate the soil fast enough and builds up on top. Mulch also heavily mitigates this problem by acting as a buffer.

Yup, you are not getting it. Nobody is suggesting a pipe going 10~18 inches into the soil bellow root level



Me? For establishing trees I would go shallower, with a lot more pipe sticking out for volume and the drain holes exactly where I want them, pointing at the tree. Once the tree is established I remove the pipes. Or at least I used to do this but now I’m on sandy soil with no percolation problems.

All the pipe does is create a water reservoir so the soil can have a chance at soaking said water. It gets delivered at whatever depth you want, most likely starting a few inches under the soil. Enough so it doesn’t run off.


By the way wettability and hydrophobic are not synonymous; a dry soil can turn hydrophobic, refusing to absorb water until the moisture level raises enough. His type of soil actually has wettability issues; it refuses to absorb water because of the particle size of the fine sand. It is hydrophobic, but it also has structural wettability issues he needs to consider.

i found this person in this topic that has been suggesting exactly that. If quoted his posts below for you.

You say that “im not getting it”
I think i am getting it. But i just disagree with your claims.

I disagree because
-your claims go against university/extension recommendations (as far as i have seen. If you have a source recommending this system please share)
-it goes against what i know about physics and soil science.
-it goes against sources like the YouTube video i posted. And that guy literally wrote the book on drip irrigation in canada. I would classify him as a world expert.
-you repeatedly make claims without citing sources. (those claims also seem to go against current science.)

Your doing subsurface irrigation with the pipe. In soils with high capillary action, or if irrigating way more than needed, you can get away with it.

For sandy soils (like in OP’s case) recomendations are around 1-2 inches deep. I do not see a 18" long pipe standing stabily when filled with water if it is only dug in 2 inches. If dug in deeper you get way less spread and way less area wetted of the root zone.

i posted it earlier. But i suspect you have not checked it out.

Compare shallow and deep surface area irrigated. And compare sandy vs clay. And you’ll understand why irrigating deep in sandy soils is a bad idea.

Did you see the pictures? Did you notice how I said I like to keep most of the pipe above the ground to serve as a water reservoir? Can you see how you can put the holes to whatever depth you want?

18 inches is a gallon of water, that number is given so you can figure out how much water you are putting each time. 10 inches just gives the pipe enough stability so it doesn’t topple over. So a 3’ pipe, lets you hold 2 gallons of water to slowly water your trees, with drip holes at whatever depth makes you happy.

But do whatever makes you happy. You seem to be more interested in nit picking and being right so google up ‘deep pipe irrigation’ and go argue with the sources. Me? When my soil conditions were different it made watering young trees as snap.