Subsurface irrigation

Anyone consistently use subsurface irrigation for your gardens? I have a few questions… If so how large of a garden? Do you use this yearly as your go to watering method?

I’m gone a few days at a time. We’re moving 30 miles to a different very sandy soil on half the property. Beach Sand 3-8’ deep. My old growing soil of 40 yrs was lush river loam. I used a series of buried milk jugs w holes drilled in the bottom. Might not been scientifically designed but worked fine for decades. I need something easier to install. Thinking I need more water flow expecting long rows of large tall sativas.

This sand is loved by the fruit trees and watermelon growers.
I’m bringing 4 dump truck loads of my dirt over to fill in drilled holes X feet deep for the plants to grow deep in.

I’m wanting to run 30’ sections of Perforated pvc pipe. Say 4” 2 feet deep. Pipe will be wrapped w a series of cotton absorbing materials then wrapped in air filter materials and wire mesh.
Mmy neighbor has warned me that GOPHERS are a big problem. Poison only moderately helps he said. Thus the reason for no subsurface drip tapes. Gophers love’em!
So many moons ago I used drip lines on surface and deeper push in ground 8” ish emitters. Vermin’s loved my setup. Wasn’t cool for stealth.

So this season I have a laughable garden…living in between two houses and moving was not conducive to a garden full of pretty hazy ladies this year. So this irrigation system is for next yr.

I’m getting to play with marsh, alumnus,creeks in the back of the land and a complete different soil, beach sand on the front property where the house and building are located. All beautiful and secluded.
Ready for the next 10-15 yrs of growing and raising grandkids!
So anyone else subsurface water? Larger scale? Any experiences appreciated.


If you have gophers I would go with raised beds with several layers of chicken wire and landscape cloth to create a barrier

I have massive mole and vile issues at my outdoor because when I built my beds I didn’t “armor” them and we have to put out a million traps


Speaking of gophers, what about predators to encourage them to GTFO? Barn cats maybe?

Ooofff, that sucks. We have them terrible at my house, had to do our veggie garden similar to how you mentioned above (grow location doesn’t have them luckily)

And you can just use a single layer of 1/8” hole galvanized wire mesh. Works great.


In my case, cats really didn’t do shit.

Raised beds were the only thing that worked.

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That’s a bummer. Maybe more dogs lol. The property I’m buying has quite a few pocket gophers ill need to manage :confused:

I have also seen lots of success with raised beds using gopher screen and cloth as a barrier. In cali when i first started growing a good friend taught me all these tricks . We would use 2-3 layers of 1/4" or 3/8" metal screen pushed down flat to the bottom of the raised bed with the sides folded up around the perimeter of the raised beds . Then get some heavy duty staples to secure it in you do not want any gaps around the perimeter because they will push through . Dogs can only do so much they will moderately deter them but they are tough to get my dogs would get them often but it doesn’t stop them or really lessen the problem


Get a pair of Jack Russel Terrriers. You will never deal with small animals again. They’ll damage some stuff in the beginning getting the bastards out of the ground, but smooth sailing after that.


This looks like a fun way to deal with subterranian varmints:

As a kid, I would flood gophers out with a garden hose, then catch em by hand as they came out of their other exit. They always have at least two entrances/exits for just such an occasion. Careful, they like to bite!


I’m a big fan of the gopher blast. A lb of propane down the hole wait a couple of seconds then light it. Gopher parts go flying out the exit holes.
My parents neibor built a wagon dedicated to it. Tows it with his quad. It’s great.


That should be its own youtube channel

Man, the propane is it! Da bomb! Ha
I’m still a recovering drunk pyro of decades past… younger lol…

I Wouldn’t have thought of the cages raised beds. I was going to line a furrow in a V with the mesh. Thank you much.

That topsoil holds water.
I’m still going to auger deep holes in sand and fill with imported topsoil. I’ve read some tree papers showing root growth and recommended watering patterns.

Also found on duck duck go was more lateral line irrigation examples of that type. Just not a large enough test to be reported .

I have mesh from making swamp tubes for the back land marsh. Metal crimping is beginning to suck.

I’m still curious of what to expect from the sand. Started searching using duck duck go for subsurface irrigation in sand . I’m amazed at the lack of international websites I can hit. Enveloped and packaged societies. Fear of information maybe. But I’m pretty much on with my thoughts and ideas.

Anyone else sub irritated outdoors? You like the results?

Old farmer friend took a look at my place again today and said I didn’t have as many gophers as he. Not yet…lol

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What do you consider large scale?

I didn’t go with sub irrigation even though I wanted to because of potential critter issues. Seems like it’s be a nightmare locating then fixing issues

100-200 plants, blocks of 25. Electric fence for deer and insect netting in case of super grasshoppers.

I would do low tech. Bury X” deep. Filled up. Seep away. I’ll just grid. Manifold maybe to mix necessary fertilizer. Grid pattern.

Total sq. Footage ?

6 rows. 4 plants per 30’ rows. So appx 2000 sqft each x 25 plots.
Some plots fed by well to 1500 gallon water tank.
Others from spring creeks pumped into cattle troughs. That land is flat. Delta area like.
Marsh feeds it’s self.

Oops around 10 plots.

Be careful laying subsurface tape with heterogeneous soils. If you’re not careful you’ll end up with all sorts of different depths on a given line and make it next to impossible to water that row effectively. Especially early, some plants will be inundated while others will effectively go unwatered.

I’ve used an oxy/acetylene torch to do this… you don’t need fancy equipment. Make sure you shut the valves on your torch after you’ve gassed up the hole lol.

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Tape is like a drinking straw to gophers.
Blowing the shit out of them is great . I’m looking forward to that.

PVC lateral lines wrapped protectively as reasonable will give be the best way in my vision to deliver deep water to the roots and cool a bit of the soil.
Gophers can but don’t usually eat pvc.

I need to purchase a trash pump and tote to pump water from pond. No utilities for two more months.

Scoured the Internet for different ssi ideas. One cool idea was drip irrigation top and dig vertical 2’ deep 4’ hole and pvc pipe. Drip on the surface and also water deep. Control emitters accordingly. Kinda like having fun with the blond and brunette!
I’ll try to post that drawing in a bit. Only the irrigation pics.

The plan is three different types of ssi on different plots and document the growing results.