Best Way to Reuse Drip Tape in the Fall Garden

Benefits of Using Drip Tape

The easiest way to maximize garden production with effective irrigation and steady water-soluble fertilizers is through the use of drip tape. Most people believe that drip tape can be used either on top or buried in the soil. However, drip tape was really made to go underneath the soil in the garden. This allows the irrigation tape to stay in place, decrease disease pressure and reduce damage caused by natural causes. It also provides plenty of needed nutrients for plant growth and healthier plants in the vegetable garden. Not only does it apply equal amounts of irrigation to the plants, but it conserves water by going directly to the plant roots in the vegetable garden, unlike overhead irrigation systems.

How to Reuse Drip Tape

On this week’s episode, Travis is explaining how to reuse drip tape in the vegetable garden. Since we like to plant in the garden year-round, we reuse our drip tape for multiple growing seasons at a time. Travis currently has red cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussel sprouts planted. As well as, harvested some broccoli and swiss chard from the vegetable garden. There is currently an empty spot where he had his bok choy variety planted, but now it’s time to plant another vegetable variety. When reusing drip tape we simply clean up the area and lay the drip tape back down to plant more in the garden. In order to reuse the drip tape, Travis is going to leave the drip tape attached to the mainline of tubing and pull the buried drip tape out of the ground in order to lay that piece of tape out the garden area. Then, he will take his Single Wheel Hoe to cultivate and remove any weeds from the area before replanting. Next, Travis is going to use the F.A.D. system to lay the drip tape back into the vegetable garden. Which the F.A.D. system stands for furrow, amend, and then drip. So first he will create a little furrow using the plow set attachment which will establish a place to lay the drip tape in the garden. Then, we will amend the furrow by laying good compost in the area. Finally, we will lay the drip tape back in the garden with the emitters facing upward for planting. However, Travis wants to move the drip tape that is attached to the mainline tubing over around five or six inches for planting lettuce. In order to move the tape over, he will take a goof plug to fill the existing hole and move the tape over a little bit then punch a new hole in the mainline tubing. When the drip tape is laid in the garden where it needs to be then we will simply cover it up for burying. Normally, Travis would use the double wheel hoe with the plow set in the hilling position to straddle and cover the rows up. However, since he is only covering one line of drip tape he will just take the dura rake and cover it up in the garden. Once the drip tape is buried, we suggest turning the water on and letting the emitters seep out to indicate where we should put our lettuce plants. To ensure the lettuce plants receive the needed amount of irrigation and spacing, Travis likes to plant them right on top of the drip tape emitters.

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