Land Preparation for Drip Irrigation

raised beds for drip irrigation
drip irrigation photo at phameko East Africa

Land preparation is a process that involves several activities they include, plowing, breaking.

Addition of important soil nutrients. The purpose of these activities is to improve crop/plant growth and development.
Land preparation ensures that there is sufficient water, heat, oxygen, and other important soil nutrients. This process will allow the soil to be more compressible to allow the penetration of the roots.

When preparing land for drip irrigation raised beds are very important.

Beds refer to raised subdivided seedbed uniformly distributed all over the farm they have paths in between to allow ease movement of the farm operators.
Raised beds also play a major role in drainage and aeration
Factors to consider when selecting proper land for drip irrigation
1. Generally sloping land to minimize clogging in case of heavy rainfall

2. Accessibility

This includes ease of access to relevant infrastructure.

3. These infrastructures may include electricity, good road network airports to allow ease of moving farm inputs and produce
Labor and expertise

Labor is very critical when doing preparation for drip irrigation this may include skilled or non-skilled
These go along with the culture of a specific community in and around the farm.
Labour is a major component of production and its cost determine the success or failure of your enterprise

4. Security.

The farm should be well secured from thieves, stray animals, rodents and other disease-causing organisms.

when doing land preparation for drip irrigation, the area should be free from rodents. Rodents are the major drip tape destructors.

To keep rodents away, the nearby bush should be cleared and pesticides sprayed.
Soil characteristics and crop climatic conditions.

Different crops do well in different soil and climatic conditions.
Some crops do well in acidic soil.

Others do well in a basic or alkaline environment. On the same note, high land crops cannot do well in lowland areas. If this has to be reversed proper and special conditions should be provided.

May include using specialized equipment when installing your drip system e.g venture injector
The procedure of obtaining a good bed for the drip irrigation system
In bed preparation, the standard and most recommended bed sizes range from one meter(1m). Sometimes one and a half(1.5). meters are used for perennial crops like Stevia and other herbs.
The most convenient path width should be between 40cm to 50cm.
This will ensure major parts of the land is put under cultivation.
After the selection of the convenient bed width and the paths, the beds are dug to a depth of between 12cm to 30cm.
While doing this breakdown soil clods( big soil particles brought about during plowing) into fine particles.
Remove weeds, mix manure into the soil and expose microorganisms the soil to the sunlight to be killed.
The plowing should be done along with the land/garden during the first plowing and across during the second plowing.
This will ensure microorganisms and weed seeds are brought above the soil and exposed to the sunlight.
On exposing these It ensures faster growth of weed seeds due to warmth. After germination of the weed seeds due to favorable conditions brought by sunlight, use the recommended herbicides to kill the weed. Get recommendations from a qualified agronomist.
Do final plowing to bury the dead plants into the soil.
The weed will later decompose/rot to add nutrients to the soil. The beds should then be leveled into a uniform height and tilth to ensure uniform germination of seedlings. After all these practices prepare and organize for the drip installation process.

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