Irrigation For Strawberry Farms

Irrigation For Strawberry Farms


DIY Strawberry Irrigation Systems

Small to medium sized Strawberry farms have become popular in Canada due to the increase in tendancies to buy local, the health benefits associated with eating Strawberries, and the relatively start up costs associated with starting a growing operation.  Strawberries are commonly grown in Canadian climates and can thrive when proper irrigation is installed.  

We will now look at some common techniques for watering Strawberry farms using drip irrigation.

Types of Irrigation for Strawberries

Drip Emitter Tubing (Drip Line) vs Self Piercing Emitters vs. Drip Tape: When planning your Strawberry farm, you will likely be faced with the decision to use Drip Tape vs Drip Emitter Tubing.  While both are generally effective, there are advantages and disadvantages of both application methods.  We recommend you evaluate both your short and long term goals for growing Strawberries

Drip Emitter Tubing: Drip Emitter Tubing is a popular method for irrigating Strawberry patches.  The tubing comes in a variety of diameters and is easy to install.  The tubing has pressure compensated emitters welded into the interior at pre-defined spacing.  

Advantages:

  • Available from .26 gph to 1 gph
  • Emitters pre-installed eliminating individual installation of emitters
  • Durable construction for long term use.

Disadvantages:

  • Emitters at pre-defined distances and cannot be moved
  • If emitters become plugged they cannot be replaced (you can use self piercing emitters to replaced clogged emitters)

Self Piercing Emitters: Self Piercing Emitters are inserted directly into solid drip tubing wherever they are required which can be useful for pre-planted strawberry fields.

Advantages:

  • Available from .5 gph to 2 gph
  • Easy to Install and replace
  • Can be installed directly above plant roots after planting

Disadvantages:

  • Time to install for larger systems
  • Rolling up Lines can be more challenging (if taking up lines is necessary).

Drip Tape Irrigaiton: Drip Tape is popular due to it's slightly lower cost than drip emitter tutinb and the use of self piercing emitters.  However for a long term solution it can prove to be equal in cost as most tapes will last 1-3 years in the field.

Advantages:

  • Available from in a range of flow rates.
  • Emitters pre-installed eliminating individual installation of emitters

Disadvantages:

  • Usually Non-pressure Compensating Emitters which can cause problems for Uniform Watering
  • Emitters at pre-defined distances and cannot be moved
  • If emitters become plugged they cannot be replaced.

For Strawberry Farms it is really a matter of preference and budget as all either method will provide good results.  We will now explore these methods in greater detail.

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