Monday, October 22, 2012

Pipe Irrigation

I have this idea of pipe irrigation. Following is an explanation of the various elements.

  • The bottom layer represents the limestone bedrock or caliche base common to areas around Central Texas. It can be used as a foundation for the overall setup.
  • The blue in the front represents typical water flow pattern. See this document for a more detailed analysis of how water flow actually is expected to occur.
  • Just above the water flow graphic, there is a trough. The top of the trough is at ground level. The bottom is just deep enough to contain a porous clay pipe. After the pipe is laid into the trough (which must be horizontal), the trough is filled with pea gravel and then topped off with stone or brickwork. This setup allows for easy maintenance.
  • The round disks represent flat stones or brickwork laid above the soil. The soil occurs in the 18 inches from these stones down to the bedrock.
Plants are planted between the flat stones. The stones, appropriately chosen to not be hot stones, serve to shade the soil and to physically block evaporation directly from the soil. They also block weeds. If preferred, a mulch layer could be used instead.

The pipe is closed at each end. And elbow or T-joint somewhere goes up to the surface providing a place for water to be introduced to the system. Alternatively, the clay pipes could extend into a pond whose surface is at or above the top of the pipe shown. In that case, the pond would simply need to be maintained at an appropriate level to facilitate irrigation.

Fish raised in the pond would also provide a very low dose of fertilizer to the plants.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Temporary post.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bamboo vs. Paulownia

I suppose since I mentioned bamboo, I should also mention the contest between my paulownia tree and my timber bamboo. Both are rather young. I bought the paulownia on eBay. The first year it grew up, the second, it branched, and the third year it bloomed. Unsastified with its height, I chopped it down to the ground this spring when it started budding. Interestingly, the severed tree continued to grow for about two months. Meanwhile, a new shoot began growing from the base of the stump. It soon was growing about 2 inches a day.

After a couple months, my Bambusa oldhamii sprouted. It didn't shoot at all last year, so I was pleasantly surprised when it started shooting early this year.

The new culm on the bamboo quickly started growing 6 inches or more a day. So I decided to keep a log to see if it could catch up to the paulownia. So far it hasn't, but it's come within a few inches.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Name Change

Due to an embarrassing typo (vittata vs. vitatta), I'm forced to make a change to the name. I've chosen lineata for now, since the meaning is similar even if the word itself is much different.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Start

I'm not sure where this blog will go. I've never really blogged before, so I suppose at the very least this will be a learning opportunity for me. Step zero was choosing a name. Why did I choose vittata? Well, it's because I have a bamboo plant called Bambusa eutuldoides viridi vittata that I bought last year at Zilker Park. I think it's going to wind up being one of my favorite bamboo species. Earlier this year it sent up two new culms, about twice the diameter of previous ones. The culms are yellow with a very nice vertical striping.

The word vittata is Latin for bound with a ribbon. In this case, I'm sure it refers to the random green stripes that go from one node to the other on the culms. The word has no deep relevance to the blog -- well, at least not yet. It was a name that was available, and I took it.