Construction has begun! We are in the muddy process of transforming this little house into a homestead. Everyone’s boots have about five inches of mud under them and our backs are getting a work out. The first phase of most residential landscapes is irrigation installation, which is now complete!
Our former homestead did not have in-ground irrigation (aka a sprinkler system) and we still got good harvests. Around late July, the garden would start turning yellow and I liked that it reflected the season – dry and hot. I ran a simple, above ground drip-irrigation system out to the raised beds to ensure the vegetables always had regular, deep watering. You can definitely have a productive homestead without a sprinkler system.
This time around, however, I opted for in-ground irrigation because I want to maximize our harvests. Fruit trees can establish deep, extensive root systems to find the water they need, but I suspect berry bushes would have heavier yields with summer irrigation.
To save on cost, we only installed irrigation in the backyard where we have our “edible forest” planned. The front yard is a drought-tolerant “prairie” with gorgeous grasses and tough perennial flowers. We hired a licensed contractor to install the irrigation.
You could do it yourself, but it’s back breaking work to dig those trenches and you really don’t want to mess up something like irrigation. Leaks, improperly installed valves, controllers, backflow preventers, etc can be a major headache down the road.
The next step is prepping the soil for plant installation. Stay tuned for that update later this week!