Clark Kadis, Longmeadow, Massachusetts, wanted to try his hand at vegetable farming without spending a lot of money. He needed a cheap way to water his plants, so he used a 55-gallon plastic barrel to build an inexpensive gravity-fed waterer that he pulls behind his four-wheeler. It’s equipped with a 3-foot-long boom on one side of a two-wheeled trailer that the barrel sits on.
“It’s simple and easy to operate,” says Kadis, whose vegetable garden measures 400 feet long by 250 feet wide. “I worked for seven years for a commercial vegetable grower who uses raised beds with drip irrigation and plastic mulch for weed control. I wanted to try it without a lot of expense, but to do that I needed a way to water right after planting. I grow pumpkins, green and wax beans, turnips and carrots.”
He leaves a 5-foot-wide unplanted area between each set of rows, where he drives the ATV and waterer. “I go back and forth down the field. I use the same gaps at harvest with the ATV and a wagon to collect buckets of vegetables,” Kadis says.
The watering pipe is made from 1⁄2-inch-diameter PVC and attaches with connectors to the bungee hole at one end of the barrel. It has a series of holes spaced about 1 inch apart and is equipped with a shut-off valve and an end cap.
“It works well. I use the shut-off valve to adjust how much water comes out of the holes,” he says. “The end of the pipe is braced by a rope that runs up to the top of the barrel. I cut a hole on top of the barrel to fill it. I run a rope over the top to keep it from bouncing around.”
Reprinted with permission from FARM SHOW Magazine.