Irrigation, if, when, what, and how?
Educate yourself and research your area for rainfall tendencies. If you haven't done a soil test, do it now as your soil type will affect how water is absorbed. If you plan to rely on Mother Nature, you're not alone. Many farmers across the country have the luxury of being located in an area that gets acceptable rainfall. The good news is that Garlic doesn't need a ton of water!
If you need to provide water for your farm, the first thing to do is find your water source. These can be as simple as the hose bib on the back of your house, or as complicated as running source lines from a pond, river, stream or lake. If you're source is a river, stream or lake, you may need permission from your county or state.
Once you've chosen your water source, you will need to understand several terms like psi, gpm and rise or fall from the source to your garden or planting field. You will need a pump, source lines, shut-off valves, drip lines, sprinklers, etc. We at OnPoint Organics are NOT irrigation experts and have used local help for their expertise. Trial and error works best.
No matter what system you end up utilizing, make sure to test how much water is being absorbed into the ground on an hourly basis. If using drip lines, you can measure it by putting a pie plate or plastic dish underneath a couple of the dripline holes. If you plan to use an overhead sprinkler system, you can simply use a few rain gauges throughout your garden to measure the same.
At OnPoint Organics we use both methods above and will continue to do so based on our needs. There is not a perfect solution that works for everybody. However, when it comes to watering or irrigation, DO NOT over water! Garlic hates Wet feet!