Installation of a windbreak

 One of the climatic factors that can influence very negatively the crop yield is the presence of a wind that constantly blows on the gardens. While causing direct stress to the plant, the presence of such a wind contributes to reducing the temperature and the water balance of the soil. Given that the prevailing winds almost always come from the same direction, it is necessary to reduce these negative impacts by planning the implementation of a windbreak on its site.

 A windbreak can be of the plant type (hedge, shrubs, and trees) or artificial (fence, synthetic net). Synthetic windbreaks have the advantage of being able to be erected quickly without occupying much space. In return, they do not than 2 meters in height and must often be replaced after a few seasons of use. The natural windbreaks are much longer to the implant but have the advantage of being more aesthetic, economical, and above all taller. They also make it possible to considerably increase the biodiversity of a site. The choice of different tree and shrub species popular with insectivorous birds may help reduce the number of insect pests, just as selective revegetation of windbreak edges may attract certain beneficial insects. Although difficult to measure, the presence of such an arrangement is certainly favorable to the ecological balance of a market garden.

 Choose between a natural or artificial windbreak can be difficult. The ideal may be to implement the two solutions side by side to benefit from their respective advantages. On a windy site, the optimum crop yield can quickly make such an investment profitable.

Site irrigation

 For the needs of a market garden, a system irrigation system is essential. Like the rains are inconstant, the sowing schedule little flexible, and the production is calculated very precisely, one cannot afford to obtain poor germination or a drop in yield due to lack of water. Irrigation is mainly used to ensure uniform growth of seedlings in the ground and, after transplanting, when the seedlings are fragile and susceptible to rapid wilting. Irrigation can be used for crops that require a constant supply of water, but also, of course, during droughts. A good irrigation system should be flexible and adapted to your needs.

 At our farm, we decided to use a sprinkler system for garden irrigation. Another option is drip. It uses water very efficiently because the latter is directed slowly and directly to the base of the root of the plant. On the other hand, we think that this method requires a lot of work being since the pipes must be removed before each hoeing, which is a major drawback. We, therefore, limit the use of drip greenhouse, tunnels, and crops under a mulch of plastic, where water is needed. We then did some research to find sprinklers that can spray strips narrow, because our needs are often very specific, and we have opted for a range of sprinklers low flow which has the advantage of only requiring a low pump pressure (about 35 pounds per square inch (psi)). These mini sprinklers are lightweight and their plastic nozzle is attached to a rod made of stainless steel connected to a polyethylene pipe (colon). A quick coupling allows them to be united so that a water line quickly disassembles and sets up when we move it from one jar din to another. Our system was designed to water a plot (16 boards of 30 meters) with two lines, each equipped with four spaced nozzles every 6 meters. The nozzles of our jets are adjusted to spray a radius of about 10 meters, which allows us to irrigate eight planks at a time.

 Our irrigation water is drawn from a pond and is routed in the main water line 5 centimeters in diameter that goes around our 10 gardens, which have two ball valves that can supply sprinkler lines. All of our fittings are “Camlock” type (similar to those used by firefighters), which allows us to quickly connect or disconnect them. To facilitate the movement of all our water lines, we have installed an identical fitting at each of their ends. A removable cap, therefore, allows us to move them without having to orient them in a specific direction.

 With the help of a technician, we sized the size of the pump and supply pipes so that we could water three plots (six water lines) simultaneously. As each of the six water lines has four sprinklers, we have acquired 24. In the event of drought, all of our gardens can be irrigated within two days. We have also equipped ourselves with two other water lines equipped with even smaller sprinklers and can spray a radius of four boards or less (5 meters). One of these lines (30 meters) has 24 mini sprinklers that distribute a large amount of water evenly in a short time. To keep the surface of a board wet on a sunny day, these mini-sprinklers are used three or four times a day for 10 minutes per watering.

 When it comes to water supply, it's good to know that a pump is designed to push, not pull, water. It is therefore advantageous to install it as close as possible to the water reserve. In our gardens, to avoid having to constantly go to the water reserve to trigger the irrigation system, we have opted for an electric pump instead of a petrol pump, despite the considerable costs involved. 'involves carrying electric current over a long distance. A switch located in the tool shed, therefore, allows us to irrigate our gardens frequently without wasting time. I insist on the importance of equipping the pump with a sediment filter. This will prevent you from seeing the nozzles of your sprinklers clogged with small debris, which could interrupt their operation. This usually happens when you are convinced that everything is in order and you irrigate for long hours without paying attention ... It is also important to equip your pump with an easily accessible waste valve. It will be useful when you only water a few lines of water, the drip, or a simple garden hose connected to the system: the valve will then prevent the mainline from exploding under the effect of 'excess pressure.