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Modified Field Sprayer Converted To Orchard Waterer
FARM SHOW reader Jerry Lehman sent us photos of a 200-gal. field sprayer he converted to water his orchards and gardens three ways - boom spraying, gravity-fed slow soak, and via garden hose.
    The main impetus for building his “water wagon” was the 20 acres of persimmon and pawpaw trees the Terre Haute, Ind., breeder planted.
    “During the summer, watering a seedling tree can require as much as 5 gallons per tree every week. Irrigation systems are very expensive and the hose is an impediment to cultivation. Carrying water in containers was time-consuming and not practical,” he explains.
    Lehman recognized a labor and time-saving opportunity when his neighbor wanted $125 for his field sprayer, complete with a power takeoff pump. Lehman bought it and removed the field spray booms, feed hose, pressure gauge and regulator. He kept the in-line filter and hose to the pump and added valves and hose barbs to the pump output to turn each outlet on and off. He made the watering wand out of 2-in. pvc pipe, lined with inexpensive showerheads. The pipe mounts on the side of his tractor’s loader and is connected to the pump with a 1-in. ID flexible hose.
    “By raising and lowering the tractor boom I can control the width of the area to be watered. Now instead of filling buckets and carrying water to each tree I sit on the tractor and drive along the rows while the tractor does the work for me,” Lehman says.
    Using a trash water pump, he fills the 200-gal. tank with water from his farm’s pond in less than 3 minutes. Water-soluble fertilizers poured in the tank are mixed and dissolved by the force of the water filling the tank.
    When he wants to trickle water on his mature pawpaw and persimmon trees or his wife’s flower garden, he opens the valves under and at the back of the tank to slowly gravity-feed water. To water areas where he can’t drive, he unwinds 50 ft. of hose on a garden hose reel and uses the pump to spray water at 60 psi, the same as if it were connected to the house’s water system.
    “I have very little money tied up in it,” Lehman says. “It isn’t pretty, but it works extremely well.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerry Lehman, 7780 S. Persimmon St., Terre Haute, Ind. 47802 (ph 812 298-8733; jwlehmantree@gmail.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2