My life has just got a little easier… Why? Well because of a lovely thing called a drip irrigation system. Does anyone else not like hand watering their plants/gardens? If so, this is perfect for you. If you missed my first post about materials needed for a drip systems, you can check it out here.
Now the first thing you need to do is map out your garden area. Take a tape measure and measure the distance of the area. This distance will be the amount of 1/2″ tubing you need to buy. I purchased 100 ft of 1/2″ tubing and I had a little leftover. I would also suggest 50 ft of 1/4″ tubing per 100 ft of 1/2″ tubing.
Next you need to decide the best watering device for each plant or area. Then determine the flow rate for that device. If you can’t remember the different devices check out the emitters on this post.
I did two different types for emitters: Drippers & Sprayers. I put drippers on all the bigger individual plants and sprayers on all the areas with flowers.
After you have purchased your supplies, you can start installing your system. Starting at the faucet, attach the “Y” connector then the timer (if using), backflow, filter, pressure regulator, and hose fitting. TIP: The backflow and filter are only needed if attaching system to main line (that is what my local sprinkler store told me).
Next you will lay your 1/2″ tubing according to your sketch. TIP: Place your tubing in the sun before laying to make it more flexible and easier to work with. Cut the tubing with pipe cutters/pruning shears. Use tee fittings to create branches in the tubing, see pictures below for how I used a tee fitting.
Attaching 1/2″ tubing to tee..
As you are placing your 1/2″ tubing, make sure you are using your loop stakes to anchor tubing to soil. I only bought a pack of 10 and had to go buy another pack because I did not have enough. You can also cover the tubing with mulch later on to hide it.
At the ends of the 1/2″ tubing you need to add an end fitting (figure eight).
Now it’s time to attaching the 1/4″ tubing to the 1/2″ tubing. Taking your hole punching device, punch a hole into the 1/2″ tubing wherever you want to add a watering device/emitters. If you do make a mistake you can use a goof plug to fix.
Push a barded adapter (I used a tee bared in the picture below) into the hole that you just punched. Then attach the 1/4″ tubing by pushing it onto the adapter.
Take the 1/4″ tubing and straighten the tubing until it reaches the plants root base then cut at that length. TIP: I would suggest adding a little extra tubing (1/4″ – 1/2″) to the length just to make sure it reaches the plant.
Before adding the emitters to the system, run water through the tubing to flush out any dirt. After you have flushed out the line you can now attach the emitters. For my system, I needed to add the tubing stake before the emitter. You use a tubing stake to keep the emitter out of the dirt.
Then place the emitter at the base of the plant so the dripper will water the plants roots.
Make sure you maintain your system, to do this:
- Clean the filter once a month, if using one.
- Inspect the drippers occasionally to make sure they’re working.
- In cold climates, make sure you winterize the system, find that here.
Anyone else adding a drip system or want to?