You know those flower beds around your house that you get tired of watering by hand? You just wish you could install a sprinkler system there. Well, guess what? You can and its called a drip system or drip irrigation.
A little over 2 years ago, we redid our flower beds and to make watering easier we also installed a drip system. The system was easy to install, see how we installed them here. Let me tell you watering my flower beds has never been easier. I LOVE having a drip system. This year we decided to add some plants next to our garage but I was not going back to hand watering so we needed to expand our drip system to this area as well.
So if you are looking at installing a drip system, check out this post, and if you want to expand your drip system this post is for you.
Expanding a Drip System
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– 1/2″ blank tubing
– 1/4″ tubing (used to connect emitters)
– 1/2″ tubing straight connector (connects two 1/2″ tubing together)
– 1/2″ end fitting/figure eight (closes the line)
– barbed adapters (tee or straight)
– emitters (dripper & sprayer)
– stakes (loop, tubing, & riser)
– pipe cutters
– hole punch
TIP: You should limit the length of the 1/2″ tubing on one zone to a maximum of about 200 ft. Also if you let the tubing set in the sun it will be easier to work with.
We had most of our supplies already from installing our drip system before, I just needed a 1/2″ connector, stakes, and some more spray emitters (cost me about $14).
For us to extend the system we had to run the 1/2″ tubing under our sidewalk. Something else we had to decide was where to connect the new tubing. We decided to connect to the one end we had right there. But you could use a 3-way fitting and connect to the old tubing anywhere. To do this, we took a small shovel and water hose. We dug a small hole under the sidewalk, using the hose to wet the ground (only dampen it). Once we dug all the way under, we ran the tubing through the hole. We made sure to have enough tubing on the one side to connect to the other tubing. Then we started to fill the hole back in with dirt (we again used the hose to wet the dirt to help fill the hole). Sorry, no pictures because I actually had my brother do this and he was covered in mud by the end. Here is our tubing after running it under the sidewalk.
Now that I had the 1/2″ tubing laid out, I could connect the new to the old. But before that, I took my air compressor with the air blow gun connector and blew out the new tubing to make sure nothing got stuck inside while installing. Like I said before, we connected ours to an end using a straight fitting. I first removed the figure eight (fitting end) from the old tubing. Then I cut the old tubing with my pipe cutters, to remove the bend in the tubing.
I then connected the 2 tubings together using the straight fitting.
Then I took the loop stakes and staked down the 1/2″ tubing so it would not move around. Once I got to where I wanted to end the drip system, I cut the tubing and installed the end fitting.
Now it was time to attach the 1/4″ tubing to the 1/2″. Taking the hole punching device, I punched a hole into the 1/2″ tubing where ever I needed to add a watering device (don’t worry there are goof plugs to fix a bad placement).
Then I pushed a barded adapter into the hole I just punched. Then I attached the 1/4″ tubing by pushing into the adapter. I then took the 1/4″ tubing and straighten the tubing until it reached the plant root base, I then cut at that length. TIP: I would suggest adding a little extra tubing.
Now I added the emitters. For ours, we used two types, drippers and sprayers. For the drippers, we added a tubing stake before the emitter to keep it out of the dirt. For the sprayer, we used a sprayer on a stake to make it taller (you can cut to the size you need).
After installing the emitter, I then placed it at the base of the plant or where it would spray many plants. And my drip system was now complete.
This project took about 15 minutes after running the line under the sidewalk.
Anyone else want to make their life easier by installing a drip system? You can see a full tutorial here.