Extend your drip irrigation system to water more of your garden & flower beds automatically and put away your watering can!
Dry, spiky, drooping plants stare back at you – a few weeks ago, they were fresh and green.
If you’ve put in the time to landscape your gorgeous flower beds yourself, the last thing you need is withered plants within a month.
And that’s exactly what can happen if you skip your watering routine a few times.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could install a sprinkler system in that one area?
Well, you can!
A few years ago, we redesigned our flower beds and to make watering easier, we also installed a DIY drip irrigation system.
When you have a drip irrigation system, you can set it up to water specific areas. And you never have to water your flower beds by hand – the system does it for you.
This year, we added some plants next to our garage so we expanded our drip system to this area as well.
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Expanding a Drip System
- 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
You can print the material list and instructions below.
TIP: You should limit the length of the 1/2″ tubing on one zone to a maximum of 200 ft. Also, if you let the tubing rest in the sun for a bit, it will be easier to work with.
We already had most of our supplies from installing our previous drip system. I only needed a 1/2″ connector, stakes, and a few spray emitters (total cost of about $14).
LAY OUT THE NEW TUBING
In order to extend the system, we had to run the 1/2″ tubing under our sidewalk.
To do this, we had to figure out where to connect the new tubing. We decided to connect to the one end we had right there. (You could also use a 3-way fitting and connect to the old tubing anywhere.)
To run the tubing, we used a small shovel and water hose. We dug a small hole under the sidewalk, using the hose to dampen the ground slightly.
Once we dug all the way under, we ran the tubing through the hole. We left enough tubing on the one side to connect to the other tubing.
Then, we filled up the hole with dirt (we again used the hose to wet the dirt ). It was too messy for pictures and I had my brother do this – when he was done, he was covered in mud!
Here is our tubing after running it under the sidewalk:
Next, I took my air compressor with the air blow gun connector and blew out the new tubing to make sure nothing got inside while installing.
CONNECT THE NEW TUBING TO THE OLD
Now that I had the 1/2″ tubing laid out, I could connect the new to the old.
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 using the straight fitting.
Next, I took the loop stakes and staked down the 1/2″ tubing so it would not move around.
Once I got to the point where I wanted to end the drip system, I cut the tubing and installed the end fitting.
SET UP THE DESIGNATED WATERING AREAS
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 wherever I needed to add a watering device (don’t worry, there are goof plugs to fix a bad placement).
Then, I pushed a barbed adapter into the hole I just punched.
Next, I attached the 1/4″ tubing by pushing into the adapter. I then took the 1/4″ tubing, straightened it until it reached the plant root base, and cut at that length.
TIP: I would suggest adding a little extra tubing.
ATTACH THE EMITTERS
At this point, I added the emitters. For ours, we used two types: drippers and sprayers.
- For the drippers, we placed 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 adjust to the height you need by cutting it).
After installing the emitter, I placed it at the base of the plant or where it would spray many plants at the same time.
And my drip system was now complete.
This project only took about 15 minutes after running the line under the sidewalk.
Anyone else want to make their life easier by installing a drip system?
Interested in more landscaping projects? You will love these other landscaping projects of ours:
- Sprinkler System Installation
- Install Underground Gutter Drainage
- DIY Concrete Landscape Edging
- Automatic Watering System For Plants
And don’t forget you can see before and afters in our full house tour by clicking HERE.