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Designing A Garden Irrigation System Using the PVFS catalog
May 05, 2010 - Kalita from Peaceful Valley
I have received some calls from terrified customers about to embark on setting up an irrigation system for the first time. Think of it as a real life lego project. Begin by drawing a diagram of your garden and how the water system will be layed out. Are you a straight lines kinda person or a loop-d- loop type? Measure the length and distance between your beds and indicate them on your map. This will help immensely when you are standing in front of a huge array of tiny irrigation parts with weird names like “3/4” Male Starter Fitting” or trying to decipher your needs from the catalog. It will also help any clerk that might try to assist.
It is difficult to advise on an irrigation system without a drawing and discussion, but here goes. Our catalog has some very descriptive pages. If you do not have the 2010 catalog you can download the pdf file here and copy to your desk top. The advantage to downloading the pdf file rather than browsing on line is that you can look up items by page number. You can also search by product number.
On page 80 there is a good description on how to connect to your water supply and what parts you will need. There are three options pictured on page 80. These photos give one the basic ideas,however, you can create a different set up to meet your system and site needs. You may need a reducer if your water pressure is higher than your irrigation system will handle. You may also want to add a filter to catch particles and an automatic timer for convenience.
Now you must choose how the water will be conveyed from your source: 1/2” or 3/4” poly tubing, drip T-Tape, or soaker hose are some of the more common choices.
Poly Tubing: Once you decide between 1/2” or 3/4” all the parts you purchase must be for your chosen size. Measure the length of your beds and the distance needed to connect the beds. Always buy a bit more tubing than measured for that “oops I forgot about that” moment. You will need an elbow (IRC720) or Tee (IRC710) at each turn in your system. See the diagram on page 79 to see the difference between an elbow and a tee. You will also need end caps (IRC542) or (IRC740) at the end of each row. You can then purchase 1/4” or 1/8” spaghetti (thin tubing) to direct water from your main tubing line out to your plantings. You will need barbed couplers to connect spaghetti tubing to the main line. A hole punch and goof plugs are very handy.
Take all this stuff home and lay it all out. It should begin to make sense. I had a lot of fun putting mine together and it only took one return trip to PVFS to get all the parts I needed.