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Drip tape waters the lettuce at Sweet Roots Farm in Nevada County.
Drip irrigation can save on your water bill, protect our water resources, and even increase your crop yield by applying deep water. If you bury the irrigation lines you’ll thwart annual weeds too. Annual weeds don’t thrive with below-ground irrigation because they need water near ground level where they germinate.
There are lots of good reasons to use drip irrigation!
GETTING STARTED WITH DRIP IRRIGATION
Tricia introduces several methods of drip irrigation in our video. Let’s learn more about the different drip system technologies.
We’ve got helpful diagrams to help you design your irrigation system.
SETTING UP YOUR WATER SOURCE
Watch the video to see Tricia making connections to a spigot, as the water source for her drip irrigation system. (Note: the filter hook up no longer needs the brass adapters)
The water hook-up steps will be the same, no matter what kind of irrigation technology you’ll be using in your planting beds. It’s like the old song, “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone.” Screw the Y Connector onto the spigot and keep on attaching the parts in order:
POLY TUBING GETS THE WATER TO YOUR DRIPPERS
Poly tubing is the backbone of your drip irrigation system, moving water out to the delivery system of your choice. Poly tubing is blue in our diagrams.
SOAKER HOSES DISTRIBUTE WATER UNIFORMLY
Do you want water seeping evenly along a line? You’d choose a soaker hose as your delivery system. Here’s a diagram showing poly tubing and soaker hoses combined for irrigation. The soaker hoses are green in the diagrams. If you have hard water, consider installing a Calcium Filter to reduce clogs.
EMITTERLINE FOR MEANDERING, MODERATE WATERING
Emitterline is your best bet if you want watering done at 12” intervals along a curving line, like for around trees at the drip line. Emitterline is tan in our diagrams. The 1/2” emitter line can also be used in straight rows in the garden. The Power-Loc fittings work with the 1/2” emitter line and you can use barb connectors for the 1/4” emitter line.
DRIP TAPE FOR COST EFFECTIVE, LOW PRESSURE WATER
Use Drip Tape when you want water at 8” intervals in straight lines. It’s a popular choice for vegetable beds. Leave it on the surface, or bury it (to stymie the weeds). One of the advantages of Drip Tape is that the slits in its lines open during watering, then close again. Drip Tape is red in our diagrams. You must put a pressure reducer (10 psi) for Drip Tape if using higher pressure water source. If not, the tape will rupture and leak water.
EMITTERS AND MICROSPRAY TO PINPOINT WATER
Would you like to have complete choice in the spacing of water intervals? Customize water delivery with emitters you place along lines. Or attach sprayers on riser tubes and stakes to saturate specific areas. The emitters and sprayers are black in our diagrams.
We have more advice, and installation tips, at our Drip Irrigation page online.
If you’re in the Grass Valley area, come to our store and nursery where our knowledgeable staff will answer your questions and show you the range of irrigation products. Or give us a call and a representative will answer your questions or email our help desk with questions.
Are you now suffering from “Gizmophobia”? That’s author Robert Kourik’s expression for those who fear the array of tubes and valves.
His acclaimed book, Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape, is a model of clarity (and humor). It’s like having an experienced friend walk you through designing and building the irrigation for your garden.
We sell his terrific book in our Grass Valley store and online.
Have a great growing season with drip irrigation: water going to just the right places, on time, for less money and healthier plants!
Stan Dorman Says:
May 24th, 2015 at 12:42 pm
I water my garden (about 25’ X 90”) from a large pond which is 9’ above the garden. Can a use a drip system with a 9’ head?
Suzanne at Peaceful Valley Says:
May 26th, 2015 at 12:54 pm
Stan, is your system just a gravity feed? If so you can use the drip tape, which is low flow anyway. I am not sure what you mean by a 9’ head.