Setting Up Drip Irrigation – The Most Inexpensive Way of Watering Your Yard Smartly
Drip irrigation is a relatively inexpensive irrigation system that is also efficient on the water and energy front. The system can be built easily by purchasing a kit and using a bit of creativity (provided the area is not too large).
You need to plan ahead factoring in the dimensions of the area to be irrigated to buy adequate amount of tubing and accessories. Next, you would need to assess the quantity of emitters and mulch to cover the space. Remember, drip irrigation is the most inexpensive irrigation system which is easy to design and install and efficiently delivers water to plant bases.
To proceed with drip irrigation, we need to identify and classify plants, trees, shrubs, vegetable areas, flowerbeds etc. Based on their water needs and the amount of exposure they have to the sun, you can set the amount of water they receive.
Setting up the system
After you have chosen the location, ensure that the large supply tube is available in sufficient quantity to get connected to the tap. You can accomplish maximum pressure by constraining the length of supply tube to 50m max from the tap. Next, attach the top to the computer control unit and install the pressure regulator. It is advisable to get the supply tube softened by immersing its end into hot water, prior to attaching to the tap. The supply pipe can be cut to size by using precise poly pipe cutters.
Next, the water pipe network is to be created by first laying out the main supply pipe. Ensure zero kinks for optimum water flow. To negotiate corners, cut the pipe and connect severed pieces through an elbow connector. Use T Bar connector to add another supply pipe beyond 50m. Seal off the supply pipe’s end to close water leakage route.
Now, we will add micro tubing to channelize water to individual containers. Slice the pieces to the length needed. Get holes punched in supply tube and fix micro tubing with adaptors. You can avoid system leakage by adding tubes at 90o angles. Use blanking plugs to block holes that have remained unused. Once done, we will have to attach drippers to micro tubing’s ends. Take large stakes for securing the pipe along the ground or use wall clips for the same purpose, if the pipe is to be attached along the fence/wall.
After turning on the tap, the system should function seamlessly. You can program the drippers for adjusting the flow rate. You can get a feel of the time for which the system should be run by trying out the system a few times. The time will be contingent on containers’ size, plant and soil types, and the weather.
For sandy soil, you need to use closely spaced 2 GPH (gallons per hour) drippers at 10 to 12” gap. Alternately, micro sprinklers can be used in wider spacing type. Drippers of 1 GPH with 16-18″ gap are sufficient for loamy soil in which water moves slowly. Drippers of .5GPH or 1GPH with 18-24″ gap will be needed for clayey soil which absorbs water rather slowly.
Small or pro punch can be used for piercing supply tubing of ½ inches.
Half inches tubing stakes made of stainless steel can secure half inches tubing to the ground. Goof plugs can be used for sealing holes made by mistake. Adjustable drip emitters, button drippers, flag emitters, and PC drip emitters can be used for distributing water to plants that lie in the vicinity of the supply pipe. Distribution tubing or barbed fittings of ¼ inches can be used for delivering water to plants. Flowers and ground covers can be best watered with spike mounted jet sprays.
Use half inches poly tubing to connect to outdoor faucet. Use a hose end timer to automate the flow. The drip application can be connected to either an above ground anti-siphon valve or a below ground valve. The anti-siphon valve is typically a combination valve which prevents backflow induced by atmospheric pressure. A pressure regulator, mesh filter, half inches riser and adapter tee are used by below ground in-line installation. A pressure regulator, conversion elbow and swivel adapter can be used for converting a half inches sprinkler head rise squarely to the poly tubing.
Drip irrigation is the most inexpensive method to use for extensively watering of plants, shrubs and flowerbeds while ensuring maximum penetration of water. If you find it tough to install the system, you can always take help of irrigation specialists like Total Water Services in Australia.