Drip irrigation systems provide a way to water the soil without overwatering. They are an effective and environmentally friendly method to maintain a garden. The system consists of interconnected tools such as emitters, tubing and valves that send water to the roots of plants at precise intervals.
How to Connect Drip Irrigation
Once you have decided that drip irrigation is right for your garden, you will need to plan and connect your new system. The first step is to lay out a route for the drip irrigation tubing and to decide which individual components will be connected to it. Often, this requires some guesswork, but it will help to have an overall picture of what the garden needs.
Begin by laying out your main line to the garden, which should be no more than 200 feet long for 1/2-inch tubing and 50 feet for 1/4-inch tubing. Run the tubing along one side of the garden, or around the perimeter for a large property.
Next, connect your hose adapter to the end of your main line with a compression fitting or a barbed connector. Then run the polybutylene drip tubing through your garden or yard to the place where it will be attached to the hose adapter. You may need to make a few cuts along the way to get it into the correct position and to avoid breaking it.
Afterward, insert the fittings into the drip tubing to form a connection. Use a combination of gentle pushing and twisting to secure them, covering any barbed fittings completely. It is best to soak the tubing in hot water before assembling it, as this softens the plastic and ensures a tight fit when the tube cools.
Then, attach individual emitters to the branch lines, making sure they are spaced evenly for row crops or intermittently for plants that have more than one root zone. Emitters dispense water at a rate of 1 gallon per hour, though they can be adjusted to a slower flow rate if your plants need more frequent watering.
For larger trees, loop the tubing with emitters every six or twelve inches halfway between the trunk and the outside canopy for even coverage. If your tree is close to a building or fence, you will need to stake the drip tubing and the emitters to prevent them from being blown away or buried by rodents.
Once you have the entire system in place, flush it out with water to clear it of debris and clogs. You can also turn the water on and let it run for a few minutes to ensure everything is working properly.
After a while, you should notice that the drip tubing is watering your plants well. However, you should continue to check the system to make sure everything is functioning correctly and that all the connections are tight. You can do this by checking each emitter and the end of the drip tubing to see if there is any leakage or if anything seems blocked or clogged. If there are any problems, reposition the drip tubing or emitter line to find the culprit.