Choosing The Best Irrigation System For A Vegetable Garden

Watering your plants and grass correctly is critical to keeping them green and healthy.

A contemporary irrigation system converts watering time into leisure time and, if desired, allows you to regulate the watering of your whole garden.

Choosing The Best Irrigation System For A Vegetable Garden

Irrigation requirements are specific to your garden. This is an easy guide to assist you pick which type you wish to use.

Each form of irrigation has advantages and disadvantages that may differ depending on geographic location. 

Drip Irrigation System

A drip irrigation system is composed of long hose with holes – known as emitters – spaced evenly along its length and connected to a water source via a valve.

A filter, pressure gauge, and backflow preventer are installed in between valve and the hose, that is known as drip tubing.

The hose is run alongside the plants in the garden rows, with the emitters placed close to the plants. 

The dripping system can be arranged in any desired arrangement thanks to the tube’s flexibility, and the dripping tube can be extended by linking two or three tubes of an appropriate length.

The drip irrigation waters the plants by slowly releasing water at or close to the roots. Since liquid soaks into soil immediately and does not evaporate, irrigation efficiency is maximised. 

Water is then applied only where it is needed, i.e. to the roots, reducing waste. If you’re still not convinced, consider the following three reasons to get drip irrigation.

The Cost Of Drip Irrigation Kit

There are other irrigation technologies to explore, but drip watering is the most cost-effective. 

Most households and landscapers are attracted to this solution because of its minimal cost and wide range of applications.

In addition, drip irrigation works well in a vegetable garden, as well as a flower bed or an orchard.

Drip irrigation is appropriate to be used on green roofs or decks due to its ease of installation and variety of design.

Commercially available kits are available, or you can request professional installation.

Naturally, DIY installation lowers costs even further.

The Efficiency Of Drip Irrigation Kits

Drip watering is the most efficient way to conserve water. 

Drip irrigation, with an efficacy of 90% or more, not only reduced waste but also helped plants survive by supplying water only where it was needed. 

Drip irrigation not only benefits vegetable gardens, but also hedges.

Landscapers frequently employ Drip Irrigation Kits in exterior design since they are versatile and practically unnoticeable.

The Design Of Drip Irrigation Kits

Drip irrigation is a flexible and adjustable method. The tubes’ flexibility allows them to be installed in yards of all shapes and sizes.

Emitters can be placed at different ranges and adjusted to only release water where it is required.

Alternatives To Drip Irrigation

A large array of watering devices is one of several factors you’ll notice when perusing brochures or Web sites. 

The basic categories are listed below, along with some information about each.

While the ones depicted below are by far the most prevalent, there are many others that are more specialised. 

The various types and their applications can be found in the micro irrigation catalogues. Drip irrigation might not be the ideal option, despite being economical, efficient, and versatile. 

Tropical plants, for example, may have differing watering requirements. Consider the following two options.

Irrigation System With Sprinklers

Sprinkler irrigation methods are especially common, with a watering effectiveness of 75-80%.

The equipment simulates rain by creating a mist of water and is great for tropical gardens or flowers that enjoy having their leaves moistened.

The system, however, uses the most water. Water takes longer to seep into the ground since it reaches the higher sections of the plant first.

Because evaporation wastes a large portion of this water, you’ll have to run the sprinkler for longer.

This irrigation technique is linked to mold spores and other plant concerns since it dampens the aerial sections of the plants.

Hose Soaker System

Hose Soaker System

In the manner it provides water to the roots, a soaker hose is comparable to a drip system. Evaporation does not waste water because it soaks into the soil right away. 

The soaker hose, on the other hand, releases water along its entire length, which is waste in most vegetable gardens.

A soaker hose, on the other hand, works wonderfully for keeping hedges green and providing enough water to a lawn.

Drip Irrigation Kits: Where To Buy

Packages and small parts are available online as well as at home centres, garden centres, and plumbing supply stores. 

A simple kit costs $20 to $60 and includes what you require apart from for the timer to water approximately 20 receptacles or a 75-square-foot area. Kits of higher quality can cost up to $70.

How To Install A Drip Irrigation System In Your Garden?

A simple, automatic drip irrigation system is an easier method of keeping your plants irrigated if your schedule becomes hectic or you’re away from the home. These systems are inexpensive and simple to set up.

Materials needed to set up a drip irrigation system: 

  • Materials 1/2 an inchch poly tubing is required.
  • Backflow preventer for 1/4 an inchch vinyl tubing
  • Fittings with barbs
  • Small stakes watering devices 
  • Filter 
  • Pressure regulator

Working Out The Drip Irrigation System Design

Start off small and practice to acquire a sense of exactly how it works operates if it is your first foray into micro irrigation. Install a basic single zone irrigation system in one or several flowerbeds or a garden.

The most basic planning method is to choose the optimal watering device for each plant species. Then figure out a flow of water that will provide enough water to all of the plants in the irrigation zone.

Begin by surveying your yard and sketching it out. Choose the flow rate and type of the irrigation systems depending on the water requirements of your soil and plants. 

Make a note of the types and flow rate on your drip irrigation diagram and create a route for the tubes to interconnect them. This will require some guesswork.

Planning Your Drip Irrigation System

Make an effort to make sure all of your plants’ root zones are covered. Don’t be concerned about getting things perfect right away.

Install a couple extras of each kind of irrigation device. It’s simple to move or add transmitters to maintain a balanced flow of water or fuller cover if you understand how the water system works. 

Set the drip irrigation to work for one to two hours each time, 2 – 3 times per week.

In clay soil, Use half a gallon per hour drippers, one gallon per hour drippers in loam soil, and two gallon per hour drippers in sand.

Add the gallons per minute (gph) of every dripper you want to utilise. Limit the total to 150 to 220 gallons per hour if you’re using ½ an inch of tubes for the mainline.

Restrict the length of ½ an inch tubing on a single zone to around 200 feet. At a length of ¼ an inch tubing, keep the total gph to 25 to 30.

It’s advisable to split your garden into varieties of plants with comparable watering requirements when adding to the system. 

With this technique, you build a distinct system (zone) for every variety of plants or part of the garden, beginning at the water supply.

Consult with a merchant that specialises in garden irrigation for help planning a large, more intricate system with better costs.

Constructing Your Drip Irrigation System

Constructing Your Drip Irrigation System
  1. Begin by turning on the outside faucet.

The Y-splitter featuring shutoff valves allows you to use your standard garden hose while keeping the drip system running (and controlled by a controller). A controller is not required, however a backflow preventer is required.

  1. Connect your faucet to a ‘Y’ with shutdown valves.

The additional timer, backflow stopper, filter, pressure regulator, and adapter are then connected.

  1. Prepare the tubing.

Connect the faucet end to the ½ an inch. poly tubing, then arrange the tubing through the yard according to your plan.

Place a stake at each 5 or 6 feet.

Remember that you can hide the tubing afterwards by covering it with attractive mulch.

  1. Fittings should be installed.

Create branches with T-fittings and 90-degree bends with elbows.

Purchase fittings that are compatible with the tube you’re using. 

You could purchase generic fittings which will work on any diameters of tubing if you need to connect two brands of tube or aren’t sure which you have.

To hide ½ an inch poly tubing when it straddles a path or a small stretch of lawn, bury it in a shallow trench. 

However, for greater lengths, particularly in areas with a lot of traffic, use 1/2 an inch. PVC pipe is recommended. Purchase adapters to attach the 1/2 an inchch poly tubes to the PVC pipe’s ends.

Connectors should be installed.

Wherever you wish to place a watering device, punch a hole in the tubing.

Push and twist the punch tip until it makes a clean hole. Insert a barbed connection into the 1/2 an inch. tubing hole.

Add a piece of 1/4 an inch. tube to contact your dripper, sprayer, or sprinkler site if it isn’t already attached.

Setting Up Your Drip Irrigation System

Sprinklers and sprayers can be purchased as assemblies with a barbed connection, a short piece of 1/4 an inch. tubing, and a plastic pole, or you can purchase the separate components and construct them yourself.

Attach pressure-compensating (PC) drippers, sprinklers, or sprayers to the 1/4 an inch. tubing’s end. Support the dripper with a stake and secure it in the plant’s root zone.

Run water via the drip irrigation after your Custom drip irrigation installation is complete.

Close all open ends of 1/2 an inch. tubing with end cap fittings.

Drip Irrigation System Maintenance

Once a month, change the filter (more often if you have well water with a lot of sediment).

Make sure the drippers are working on a regular basis. 

Prepare for winter by bringing the shutdown Y-splitter, backflow stopper, controller, filter, and pressure regulator inside if you live in a cold environment. 

Flush the liquid out from the system by removing the end plugs. Replace the covers and also plug the tubing’s faucet end.

Final Thoughts

The supplies for a drip irrigation system are affordable and simple to put together, requiring only trimming shears and a hole punch tool. 

You may hydrate your plants by turning on the system and simply running it for an hour or two after you put out the tubes and connecting the drippers, sprinklers, or sprayers.

In this article we’ve covered the fundamentals of irrigation, including planning recommendations as well as step-by-step installation instructions. 

We recommend reading one of the manufacturers’ free planning manuals for further information, especially during the planning phase.