Drip Irrigation Systems

It is crucial to adopt a suitable irrigation method to grow your plants, shrubs and crops because all vegetations require different water intake. For better results, you should plan out proper irrigation system for your garden. One of the more efficient watering methods, that can save water and your water bills, is drip irrigation. The majority of agriculture experts, professionals and gardeners all prefer this watering method for their irrigation needs.


Basic Elements of Drip Irrigation System

An Overview of Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is one of the best ways to irrigate the plants at ground level where they require it the most. Basically, it was developed for the agricultural industry but now, it is much popular and used for residential gardens as well due to water efficiency. You may use drip irrigation for row crops, orchards and greenhouses to reduce the volume of water required to irrigate and its costs. Primarily, it is often used in desert regions where water is scarce but it should be used at all places as water is precious and it is a must to save water!

Drip Irrigation is Efficient for:

  • Trees and shrubs
  • Flower and vegetable gardens
  • Raised beds or row crops
  • Greenhouses
  • Patio and deck plants

You can set up a drip system that waters your entire garden at once, or you can plan out a drip watering system that efficiently irrigates certain parts of your garden. It is up to you how to design and set up an irrigation system that can adequately supply water to vegetables, natives, and other plants with different water requirements.

Advantages of Drip Irrigation

Today, it is very crucial to make use of our water resources wisely and irrigate our plants with care. Many have used drip irrigation method and enjoyed improved results by way of increased crop yield. You can use this method and save water, electricity bills, labor, and chemical inputs. This watering method improves plant strength by dispensing water as well as nutrients directly to the root level of plants and avoiding unnecessary wetting of plant leaves.

A drip watering system, when designed and installed properly, and utilized making use of sufficient fertilizer and chemicals can provide huge benefits such as:

  • Highly efficient water supply
  • Suitable for almost all environments
  • Maintains moisture level in the soil
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Effective for windy areas
  • Suitable for all sorts of plants and soil
  • No fear of water runoff and evaporation
  • Increases crops yields
  • Doesn’t waste water on weeds

Components of Drip Irrigation System

With many different irrigation supplies and components available, you can set up a drip watering system.

A drip system requires flexible and tubing and emitters to deliver water to your plants. You may require a smaller micro-tubing that you can attach to the main half-inch tubing and that run out to the individual plants. At the end of each length of your micro-tubing, you can attach an emitter that can regulate the water flow. You may also need filter and pressure regulators. So, a drip system can be made using the following irrigation supplies:

  • Pipe and tubing
  • Emitter
  • Backflow prevention device
  • Electric control valve
  • Filter
  • Pressure regulator
  • Irrigation clock
  • End or flush cap

Types of Drip Irrigation Systems

According to irrigation requirements, variations in a drip system can be seen. Therefore, various types of drip systems you can see these days being utilized to meet different watering requirements:

  • Toro drip irrigation system
  • gravity drip irrigation system
  • rain bird drip irrigation system
  • lawn drip irrigation system
  • automatic drip irrigation system
  • farm drip irrigation system
  • In-door drip irrigation system
  • dig drip irrigation system
  • sprinkler irrigation system
  • drip irrigation fertilization
  • seasonal drip irrigation
  • eco drip irrigation

So, you can design your own drip system according to your irrigation needs.

Designing and Installing a Drip Irrigation System

Design is an important aspect of a drip system because your irrigation schedule depends on it. While designing your system, keep in your mind different plants with different watering needs. Also take your soil and slopes into your consideration. Suppose you have heavy clay soil, you may require setting up a system with more water pressure. According to your plants’ irrigation needs, choose emitters and make sure where your joints and connectors should be best placed.

Before digging up any trenches, you can lay the piping above ground so that you can see whether you have the best placement first.

A Drip System Installation:

The process of installing a drip irrigation system can be divided into the following simple steps:

Backflow Prevention Assembly:

Determine your location for the backflow prevention assembly. The backflow prevention tool stops irrigation water that potentially carries chemicals like fertilizer or weed killers from flowing backward into your home’s drinking water.

Valve Box:

A valve box includes valves, filter and pressure regulator. You have to burry it underground.

Dig Trenches:

You can start digging trenches from your valves and run them all over the places you plan to lay pipe or tubing.

Pipes and Tubing:

Your landscape irrigation system will need two types of pipes, PVC pipe and PE tubing or poly-tubing.

Irrigation Clock:

Depending on your irrigation clock, your system will start and run for desired period of time.

Connect Clock to Valves:

Using the trenches dug for your pipes and/or tubing, you will run wire from the clock to the valves.

Emitters and Micro-tubing:

Your emitters and micro-tubing have to be connected to half-inch poly tubing.

Backfill:

Backfilling is nothing but the process of refilling all your trenches with soil again. Cover all of your wires, pipes, and tubing.

A trench of 10cm deep is more than sufficient unless you have sandy soil. It is also good to keep your drip emitters above the ground so that the chances of getting them clogged by dirt are less.

Drip Irrigation Tips:

Your irrigation system is the main thing if you wish to create water-efficient and healthy landscape. Here are some easy irrigation tips for your considerations:

Schedule Your Watering Task:

1. How frequently and many days you have to irrigate your plants depends on the soil type, the types of plants and emitters you use.

2. Flush your drip irrigation lines as well as filters every time when you change your irrigation schedule.

Check Moisture Level in Soil

3. If your plants seem to be stressed, check the moisture level in the soil.

4. If the soil is wet, then your plants may be over-watered.

5. If the soil is dry, then you should make sure whether all emitters are working properly.

Know Your Flow

6. For determining how many emitters can be placed on each valve, you may require to know the rate of flow f your watering system

Automate Your Watering Task

7. You can add a programmable timer to your system so that your plants are watered a precise amount each day no matter you are home or away.