Install a drip irrigation system for your flower or vegetable garden. Drip irrigation will not only save you money on your water bill, but also time. A good automatic system will adequately water your garden, preserve natural resources and eliminate the hassle from even having to go out and turn on the water tap. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to help you install a simple drip irrigation system.
Step 1 - Choose a Drip Irrigation Kit
There are many different types and designs of drip irrigation systems available. Visit your local home improvement center and choose the system that provides the hose length and watering capacity that you will require. To make things easy, pick a system that comes with automatic timer at this will help save you time in the future.
Step 2 - Choose a Water Source
Any outdoor faucet tap will work fine for an automatic drip irrigation system. To make things even easier, you can attach a Y-shaped water hose connector, which you can find at almost any hardware store. Install the adapter upside down, so that the bottom of the Y is attached to the faucet tap. Attach one leg of the adapter to the garden hose that will be used for your irrigation, and attach the other leg to an additional garden hose for other purposes.
Step 3 – Measure and Place
Begin by sketching the area you wish to use drip irrigation. You should plan for one emitter (or tiny sprinkler) for each plant that will need to be watered. You can also use one emitter for every 2 plants. Plan to place the emitters about 6 inches from the base of each plant that needs to be watered.
Step 4 - Assemble the Irrigation Lines
Lay out the irrigation tubing in the sun in order to soften the plastic and make it more malleable. You can use scissors to cut the common ¼-inch tubing that probably came with your system.
Push the connectors into the ends of the tubing and extend the lines towards your plants. Use the 1/8-inch connectors to connect the main lines to the emitters.
Step 5 - Connect To the Faucet
With the remaining equipment from your irrigation kits, connect the gear in the following order:
- “Y” connector
- Life backflow/pressure unit
- Hose thread adapter
- Harden hose
- Another hose thread adapter
- Drip irrigation line
Your water supply will now be linked to the irrigation system's main ¼-inch water line.
Step 6 - Test the System
Go to your water faucet and toggle the switch on the Y-shaped connector so that the water will run into your drip irrigation system. Ensure that your timer is set to manual and that it is turned on. Turn on the faucet. If you've done everything correctly, you'll notice that the emitters are starting to act like tiny water fountains. You can adjust the pressure of the water by adjusting the flow from the faucet.
Step 7 - Check for Leaks
After you're satisfied with the flow of water, turn off the timer, but don't turn off the faucet just yet. You should notice that the water stops running even though the faucet is still pumping.
At this time, you should check for leaks between the faucet and all the other connectors and emitters. If you find that there is a leak, you might be using the wrong adapter. Always use an adapter that has a hose pipe threading and not a pipe type thread. You can usually fix leaks around connector areas or emitters with water-resistant tape.
Step 8 - Set the Timer
Set the timer to run for about 20 minutes every day. This will usually be adequate for most watering requirements. You may need it to experiment with the watering time, depending on what types of plants and vegetables you are watering.