An irrigation system is an easy and automated way to keep your plants watered. This is especially great for when you are on the go and do not have time to plan certain times to water your plants. An automated drip irrigation system is affordable and is an easy way to keep your plants from going bad. Here are 7 easy steps on how you can install a drip irrigation:
Step 1 -Find the right system for your front yard, back yard, or garden
You can find different kinds of kids and individual parts online and at different home centers, gardening centers, and even with plumbing suppliers. The costs are different depending on the quality and square feet you are looking to cover. It is important to know the layout of the space you want to take care of and the square footage.
Step 2 – Plan and sketch for the drip irrigation system
Whether you are going the Do It Yourself (DIY) route or decide to install a simple one zone system it is still important to get the basic planning out of the way. Measure your garden or yard space and make a simple sketch. Choose the type of water flow rate you are looking for and base it off of your soil and plant water needs. If you are going the DIY route it is important to divide up your yard into groups of plants that you have and the similar watering requirements. You can work with a retailer that specializes in irrigation to help you with this.
Step 3 – Start the outside faucet
Make sure you know the setup of your faucet and know where th shutoff is so that you can connect it to the exterior faucet. Attach the optional timer, filter, backflow preventer, pressure regulator, and adapter. Although you do not necessarily have to use a controller it is a must that you use a backflow preventer.
Step 4 – Lay out the half inch tubing
Next lay the half inch tubing and connect it to the poly tubing to the facet end. Once you do this, lay the tubing throughout the garden depending on your plan and stake it down every five to six feet. If you let the tubing sit in the sun to warm up for a while, it will be easier and more flexible to work with. Cut off the tubing with the pruning shears and use T fitting to create the branches and elbows to make a 90 degree bend. You can then bury half inch poly tubing in a shallow trench to keep it hidden as it crosses. Make sure to buy adapters to connect the half inch poly tubing to the parts of the PCV pipe. Also be sure to check with your plumbing inspector before you burying any piping.
Step 5 -Connect the emitter
Next punch in holes in the tubing where you want to install the watering device and push and twist until the tip of the punch makes a nice clean hole. You can buy sprinklers and sprayers to assemble which include a barbed connector or buy separate parts and assemble them yourself.
Step 6 – Sprinklers, sprayers, drippers, and bubblers
There are numerous watering devices out there. It is important to know the differences between the few and the most common include drippers, bubblers, sprinklers, and sprayers. Dippers are used to water individual plants and work great for container plants. Bubblers are a cross between the drippers and sprayers where they are adjustable for flows up to 18 inches and are great for larger plants like tomatoes or roses since they put out more water. Sprinklers are mini versions of sprinklers that are used in yards and most cover a radius from 3 to 30 feet. Sprayers are just like sprinklers but without the moving parts. They spray in patterns and cover a radius of about 12 ft.
Step 7 – Make sure to maintain your drip irrigation system
It is just as important to maintain your drip irrigation system as it is to install it. It is recommended to clean the filter at least once a month and more often if you have water with a lot of sediment. Be sure to inspect the drippers from time to time to ensure they are working. When winter time comes around, it is important to prepare by removing the shutoff splitter, backflow preventer, filter, and controller. It is also important to remove end plugs and drain all of the water out of the system during this time. Be sure to replace the plugs and caps of the faucet end of the tubing also. With these simple steps, you should be watering your plants in no time without having to be there.