With ten grape vines in pots, and another ten fruit trees, I’ve been doing a lot of hand watering. It’s become quite a chore, so I’ve decided to put in a drip irrigation system. This will have water coming from a garden hose, through a pressure reducing fitting, into a feeder bottle so that I can fertilize, through a half-inch hose, and out of quarter-inch drip lines that run to each pot. Instead of a seemingly endless cycle of fill the watering can – water the vines/trees, I would just be able to turn on the water and go read a book. With a timer, I might not even have to turn the water on and off.
I had an abstract idea of what a drip system was and how it worked. What I needed was some hands on knowledge – what were the various components of a drip system? what did they do? how did they fit together? For a crash course in Drip Irrigation 101, I went to three hardware stores. I struck gold at Lowes with a clerk who had been a plumber and installed many a drip system. Now I have most of the equipment I need and a much better idea of how to put that equipment to use.
- half-inch tubing – delivers low pressure water to the drip system
- quarter-inch tubing – delivers water to an individual vine or tree
- 25 PSI Pressure Regulator – keeps pressure from overwhelming the system
- 3/4″ hose to 1/2″ tubing adapter – connects the system to a garden hose or tap
- quarter-inch double barbed connectors – connects quarter inch tubing to the half inch tubing
- 50 quarter-inch hole plugs – plugs holes in the half inch tubing
Basic equipment for a drip irrigation system
- anti siphon device – prevents back flow from the drip system to the water supply
- filter – keeps dirt from clogging the drip system
Other equipment that might be needed
You can buy this equipment at a garden center as a kit or as separate pieces. I had planned to buy a kit, and use it as a learning tool, but the clerk at Lowes assembled everything I needed for the system I had in mind. If all goes well, I’ll be putting it all together into a working drip irrigation system for use this summer.
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