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Drip Irrigation Systems (Instead of Sprinklers) for Water Conservation

By on May 18, 2015

Drip tape waters the lettuce at Sweet Roots Farm in Nevada County.

There are lots of good reasons to use drip irrigation! Drip irrigation can lower your water bill, protect our water resources, and even increase your crop yield by applying deep water. If you bury the irrigation lines you’ll thwart annual weeds too, which do not thrive in areas without ground-level water (near where they germinate).

Getting Started with Drip Irrigation

Take a minute to watch our video, where Tricia introduces several methods of drip irrigation.

Setting Up Your Water Source
Watch our video to see Tricia connecting her drip irrigation system to a spigot. (Note: the filter hook up no longer needs the brass adapters)

The water hook-up steps are the same, no matter what kind of irrigation technology you’ll be using in your planting beds. It’s like the old song, “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone.” Screw the Y Connector onto the spigot and keep on attaching the parts in order:

Poly Tubing
Poly tubing (illustrated in blue in our diagrams) is the backbone of your drip irrigation system, moving water out to the delivery system of your choice.

Choose Your Style of Drip System

Soaker Hoses Distribute Water Uniformly
Do you want water seeping evenly along a line? If so, choose a soaker hose as your delivery system. Here’s a diagram showing poly tubing and soaker hoses (illustrated in green) combined for irrigation. If you have hard water, consider installing a Calcium Filter to reduce clogs.

Emitterline for Meandering, Moderate Watering
Emitterline (illustrated in tan) is your best bet if you want watering done at 12” intervals along a curving line, like for use around trees at the drip line. 1/2” emitter line can also be used in straight rows in the garden. Power-Loc fittings work with the 1/2” emitter line and you can use barb connectors for the 1/4” emitter line.

emitterline

Drip Tape for Cost-Effective, Low-Pressure Water
Use Drip Tape (illustrated in red) when you want water at 8” intervals in straight lines. It’s a popular choice for vegetable beds. Leave it on the surface, or bury it (to stymie the weeds). One of the advantages of Drip Tape is that the slits in its lines open during watering, then close again. You must put a pressure reducer (10 psi) for Drip Tape if you’re using a higher pressure water source. If not, the tape will rupture and leak water.

Emitters & Microspray to Pinpoint Water
Would you like to have complete choice in the spacing of water intervals? Customize water delivery with emitters (illustrated in black) you place along lines. Or attach sprayers (illustrated in black) on riser tubes and stakes to saturate specific areas.

Helping Hands

Click here to check out our large selection of drip irrigation supplies. If you’re in the Grass Valley area, come to our store and nursery where our knowledgeable staff will be there to answer your questions and show you the range of irrigation products we offer. Or give us a call at (888) 784-1722 or email us at helpdesk@groworganic.com and we’ll be happy to help you!

Fun Fact: Are you suffering from “Gizmophobia?”

“Gizmophobia” is author Robert Kourik’s expression for those who fear the array of tubes and valves!

His acclaimed book, Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape, is a model of clarity (and humor). It’s like having an experienced friend walk you through designing and building the irrigation for your garden!

Have a great growing season with drip irrigation: water going to just the right places, on time, for less money and healthier plants!

  Comments (4)

S

I water my garden (about 25’ X 90”) from a large pond which is 9’ above the garden.  Can a use a drip system with a 9’ head?

Posted by Stan Dorman on May. 24, 2015 at 12:42:16 PM

Stan, is your system just a gravity feed? If so you can use the drip tape, which is low flow anyway. I am not sure what you mean by a 9’ head.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 26, 2015 at 12:54:51 PM

B

I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to irrigate my garden. I’ll make sure I have some tubing installed! Then I’ll install the sprayers myself. Thank you for sharing!

Posted by Braden Bills on Jul. 28, 2016 at 9:33:01 AM

J

Thank you for all of the tips. I want to use a drip system on my own garden, but I haven’t the slightest idea how to start. I really like that you have all of the systems in info graphics. It makes them really to follow. Even though you have this information I think that I am going to rely on the professionals for this kind of work. Thank you!

Posted by Jacques Didier on Jul. 28, 2016 at 11:47:12 AM

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