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Easy drip irrigation for raised beds

Jan 03, 2013 -
   
  Easy drip irrigation for raised beds
This raised bed has a line of 1/2" poly tubing, dotted with 360-degree Spectrum Sprays.
 
   

Raised beds with drip irrigation are the easiest way to grow your own vegetables.

In our new video on raised beds, Tricia shows you how to create a raised bed in minutes, using M Brace, Minifarmbox, or jumbo-sized Smart Pots.

Raised beds offer easy planting, weeding, and harvesting.

Want to make the watering easy too? Add drip irrigation—with a timer, it will deliver a steady supply of water to your plants, whether you’re in the garden or on vacation in Paris.

We have a diagram showing you how to construct your own drip lines and sprayers, and we offer a pre-made kit too.

The only complicated part about drip irrigation for raised beds is the initial connection to the outdoor spigot. We’ll walk you through that process right now, and you can also see our video on the subject.

Set Up Your Water Source

Watch Tricia connect her irrigation system to a spigot.

This is the way to start to any kind of timed, drip irrigation system (large or small). Attach the Y Connector to your outdoor spigot and then add the other parts in order:

* Y Connector with Shut Off
* Electronic Water Timer
* Vacuum Breaker
* Brass Hose Swivel Adapter
* Flushable Y Filter
* Brass Adapter
* Pressure Regulator

Filters are recommended for all drip irrigation systems, but if you have very clean, city water you might be able to get along without one.

Poly Tubing Gets The Water To Your Raised Bed

Poly tubing is the spine of your drip irrigation, and it’s purple in this diagram.

drip irrigation for raised bed

Use Power-Loc Tees (black in this diagram) to connect the 1/2” poly tubing.

You can see the shaded areas, showing the scope of the sprayers. This diagram shows several blue dots for Olson O-Jet Sprayers on Olson Riser Tubes and Spike Stakes: 4 45° sprayers and 2 180° sprayers. The 2 360° Olson Ultra-Jet Sprayers in the center have 1/4” Barbed Couplers connecting 1/4” poly tubing to Irrigation Stakes. If your bed is smaller you might be able to eliminate the 180° sprayers.

You can choose the spray diameter of your Ultra-Jet Sprayers to fit your raised bed. This diagram shows blue sprayers with 11” spray diameter for a bed that is approximately 2’x2’.

Pre-Made Drip Irrigation Kits

irrigation kits for raised beds

Want a system in a box, ready to hook up to your water source? If you have a 4’x4’ or 4’x8’ raised bed you can order a kit with all the pieces, ready to put together. Minifarmbox™ created these kits to go with their raised beds, but you can also use them in beds you build yourself.

For more information: We have advice, and installation tips, at our Drip Irrigation page.

If you’re in the Grass Valley area, come to our store and nursery where our knowledgeable staff will answer your questions and show you the full range of irrigation products.


Categories: Raised Bed Kits, Drip Irrigation, Drip Emitters, Drip Irrigation Supplies, Organic Gardening 101, Urban Gardening & farming


Kay Stocksdale Says:
May 24th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I have (9)  3’ x 8’ raised vegetable beds running three across length wise.  I want my water source to come in from the three short sides and go down and up again to the next two sets of three beds.  I would like to use the most simplest set-up. The photo at the top of this article, ( a line of 1/2” poly tubing, dotted with 360-degree Spectrum Sprays.), looks like a good candidate.  How would I set up three lines from one regular water hose source, then flow the tubing from bed to bed and still be able to push my wheel barrow through the 3’ spaces between beds.  Also, what would I put at the end if I wanted to consolidate the three lines back to one and feed a soaker hose to the outer perimeter of the garden?  Thanks so much for your help.
KS

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jun 5th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

This is such a difficult one to address without diagrams. But let’s give it a whirl.

Come off the spigot as usual with 1/2” PVC and do a tee at the first row of boxes. Run the PVC along the face of the 3 boxes with elbows up to the outer two.

Do the same thing in reverse order at the other end of the beds to bring the lines together into PVC where the soaker hose can be connected to water the perimeter - if there is sufficient pressure remaining for soaker requirements.

You will still have to run the wheelbarrow over the PVC at the ends of the beds, but that should not be detrimental if the wheel barrow is not overloaded.

Hope that is clear!

Cindy Says:
Jun 26th, 2014 at 8:12 am

I appreciate the information about the raised beds. However, am having difficulty finding the irrigation “kit” or information on setting up the irrigation. The link to the kit, goes to boxes, not irrigation. Thanks!

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jun 30th, 2014 at 9:01 am

Hello Cindy,

Thanks for letting us know about the link problem. I’ve fixed it and this is the where the link should go:http://www.groworganic.com/ds-minifarmbox-irrigation-kit-4x4.html

Lee Says:
Jul 19th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I’ve got a u-shaped raised bed that is 2 feet tall. The two “arms” are 3X10 feet and there is a 3X3 foot square between them at one end to make the “U”.

I am doing square foot vegetables.

I think I want to use the quarter inch emitter lines, but I am not sure if I should choose them with emitters that are built in at 6” apart or 12” apart.

Also, I’ve been told I should run a drip line down both side if each row if plants… so 6 lines for a bed 3 feet wide.

Right now I have tomatoes, but I’m in SF Bay Area (east bay) and will be doing fall and winter gardens… sprouting broccoli, radicchio, kale, etc.

Do I need different set up for the emitters with different types of plants? Or will the same set up work for all? and do I need to leave my drip running longer since my beds are 2 feet deep? And how do I know how long is long enough?

I’m new to all this, as you can tell. but I love your site and want to get going with automation!

Thanks!

PS, Would love to see articles on fall & winter gardens and succession planning for year round gardening! esp in moderate climates like the east bay

Suzanne Says:
Jul 21st, 2014 at 10:29 am

Drip irrigation is a great way to water wisely and not too hard to set up. The emitter line with 6” spacing is 1/4 and would work fine, but it has a limited run length of 19 feet. The emitter line with 12” spacing is 1/2 inch line and would also work in your situation. Might be better for a square foot gardening approach.

The length of time to water will be determined by several factors including soil type, sun exposure and the type of plants in your raised bed. Bottom line a bit of trial will lead you to the correct timing. Here is a link to our video on setting up an irrigation system, http://www.groworganic.com/organic-gardening/videos/drip-irrigation This .will help answer some questions.

Hope this helps, we have several videos and blogs on irrigation which may answer your question more closely.

Lee Perler Says:
Aug 18th, 2014 at 11:40 am

We have 5 raised beds of (4) 4x12 ft, and (1) 4x8. They are positioned side by side plus a raised 6x12 off to the side where we grow corn. We’d like a drip irrigation because of the need to water such an area. The plants just are not getting the water they need for the hot summer times.  We have a small yard with a house water source. Can you please help configure and what supplies are needed.

Suzanne Says:
Aug 19th, 2014 at 9:52 am

There are several how-to videos on setting up drip irrigation, http://www.groworganic.com/organic-gardening/videos/drip-irrigation  and ,also books and resources on the internet that should help in getting your system set up.

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