Looking for Something?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Drip System Ideas

This year will be our third summer at our current home. The last two years we have used a hose and sprinklers to waterour garden. My intention has been to get a drip system hooked into our sprinkler system.As you all know, sometimes what we intend isn't what is realized. This year, I decided to just put in a drip system hooked to our hose and a timer as I don't foresee getting it hooked to our sprinker system soon. I still have about a month to get it in as it snowed today.

I found some great ideas from my local Utah State University extension on making a PVC drip system at this link. Scroll down through the first part to see lots of great pictures and ideas. Here are a few pictures of the systems that people have built. All pictures taken from the University of Utah extension site and the article that I linked to.

This one is appealing to me as you can open and close various sections depending on what you want to water. Seems to add a lot of flexibility.

This one looks like it would work well too.

Here is one that looks good for a raised bed or square foot garden.

I am sure there are many pros and cons to a system like this. I like the idea that it saves water and I can automate it. I have talked to people that don't use PVC because it leeches chemicals into the soil.What are your experiences with a system like this? Share your feedback, ideas and resources in the comments below.



Doug said...

In the past 6 years, I have evolved from sprinklers to pvc now to the flexible rubber pipe drip system (orbit brand at Lowes). When I tried PVC, I had a supply line with a bunch of T's with PVC stubs going out. I then drilled holes either at a certain spacing for rows or right at the plant. It worked but I hated cutting the pipe, gluing, and it wasn't very flexible. The past 3 years, I have gone to the black flexible pipe they sell at Lowes & Home Depot. I think it is 3/8" for the supply lines. You cut them with scissors and the fittings just get pushed together. I then run 1/4" stubs off to each plant with a drip or bubbler at the end. They also have soaker hoses. It is very flexible for rotating. I end up buying new 3/8" supply line each year but the T, end cap, and 1/4" drip line fittings can be reused each year.


Wouldn't the PVC pipe weather and crack? We use drip lines made of thin hose material. You cut it to the desired length. There are emmitters about every 3". Hook the line up to your system and the timer does the rest. You can unhook the hose and roll up in the winter for eay storage. I like it. Plus it's flexible.

Allen said...

If you are worried about pvc chem leaching just use high pressure pvc. It is rated for supply lines unlike standard drain pipe pvc

Mike said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Good advice and information. I have considered traditional drip lines and soaker hoses. I have a lot of neighbors that garden and they informed me that the soaker hoses and drip lines don't work as well in our area. They say that it is because we have such hard water that the lines clog with minerals and stop working. Most of them have turned to PVC. From what I have heard and read you can expect a system like this to last about 8 to 10 years before the PVC weathers if you bring them in during winter which I would plan on doing. I will have to look into high pressure PVC. I still have more to think about. More views or opinions would be appreciated.

Jennifer said...

When I moved to my house the previous people had connected a regular soaker hose (the flat kind with small holes) to the automatic sprinkler system. I had never thought of such a thing. The soaker hose was used in a garden bed apart from the lawn -- and, since that area's water needs were different from grass, we could adjust the timing and delivery of the valve connected to the hose. Also, since this area abutted our patio, it was nice to have water soak in the ground rather than be sprayed/wasted on the concrete. I don't know how this idea would transfer to a larger garden plot, but thought I'd pass it along.

Of course all this was before we (we, meaning a shovel and I) broke the sprinkler system's electrical connection. Sigh ...