How To Design And Install A Residential Drip Irrigation System

Posted on: 7 August 2016

If you have a home with a small plot of land, you can design and install a drip irrigation system to water your hanging plants, potted plants, and vegetable garden. A simple configuration for a drip irrigation system will include flexible polyethylene drip tubing in various diameters, a faucet connector, a backflow device (to keep water from flowing backwards), a filter (to strain your water and add plant nutrients), a pressure regulator, various swivel adapters, tubing connectors, and tubing brackets as needed for your particular system design. Follow the directions included with your pressure regulator to keep the water pressure in your system within an ideal range. You can also attach a timer to your drip irrigation system to automatically turn your irrigation system on and off. Here are three ways that you can design and install a drip irrigation system for your residential plants:

Plants in Hanging Pots - A series of hanging plants on your residential balcony or porch can be watered on a drip irrigation system: 

  • Use 1/4 inch flexible polyethylene drip tubing with several drip water emitters to encircle each plant inside of each hanging pot. Install your drip water emitters approximately every 3 inches apart. Depending on the size of the hanging plant and pot, you can use several individual drip emitters inside of each pot. 
  • Once you have installed a circle of drip water emitters around your plant stem, use an elbow connector to run your drip tubing up the hanging wire or chain of each potted plant to the place where the plant is attached to the porch ceiling or balcony railing. At that point, use one or more elbow connectors to join your drip tubing to the next hanging plant. 
  • Firmly attach the drip tubing to the porch ceiling with plastic u-shaped brackets that attach with stainless steel screws or attach the drip tubing to a balcony railing with plastic cable ties. 
  • Continue to connect all hanging plants together until they are all connected in one continuous system. 
  • Connect the end of your irrigation drip tube system to an outdoor water faucet. 

Plants in Pots and Boxes - A drip irrigation system can be designed and installed for plants in individual garden pots or planter boxes that sit on the ground or floor of your patio or balcony: 

  • Use 1/4 inch flexible polyethylene drip tubing to line the inside of each pot or planter box holding your plants. Once you have encircled each plant with drip water emitters, use elbow connectors to run your drip tubing to the outside of the container and connect it to the next pot or box. 
  • Continue to connect each plant to other nearby plants by using small u-shaped brackets to attach your drip tubing to your balcony, porch or railing.  
  • Connect the end of your irrigation drip tubing to an outdoor water faucet to complete the system.

Vegetable Plants in a Garden Plot - A drip irrigation system can be installed for a vegetable garden if you have a small plot of land that receives direct sunlight most of the day: 

  • To prepare the soil to accept vegetable seeds and sprouted plants, clear a plot of land that you wish to cultivate by digging it up and overturning it to break up dirt clods and eliminate any rocks. 
  • Mound the earth in your vegetable garden in raised rows where you will plant your vegetables. 
  • Dig ditches between each of the raised rows to hold your irrigation tubing and allow for excess water drainage. 
  • Install 1/2 inch flexible polyethylene drip tubing down the center of each ditch.
  • With elbow connectors, install 1/4 inch flexible polyethylene drip tubing from the drip tubes in the ditches to spots on the earth mounds where you will plant each vegetable seed or sprout.
  • Connect all of the 1/2 inch flexible polyethylene drip tubes in the ditches to each other so that you have one closed system.
  • Cover the center drip tubes in the ditches with 6 to 8 inches of dirt.
  • Connect the end of your irrigation drip system to an outdoor water faucet.

A drip irrigation system is a simple system to keep your plants hydrated and healthy. Once installed, all you have to do is turn it off and on and check that each of your plants is being thoroughly watered. As your flowers, plants, and vegetables grow you will reap the beauty and benefits of a well-planned and well-maintained residential garden. 

Contact a company like H2O Lawn Sprinklers for more help.

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