Setting Up A Drip Irrigation System – The Basics

Drip irrigation systems are ideal for farmers looking to conserve water. While this system has promising results, it can be a bit difficult to achieve without the proper set up. There are many drip irrigation kits available to help you set up your own drip system. Whether you already have a kit at hand or are hoping to construct one yourself, this article can help you get started.

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Here are the items you will need to set up your own drip system:

  • Pre-punched drip irrigation tubing that is ¼-½ inch thick
  • Drip emitters – plastic device that hooks up to irrigation tubing and releases water droplets into plant
  • Backflow preventer valve 
  • Barbed connectors 
  • Plastic ground stakes
  • Elbow connectors

Once you’ve collected the necessary materials, start laying out rough placements of your tubing and emitters around the area you want to irrigate. Ideally, the drip tubes should weave around the designated area like a picture frame. Each crop should have an emitter nearby that will serve as the crop’s own personal sprinkler. Emitters should be placed between 12-24 inches apart. 

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To ensure that water will flow from your outdoor water source through the drip system, install a backflow preventer valve to your outdoor water line. You may also need a hose adapter to ensure a perfect fit. Once securely attached, connect your main water line to the newly installed backflow preventer valve.

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Next, you’ll want to return to your tubing placement and attach the tube to your central hose bib. Use barbed connectors to attach your pre-punched tubing and emitters. Then, secure the connected tubing with plastic ground stakes to ensure all your hard work stays in place. 

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As you repeat these steps over the whole area, the tubing may have to turn at a sharp angle. To avoid damaging the drip system, cut the tubing and reattach it with elbow connectors. This will ensure water flows continuously. Once finished, cut the tubing and leave the end exposed so you can drain it with water later. Drip irrigation systems should be flushed every 4-6 months to avoid water blockage or erosion. Finally, cover the entire tubing area with a few inches of mulch. This will stop water from evaporating before it can reach your crops and conserve water.

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Hopefully these steps help you easily set up your drip irrigation system. The entire process should take no more than a few hours and costs under $50. Drip irrigations are affordable to set up and will save you money down the line by maximizing water and plant growth. Most of all, drip irrigation systems are durable when properly maintained and hopefully will continue to save you water for many growing seasons to come.

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