Advantages of Drip Irrigation Systems
Drip irrigation systems can help get water exactly where your plants need it most. Combined with automatic timers they are a powerful way to manage your garden more precisely without having to remember when to water your garden.
In the past I have used a combination of automatic timers, soaker hoses, and sprinklers. But since all my soaker hoses have sprung at least one leak I’ve decided it’s time to upgrade to a full drip irrigation system.
Drip Irrigation System Resources
Since this is new ground for me to cover, I don’t have anything in the way of useful advice. However, in the process of researching this topic I have found some helpful information about drip irrigation systems:
PVC Pipe Irrigation System
I love this detailed video from Jeff Banks, a former Utah State University Extension agent. He provides detailed instructions for creating a drip irrigation system using PVC pipe.
This looks like a solid system likely to last for many years– especially attractive for my property since we have a supply of goat head burrs that can slice through almost anything soft (including commercial grade garden hoses). I also like that he addresses a problem I’ve heard people have with drip irrigation systems: plugged water outlet holes. Banks recommends using a small nail to ensure that each opening is free of debris at the beginning of the growing season.
In addition to the video, you can check out this printable pamphlet.
Versatility with Plenty of Components
I am also seriously considering Rain Bird drip irrigation systems. During my research this brand name popped up continually as a good option because so many components are readily available making it easy to make repairs and expand the system in the future. Although I love the PVC option above for my main garden, I like the idea of this more attractive system for decorative areas with herbs around my house.
Drip Systems for Big Gardens
Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a solid supplier for serious gardening so I almost always take a look at what they offer when researching new tools for the garden. They offer drip irrigation kits in several lengths up to 2,000′. Although I really like the PVC irrigation system above, I may consider purchasing one of these ready made kits to put in place quickly this spring.
Detailed Garden Planning
Finally, the garden planner from growveg.com is my new obsession! This software helps gardeners plan every little detail for their gardens, including complexities such as succession planting, crop rotation, and custom plan to install a drip irrigation system into the garden you design with the software.
It does have an annual fee of $25, but, you can try it out for free first to see if it will be worth the investment for your family.