You Can Do It: Drip Irrigation 101

When plants are watered evenly and consistently, they can grow with real, optimal results. However, providing that water can be a full-time job, as it is difficult to provide that kind of consistency for your garden. So why not try drip irrigation? As a basic timer attached to a soaker hose, it is a custom-designed system of tubes that directly applies the correct rate of water to each plant you’re growing.

The Soaker Hose

Most plants do not need water in the atmosphere or on their foliage to grow. They really just need moisture in the soil. Drip lines help deliver water to roots only, cutting back on extra moisture in the air that can create the right environment for things like powdery mildew.

Regular soaker hoses are readily available at any hardware store. You can use a connector hose to make a non-soaking line from your spigot to the desired garden bed. Use landscape staples to pin down the soaker hose at the root zone of your plants, which can be covered with mulch if you wish.

The Timer

You don’t need a timer to use drip irrigation correctly, however, since the water is delivered so much more slowly, at the very least, you may want the water to shut off on its own. Timers come in simple as a dial of minutes as well as complicated, with a manifold for multiple lines, settings for complex watering schedules, weather intelligence, and smartphone compatibility.

Custom drip line: Although a custom drip system may seem complicated, it can also be a fun task that doesn’t take very long, with easily fixable mistakes if ever. Start with a fitting that connects to your hose, then add a mainline (a solid hose that leads to the area that needs coverage). From there, use the punching tool that comes with the irrigation tubing to add a barb that you can attach a smaller micro tubing to; you can lead this micro tubing to the root zone of the plant you want to have watered. And then choose the correct dripper level for your plant (heavy, medium and light). If you do it one step at a time, it will be set up in no time!

Consider adding drip irrigation to your home landscape or vegetable garden, and remove the guesswork. In return, you’ll have big beautiful plant and harvest!

If you’re worried about making any mistakes along the way, click here for common lawn care mistakes so you can be sure to avoid them too.