How to Make a Garden Irrigation System

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An irrigation system is a more sustainable method for watering your crop than a gardening hose and sprinkler system. In arid regions or during dry, hot weather, micro droplets emitted by sprinkler spray can be lost through evaporation. By contrast, an irrigation system will place water directly on the root zone of your plants. An irrigation system can sit on the surface of the ground or be buried beneath garden soil or mulch.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1 spool irrigation tubing
  • Utility knife
  • Elbow-shaped connectors
  • T-shaped connectors
  • Hose end connector
  • Hose end caps
  • Drip emitters
  • Measure the dimensions of your garden. The dimensions of your garden will dictate the length of irrigation tubing you must cut.

  • Determine how widely you should space the tubing in your garden. Irrigation tubing should be spaced between 12 and 18 inches in sandy soil or between 18 and 24 inches in clay soil. Divide this number by the width of your garden to determine how many irrigation lateral lines you will install in your garden.

  • Cut irrigation tubing in lengths that match the measurements of your garden length. The total number of lateral lines should match the number of your calculation from Step 2.

  • Cut a single length of tubing that matches the measurement of your garden width to serve as a main line. Lay your main line tubing out over the soil across one end of your garden.

  • Attach a hose end connector to one end of the tubing main line. Cut a 1-inch section from the main hose in each place where it intersects the lateral tubing. Insert T-shaped hose connectors in each location in the main line that you cut.

  • Insert the end of each lateral tubing into the exposed stem of the T-shaped tubing.

  • Place a hose cap fitting in the end of each lateral and the main tube.

  • Insert drip emitters in the laterals, spacing them between 12 and 14 inches in sandy soil or 18 to 24 inches in clay soil.

  • Connect a hose to the end of the hose end fitting.

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