Drip irrigation consists of a system that delivers water in drip, spray, or stream form to lawns and gardens at low pressure and volume. During drip irrigation, the roots are kept moist without becoming soaked but using less water than other irrigation methods. This ensures that each plant receives exactly what it needs to grow optimally, exactly when it needs it so that the root zone is hydrated and fertilized.
Sprinklers distribute water over considerable parts of the farm irrespective of whether nearby are plant roots present or not to absorb water. They spread water across a large surface of the land, which evaporates or escapes to the wind. Drip irrigation systems distribute water straight to the soil, specifically wherever it is required. While wetting leaves constantly kills plants, drip irrigation deals directly with the problem of foliar diseases.
Drip Irrigation System Components
- Soaker Hoses: Provide the easiest method of built drip irrigation.
- Kits: Create a perfect system for your garden with kits for vegetable gardens or flower beds.
- Backflow Preventers: In irrigation systems, devices keep water supply water from getting contaminated by irrigation system water.
- Pressure Regulators: Ensure that your household water pressure is compatible with the drip line.
- Filters: Keep tubing and emitters clear of debris.
- Flexible Tubing: For the transportation of water.
- Fittings: Ensure that components are connected.
- Stakes: Make sure emitters and tubing are secured to prevent clogging.
- Risers: Plant emitters high enough to be above the plants’ tops.
- Timers: Switch on and off the water according to the schedule you set.
- Hole Punchers: Connect emitters to smaller-diameter tubing by drilling insertion points in the tubing.
- Cutters: Cut tubing of varying sizes with precision.
- Plugs: Ensure that holes you accidentally punched are securely closed up.
- Emitters: Drain the water through the tube by placing it in the soil or onto the plants.
- Pressure Compensating Emitters: Even when water pressure varies, the flow rate remains constant.
Installation Guide For Drip Irrigation System
Drip irrigation products have become more user-friendly, saving irrigation professionals hundreds of dollars per installation, since they do not need professional assistance. Furthermore, a household pair of scissors is usually all that is required to install a drip irrigation system, which can be installed quickly without the use of any special tools.
Watering via drip irrigation systems keeps plants moisturized by giving them precise amounts of water, and they are highly adaptable. Using home-scale drip systems, one can easily irrigate containers and even potted plants all with a single operating system.
Moreover, drip irrigation valves can be adjusted according to a programmed schedule by a computerized timer. Using a net of plastic pipes and drip ejectors, each valve provides water to a unique irrigation zone.
Here is a detailed installation guide for the installation of drip irrigation systems, which is divided into three steps.
1. Installation of Hardware, Timers, and Valves
Rather than worrying about watering, automated valve systems provide ample watering for your plants. You can simply turn the system on and off manually, or leave it running to meet the watering needs of your plants.
- Timers with the simplest design are powered by batteries or solar panels and are attached to faucets. Furthermore, these types of timers and the valve are part of the same unit.
- For larger gardens, a separate multi-zone timer must be mounted near the valves, though multiple valves may not be necessary.
- The water supply to the drip system should be connected with a 3/4-inch PVC pipe and the PVC pipe should be equipped with a shut-off valve so that it can be turned off if repairs are needed.
- However, the local government water supply system may require locally-allocated backflow prevention and detection devices at the junction where the drip system meets the water supply.
- While fitting, the PVC pipe should be fitted with “T-fittings” every 6” per valve. Finally, attach the valves to the PVCs.
- Later, install sprinkler wires with wire nuts connected to each valve solenoid using 24-volt electric circuits. And then connect the sprinkler wires to the timer’s terminal, then connect the timer’s wires to the sprinkler wires.
- The outlet of each valve should be fitted with a drip filter.
- Connect each filter’s outlet to a pressure-reducing adapter (typical drip applications require an adapter with a capacity of 30 lbs per square inch).
- The hose outlet of pressure regulators should be connected to a compression adapter. As a result, the threads on the will become compatible with drip irrigation system valve fittings.
2. Installation of Emitters and Irrigation Tubing Network
Hence, the watering strategy should take into consideration the proximity and frequency of water consumption of the plants being irrigated. In an orchard, water might be needed once a week or less often, but in a vegetable garden, it might be required daily.
- To increase the efficiency of drip irrigation systems, you should plan your irrigation system accordingly; make sure you water every valve with a 1,000-square-foot area.
- The Hose compression device on the first spigot should be able to accept the drip tube ends. Although the most commonly used tubes are 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch.
- The proper mechanisms to connect tubing to drip systems require compression fittings. Tubes are slid into compression fittings while being pulled in at the same time.
- Use U-shaped metal stakes to secure the tubing to the ground while uncoiling it throughout the area you intend to irrigate.
- Irrigation tubing should pass directly through the roots of a plant when drip emitters are placed at the base.
- To pop the emitter into place, a hole must be made in the tubing with special tools. However, U-shaped irrigation stakes are also capable of making holes, as their tip is also used for this purpose.
- Connect the two types of tubing with barbed connectors to supply water to plants not located close to a larger supply line. Furthermore, use spaghetti tubing of 1/4 inches for plants not located in close vicinity to a larger supply line.
- For the remaining valves/zones, follow the same procedure.
- Open each valve manually to flush water through the tubing to remove soil that might have been inside during installation.
- If desired, cover the tubing ends with a compression fitting and conceals them with mulch.
3. Fine-Tuning and Customization
There are countless possible configurations for drip systems, which remind me of children’s blocks.
- Water supply networks can be directed precisely wherever they need to go using an elbow, “T” coupling on both the main supply pipe and spaghetti distributing pipe.
- Whenever you want, you can change the configuration by plugging in and removing caps if you make a slipup or change your plan.
- To measure the water supply, depending on how much water your plants need, emitters are available in 12 (g/h), 1 (g/h), and 2 (g/h) sizes.
- Moreover, with tubing and emitters padded every 9 inches, 12 inches, 18 inches, and 24 inches, a drip system can easily be set up for plants planted at the same distance from each other.
- To further improve the drip irrigation system, the timer settings can also be fine-tuned with further techniques.
- You can set each zone to run for different periods – once per day, once every three days, or every seven days, for example. Furthermore, the duration of instructions in most irrigation timers can also be adjusted according to the season.
- A button should be placed to temporarily turn off the system in case of rain.
In most cases, drip irrigation systems use artificial intelligence to determine when to water plants automatically according to their needs so that no manual intervention is needed.
Benefits of a Drip Irrigation System
- Low water use and low evaporation rates improve water conservation and reduced utility costs.
- No need to cut into your direct water line for the direct connection to the hose spigot.
- It eliminates the need for trenches to install underground supply lines by allowing them to sit on the ground or under mulch.
- Adaptable to plant growth and expansion.
- Improved yield consistency.
- 100% land use.
- A fertile environment with no leaching of fertilizers and crop protection substances.
- Highly customizable according to containers, beds, rows, or shrubs.
- Water will be delivered precisely, so there will be no wastage of water or distribution of water in areas where weeds might grow.
- Preventing the spread of fungal disease by keeping humidity low.
- A gentle watering regime will prevent runoff and erosion.
- Weather-dependent risks are reduced, stability is increased, and risks are reduced.
As with people, plants need the right balance of water and nutrients. Food can’t be consumed in one day, and plants can’t be either. Water and nutrients are applied frequently and in small doses during drip irrigation to produce optimal growing conditions and increase yields.
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