Is your home surrounded by vibrant plants? Do you love to garden? Are you like me, and love eating the fresh vegetables, seeing the flowers bloom, and smelling the incapacitating scent of herbs and aromatic vegetation? Do you want all the fun without a lot of the work?
Answering yes to these questions means you’re in the right place, because this guide will instruct you on one of the easiest and most rewarding gardening projects you can plan for the upcoming spring and summer.
One of most time consuming tasks for the home gardener is watering. Life is busy, and between work and family, there is often not a lot of time leftover for hobbies. Plus, gardening has a whole host of other required work–weeding, pest control, harvest, and general maintenance. Might as well automate your watering and knock it off the honey-do list.
And the best thing is that everything you need is readily available at your local big box home improvement center, generally in the plumbing or irrigation sections of the store. Rain Bird is one brand readily available, but there are others as well.
What you need:
1/2″ flexible tubing. This is generally black tubing that comes in bundles of 25 foot, 50 foot, and 100 foot lengths. They distribute water from an exterior spigot to the areas you want to irrigate.
1) The hole punch tool for punching holes in the distribution line and adding the specific feeding lines you require.
2) Connector pieces for the feeding lines. These barbs are inserted in the distribution tubes to connect feeding lines.
3) Splitters or connectors. Depending on the layout of your garden and any flower containers you wish to connect, you may need a T splitter or different connectors to run the 1/2″ tubing to all areas you want to water.
4) End cap. This figure 8 looking piece makes a kink in the end of the distribution tubing, closing the line and pressurizing the system.
This is 1/4″ black flexible tubing that comes in a few different varieties. If you have beds that you want to soak, you can purchase drip emitter tubing that you snake through the bed. It is connected to the main tubing using the hole punch and barbs listed above.
You have to buy end caps or something similar for the drip emitter tubing to ensure even water distribution. If you have specific clusters of plants that you want to spray or drip feed, you can buy 1/4″ distribution tubing instead and run lines to the various planters or clusters of plants you want to water.
With an automated irrigation system, you can next plan a garden design that will be the envy of the neighborhood. Get ideas at our garden center for everything yard n’ garden. Bookmark it for future reference.
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Sprayers or Drip Emitters.
If you used the 1/4″ distribution tubing to bring water to your plants, you have to decide how you want to administer the water.
Sprayers come in a range of patterns, from 360 degrees to 90 degrees. They also are attached to stakes for easy installation into a bed or pot.
Drip Emitter Caps drip water at a specific rate. Look for gallons per hour when buying these caps, and determine if the plant has large water needs like tomatoes or bell peppers, or small water needs. Use the same hole punch and barbs to connect to the 1/2″ distribution tubing.
I recommend you draw a schematic of your irrigation system on paper first. Plan your system, and then find the pieces you need. Once the framework is in place, you can expand on it in a variety of ways.
Finally, you can add a digital exterior timer to the spigot, and then program a watering schedule that works for your general area. Most have rain delay features–a button you can press to suspend the planned watering cycle for a 24 hour period in the event of rain to avoid wasting water.
Once you start planning your irrigation system, you’ll see how exciting it can be to eliminate a chore of gardening and create more time for the enjoyment!