Installing drip irrigation – saves time, money – improves your plants

Drip irrigation delivers correct water right to each of your plants with a series of carefully placed emitters. And it can be a permanent watering system.

The drip irrigation parts are inexpensive. They may include a water source, filter, various size tubing, connectors, elbows and emitters. Depending on your system, you may need a timer, pump and check valve. These parts are available at hardware store and garden centers. And usually parts are interchangeable from manufacturers. The parts snap together and assemble like toys. The system can be redesigned as your garden changes and evolve.

The tubing is more pliable if left in the sun before installing. The tubing may be buried or run along the ground.

Emitters come in various styles and sizes, with output ranging from 1 to 4 gallons per hour. In general, 1-gph emitters cover areas 12 inches, so a bush of 4 feet needs spacing of 4 emitters. An inch of rainwater from a 1-gph emitter takes about an hour. Be careful not to clog the emitters with soil or mulch. Do not let puddles form near the emitters because that means it’s running too long.

Drip irrigation also keeps water off plant and other foliage also cuts down on fungal diseases, pesticides and fertilizers are not washed away, as well as fewer weeds because only the roots are served.

The drip-lines align with the roots of plants. It is best to water deep, but less often. Monitor each plant for length of watering as they take up water at different rates.

Soil and coverage, plant size, and climate affect your needs.