FoodProduction101

How to Reconfigure a Drip Irrigation System

February 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Irrigation

When I had my row garden, I set up my irrigation to match my rows. So I had nice straight lines of soaker or drip hose set up to cover each of my square plots. Now that I have a keyhole pathway system with curvy lines, my irrigation system does not work without some changes.

 

One of the good things about a drip irrigation system is that it is flexible and easy to change the shape of the soaker hoses. I picked a day to do this when the ground was still frozen so I would not compact my garden, but it was warm enough that the black soaker hoses were not frozen.

 

1. Lay your existing soaker hose out over your new garden configuration.

 

2. This is where you need to use your brain a little. By cutting pipe, which can be done very easily with pruning shears, you can cut soaker hose to fit.

 

3. You can also add pipe easily with connectors if you need to make the pipe longer.

Soaker Hose Connector

4. You can also use elbows and T’s if needed.

Elbow, End Cap, Connector, & T

5. Lay out your newly configured system, and make sure you are satisfied with the configuration.

 

6. Now simply hammer in the sod staples over the pipe to hold it in place. Make sure you hold down T’s and elbows, and make sure curves are secured. I like to have a sod staple in place at least every 6 feet or so, more if the line is curving.

End, held in place with sod staple

7. The ends can be a real problem, as the water pressure can pop the end off, which will flood that section of the garden if you don’t notice quickly. I like to bury the ends and crimp them to ensure it does not happen. I normally do that in the spring before I turn on the irrigation. Over the winter the staples tend to push out of the ground a little because of the frost and heaving.

New irrigation setup for keyhole beds

 

New irrigation setup for keyhole beds

 

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