Micro drip irrigation system provides water in sluggish drip straight to the bottom or root zone of the plant. To make this particular happen, the system might incorporate versatile irrigation lines, drip emitters, micro sprays etc.
Drip irrigation is an ideal solution for raised garden beds, hanging containers, and potted vegetation.
Why drip/micro irrigation?
Once you set up your raised beds or garden it’s time to provide some kind of an irrigation system for your plants. Now if you provide a nice irrigation system, what it lets you do you to forget about watering your plants on a regular basis.
Pretty much does a decent job for you. Using drip irrigation or micro irrigation, you can save a lot of water compared to the sprinklers that you are already using.
If you already have a sprinkler system set up for the lawn, you can convert your lawn to a raised bed garden.
Convert the sprinkler system into a micro or drip irrigation system
You can start doing this activity of setting up your micro or drip irrigation system right after you have set up your raised beds. When you raised bed ready, then going with setting up your irrigation system.
To convert your existing sprinkler system to a drip irrigation system, you will need a converter, which converts your sprinklers to a low volume irrigation system.
It basically fits on top of your existing sprinklers. Also, has a built in pressure regulator. Remember that micro sprinklers use less water pressure than your sprinkler systems.
This comes with a built in regulator a 30 psi regulator. It also comes with a filter built in and an inlet which goes to your sprinklers.
You need some garden staples to secure your pipes or your main line. Your main line is tubing, ½ inch tubing. This is a 100 feet tubing and these are the micro sprinklers.
Your main line is tubing, ½ inch tubing. This is a 100 feet tubing and these are the micro sprinklers. Now, these micro sprinklers are very different from the sprinklers that you use for your lawn.
The micro sprinklers will only spray a short distance. You can still spray a larger distance if you wish to its adjustable. All of these are adjustable. The micro sprinklers are 180 degrees adjustable and we also have some 90 degrees micro sprinklers.
You will also need some elbows to connect your main line tubing and also some tees so you can branch out your mainline tubing. You will soon find out how many of these you need.
So if you look at this diagram this should give you an idea of where to place your micro sprinklers.
Basically, at the corners of each bed, you will place the 90-degree micro sprinkler and you will place an 180-degree micro sprinkler right in between your large beds.
The first step is to turn your timer in the off position. Now carefully look at all the sprinkler heads. If you want you can just dig it out in a better way. Then you will need to do is cap off all your sprinkler heads except for one.
What you basically do is remove the sprinkler heads from the riser by turning it in an anti-clockwise direction. You can remove the riser from any level. If you have a short riser below your main riser that is perfectly fine.
Just use the threaded cap to cover the riser and that completes the step of capping off the sprinkler head. You can repeat this step for all your sprinkler heads except for one which we will use as our source.
Go around and make sure the sprinkler heads are capped off with the appropriate sized threaded nut. Once you attach this riser connection you get two main lines of irrigation that you can run along the top part.
You will choose one candidate sprinkler head that will use for your drip irrigation line. Make sure everything else is capped off.
You have one emitter left and what we have done is we have attached our product to that one emitter that was our candidate emitter that you would attach your main line which is your ½ inch tubing.
Now our aim is to get that ½ inch tubing all the way across towards your raised bed. If you remember we spoke about the garden staples, the garden staples will hold your main line while you are attaching all your accessories or all your elbows and tees.
It just makes it easier to work with ½ inch tubing. Now, remember that the new ½ inch tubing might be a lot springy. So just bear with it, it will come to its regular shapes in sometimes.
Keep using those garden staples and keep securing your main line. At the corner, you will use an elbow to connect your main line to come towards your raised beds.
Elbow connected in the corner and main line tubing goes in the elbow right away, you can just push it in. This is a tee that will go towards the raised bed. It will take your main line from the ground to your raised bed.
Let’s complete the connection between the elbow and tee. Just pushing in your main line inside the elbow on one side and then insert it in the tee on the other side. It’s actually very easy to do this.
You might need to use a little bit of pressure to push in those tubing. But is should be fairly easy. The main line tubing is very easy to cut. You can either use pruners or scissors and it does a good job of cutting the main line tubing.
You have to use a little bit of pressure sometimes to push the main line tubing inside the tees and the elbows. The first bed is usually the most difficult to setup. Once you get a hang of how the system works, setting up the rest of system is a piece of cake.
We can now use the garden staples to secure our main line again. You can keep doing this as often as you want. You could also use some hammers if your ground is very hard so that the garden staples stay in place.
You can make some adjustments to the length. If you have raised beds, the advantage is that you can even use some PVC clamps to secure the pipes along the raised beds.
They are basically clamps which you can screw on to your raised beds. We have elbows on the four corners connecting the main line.
Now we spoke about micro sprinklers, but that not the only option you have available for your drip irrigation or micro irrigation project. Let’s see What option you have…
- Pressure compensating drip emitters
- Variable speed fan emitter on a stake
- Variable speed drip emitter on a stake
- Soaker hose
These micro sprinklers are adjustable, so you could regulate the speed by just turning a knob. You can spray very less to a lot more and these are the micro sprinklers on stakes.
Now one of the reasons I like using micro sprinklers instead of all the other options is that micro sprinklers can cover a large area very easily.
With the other kind of emitters lets say for example with the soaker hose, you would need to know where exactly your plants are in the raised bed. In most cases what I’ve noticed is that I sometimes randomly place my plants around the raised bed.
So if you use a soaker hose you have to keep changing the position of your irrigation system. Whereas if you use these micro sprinklers they will only spray inside you raised the bed.
But it will make sure that it covers the entire area of your raised bed. So I hope this gives you a good idea to set up irrigation for your raised beds and I’m sure that will be able to easily set up your own drip or micro irrigation system.
That should save you lot water and keep you plants well watered. So I hope you like this article, and I will come soon with another topic of gardening until then…Happy Gardening.