Drip irrigation uses up to 70% less water than overhead sprinklers or watering systems and is great for those who may not have time to hand water or perhaps are away from home regularly. With drip irrigation, there is no trench digging or a myriad of components to put together, so it’s a great option for the average home owner.
An example is a Dripeze system from Pope, which is available at all major hardware stores. It’s best to put your irrigation in just after planting out a new bed, but it is possible to go around advanced shrubs/trees also, you will just have to negotiate the lower branches to get your lines as close to the roots as possible.
Starting near your tap lay your main line down in a grid formation around your plants, cutting spacers of around 30-40cm for the ends to join up the rows. This 30-40cm spacing is ideal as it’s roughly the spread of water you’ll get with each emitter. Join up the lines with elbow joiners or t joiners and clamps.
TIP - Use hot water to make pipe soft enough to push onto joiners.
If there are any larger plants or pots off to the side or away from the main garden bed, run the smaller spaghetti lines (which also have emitters) out to them in a lasso-type layout. Form a circle around the tree/plant, then, using a T joiner, get a length of tubing and run it back into your main line. Then attach any extra lines by punching into the plastic with a special punch and using a two-way joiner. This is also good for pots, but instead of a lasso method, simply attach an emitter (sold separately) onto spaghetti tubing and run it back into the main line.
Connect your pressure reducer and filter using a small length of 13mm line and clamps. Note the height of your tap, as these components are quite long. Attach to the main line and do a test to see if it is all working.
Now that it’s all done, it’s time to bury the line work under the mulch - if you haven’t mulched the garden, consider doing so as it really helps keep the moisture in the soil. Fasten the lines down with hold-down stakes or bent wire to hold them in place and prevent a tripping hazard.
Step 5. (Optional)
Consider installing a timer onto your tap, so your system can be fully automated. Another option to use with the timer is a rain sensor. It does just that; senses the rain and skips that period of irrigation you had previously programmed.
* is ideal for windy areas as water goes directly to the plant roots
* reduces the risk of fungal and insect problems due to less wet foliage
* saves you time and money by using around 60% less water than watering with a hose
www.popeirrigation.com.au - (irrigation supplies)