Small Home Garden Drip Watering Questions

I have been thinking about running a standard garden hose around the perimeter of a 12' x 30' vegetable garden, inserting tees at several places along the way so as to reach the 4' x 4' raised beds in the interior, and placing a short loop of home-center recycled tire soaker hose in each raised bed. Assuming that I had a timer and pressure regulator at the water source, do you think this would evenly water the whole area? Or would a smaller diameter soaker hose be preferable? Is there some practical limit to the number of tees I should place along the main line?
I got the idea from seeing the drip irrigation kits on the Internet, but as I already have the hoses I thought maybe these would work well enough. Have any of you done something like this?
TIA,
J.
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 12:10:01 -0500, John wrote:

Good day John. I have installed a very large drip system on a client's property that is controlled via a timer. The main line of the system is 3/4 inch water line with the drip lines plugged straight into the main.
After reading your post, the first issue I see is the garden hose. Connecting the drip lines to a garden hose may not be possible. The end connectors for the drip lines push through the main line and they have a barb on the end to hold them in place. I'm unsure if they would seal and not leak. The second issue I see is that garden hose is only 5/8 inch. A small main line will dictate how many dripers you can have.
A problem with drip systems that have long main lines is that the drippers in the start of the line will tend to water more than the drippers at the end of the line. This is a fixable problem. You can install lower volume drippers in the begining of the system and higher volume drippers in the end of the system. Another issue that drip systems have is plugged lines. These little lines tend to plug up rather quickly if you don't drain and put the system away every season. Everything from dirt, calcium and small bugs seem to get in to the drippers and lines. And lastly, these lines do break down in time. They can get brittle and crack depending on what they are made of.
With out seeing your garden area, it might work out better not to use drippers at all, but something line a shrubbery spray head. http://www.rainbird.com/diy/products/sprays/a17series.htm You could run a 3/4 inch main line into the garden and tee off of that. A couple of elbows here and there, a few threaded female fittings that accept 1/2 threaded pipe with a spray head atop it. You could lay out the main line and side lines on the top of the ground so the system can be moved or put away. I've built a few of these and they work very well. The dripper systems can consume quite a bit of time to set up and maintain and they can cost quite a lot.
Good luck and happy watering.
--
Yard Works Gardening Co.
http://www.ywgc.com
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