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?
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.
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.
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