How to set up a drip irrigation system for your patio pots and hanging baskets.
I love this beautiful waterfall. It reminds me how essential water is to life. Without adequate water our planet would be a barren dessert.
Did you know, our bodies are about 60% water? Plants have us beat as they are about 90-95% water. Water is what transports the nutrients throughout the plant and what regulates the temperature of the plant. Plants in full sun keep from cooking, by giving off water through their leaves in a process called transpiration. On a hot summer day you may see them wilting in the heat, as they transpire off more moisture than their roots can replace. There is no need for concern when this happens, because during the cooler night time the roots will replenish the lost water. The next morning the plants will again look lovely. To keep your plants healthy and happy you want to make sure they have just the right amount of water.
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A great way to insure your plants get the perfect amount of water (even if you are away), is to follow my simple instructions on how to set up a drip irrigation system on a timer.
Setting up a drip system can appear very complex. Most drip systems come as a kit with lots of pieces, parts, and stuff you have no idea how to use. I bought one of those kits several years ago when I was learning how to set-up a drip system and discovered one kit doesn’t fit all needs. I ended up needing to buy additional items for my drip watering needs and didn’t use most of the contents of the kit.
As a result of that experience I’ve developed another SIS (simple is smart) way for how to set up a drip irrigation system for watering your plants.
- 1/4 inch distribution tubing.(image #1)
- 1/4 inch drip-line tubing (image #2) The drip-line tubing had 0.5 gph drippers spaced every 12 inches.
- Variety of drip irrigation connectors. (image #3) to include straight, tee, 4-way and 90 degree connectors as well as an end cap.
- Faucet to 1/4 inch drip tubing adapter. (image #3)
- Stakes to secure dripline. (image #4)
- Timer (image #5)
- Backflow preventer (required if your water source is a municipality, not shown in above pictures).
- Inline water pressure regulator (see discussion below, also not shown in above pictures) The little green and yellow disc in image #4 can be used as a inline flow restrictor.
Rx for assembly of a SIS drip system
- Lay out the system and cut the distribution tubing and drip-line tubing to the size you will need.
- The tubing to faucet adapter comes with a mesh filter. Insert the filter into the adapter as shown.
- Attach the faucet adapter to the distribution tubing.
- Attach the distribution tubing to the timer.
- Using the connectors connect the distribution tubing to the drip-line tubing.
- Cap off the end of the drip-line tubing.
- Arrange the drip-line tubing in the pots (each pot has a separate drip line from the distribution tubing). Secure the drip-line tubing into the pots with the plastic stakes.
- Connect the back-flow preventer valve to the faucet. Connect the pressure reducer valve to the back-flow preventer valve. Connect the timer to the pressure reducer valve (see diagram above).
- Set the timer and enjoy beautiful pots or baskets of flowers all summer long. My timer does not have a back-flow preventer valve or pressure regulator valve because my water supply is a well.
- For information on how to set up a drip irrigation system for your vegetable garden click here.
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