10 Items to Consider for your Drip Irrigation System

May 16th 2014

Every project requires a particular set of tools. Here are a few we feel everyone-from drip irrigation 'newbies' to irrigation masters-might want to have in the garden.

Screen Filter - Even if you're connected to a municipal water source, we recommend installing a screen filter at the head of your drip irrigation system. Most municipalities flush their lines periodically, releasing rust and other debris into the system. Why risk clogging your system—and all that entails—when you can have peace of mind for roughly the price of a couple of movie tickets?

Soaker Dripline - This 1/4" poly tubing is available with built-in emitters spaced 6", 9", or 12" apart and can be used for containers, border gardens, shrubs, and garden beds. Though it is not pressure-compensating, it will continue to operate at pressures as low as 2 PSI, making it ideal for low pressure and gravity-fed systems. Few products offer so much for so little. Every gardener should keep a roll of this versatile product on hand.

Goof Plugs - As the name indicates, these handy little items can certainly be used to plug a hole when you want to reposition a 1/4" line or when you accidentally punch a hole in the wrong place. However, they are also used to terminate Soaker Dripline or any 1/4" branch line. Keep plenty on hand.

Woodpecker Emitters - These pressure-compensating powerhouses are simply one of the best emitters on the market! Vineyards, greenhouses, and container gardens are just a few of the applications where this product excels. The emitter's outlet accepts 1/4" tubing, expanding the number of ways it can be used. Add Multi-Outlet assemblies (DMWASS and DMWST), and you can water up to eight containers with a single Woodpecker!

Drip Tape - For long, straight row crops there is no product that is more water-efficient than drip tape. Designed with clog-resistant emitters, drip tape will operate at extremely low pressures while continuing to deliver even distribution. If you have a large, flat field you need to cover then this is the product.

Water Metering Valve - If you rely on stored water for your drip irrigation system, this item can save you the heart breaking experience of coming home to find it all drained away due to a faulty timer battery, ruptured line, or open valve. Set the maximum amount of water you anticipate using and the valve will close when that volume is reached. Don't risk losing all of your precious water!

HLUBE - This product lubricates O-rings, washers, and gaskets to keep them from drying out and cracking, the primary cause of leakage in hoses, wands, timers, filters, valves, manifolds, and pressure regulators. A tiny amount, applied in the spring, will keep your system watertight throughout the growing season.

Hose Screen Washer - This inexpensive, often overlooked item is indeed cheap insurance. If your water source has a lot of debris you can help avoid downtime, lost plantings, and needless cost of replacement for next to nothing with this humble item.

Timer - Free yourself from the tyranny of tending your garden and reclaim all that time you've been wasting manually watering your plants. Timers are available in a wide variety to cover a range of needs. Whether you're in the city or off the grid, have a small backyard garden, an orchard, acres of row crops, or small deck garden, there are wind-up timers, battery operated timers, AC timers, and even solar timers to automate your watering tasks.

Row Cover - Placing this row crop cover over your garden beds can extend your garden's growing season dramatically. Available in two weights, this permeable fabric allows sunlight and water in but keeps frost out. It's like moving your plants into a warmer growing zone!

Of course these are just a few of the items that I would include. Your choices might be entirely different. Whatever you choose, I would recommend always having plenty of transfer barbs, hold down stakes, a selection of Easy Loc fittings, and a punch. In addition, you might want to keep extras of your favorite drippers, emitters, and tubing on hand. And don't forget a punch!

So before you head into the garden to do battle, check your war chest. Then head over to DripWorks. We can help.