How to Choose a Garden Irrigation System

How to Choose a Garden Irrigation System

Nov 10th 2020

Compared to the traditional methods used for a garden irrigation system, drip irrigation offers many benefits. A drip system will save water and help conserve one of the planet’s most precious resources. By cutting water consumption, you will also reduce your water bills. Drip irrigation also can help you grow healthier plants by getting the water to exactly where it needs to go.

Whether you are thinking about the best drip irrigation system to use in the vegetable garden or want to find a system for watering your trees, flowers, or landscape, DripWorks is here to help. Read on to learn how to choose the best small or large garden irrigation system.

Choosing Your irrigation System

The right garden irrigation system for your home should be a dependable and well maintained. It should bring beauty, healthy food, and water efficiency into your life and that of your garden.

You are reading this blog because of your desire to water your gardens in the most efficient and effective way. Following a few basic tips and techniques can help you get the most out of your watering setup.

You should adapt your watering system to your climate and the growing conditions in your area. The best system should consistently provide not only the water that your plants need but the nutrients necessary for your plants to thrive and grow to their optimum size.

Using a Garden Hose

Watering with a hose is the most basic way to deliver water. Unfortunately, this method is tiring, time-consuming, and inefficient.

It also can tie you down. It requires you to be at your home and providing the right amount of water for the right amount of time at the best time of day.

Hose-watering takes some strength too. It requires quite a bit of muscle to drag heavy hoses around and hold them for a long time to give the flower and vegetable beds an adequate amount of water each day. And then there are the inevitable kinks to deal with.

Winding the hose back up each time when you are finished is another less-than-glorious task. And if you should want to leave for a weekend or a vacation, who is going to do the watering and how dependable are they? Coming home to a bunch of dried-out, dying or dead plants would be an awful way to end a well-deserved vacation.

The Sprinkler Solution

A sprinkler irrigation system can cover a large area via sprinklers fed from buried PVC plastic pipes. Although they can waste a lot of water, sprinklers easily water lawns and flower beds. They are unobtrusive too because they pop up only when they are watering.

The downside of sprinklers is you’ll lose a lot of precious water to evaporation. If you water a flower bed this way, weeds will grow well because the entire surface of the soil gets water. You will be wasting water on your weeds and spending much of your time weeding.

If you do choose to use sprinklers, many options are available online or in big-box stores. Always try to choose the best-quality sprinklers to avoid costly maintenance later. Choosing the right one can be a challenge. Make sure to do your research before you venture into this crowded marketplace.

The Advantages of Drip Irrigation

The best irrigation system for vegetable garden use, flowers, trees, and other watering tasks is drip irrigation. A garden drip irrigation system saves water, time, and money. A properly installed drip system will run automatically at a specific time of day for a specific amount of time. That means you do not have to be standing there with a hose for a long time. You do not even have to be home at all.

Drip systems or drip kits will provide all the parts necessary to completely set up your property the way you want to. If you start with a drip kit, you will get complete instructions, how-to YouTube videos that are easy to follow and all the parts you will need.

How to Set Up a Drip Irrigation System

If you are thinking about purchasing a drip system, the first thing you should do is sketch a layout of your gardens. Show approximate distances from the faucet to the garden beds, including the size of the beds.

Drip irrigation systems offer a way to either drip or spray your plants through the same mainline tubing that will feed water to the entire garden. Although most gardeners drip-irrigate, sprayers on stakes are available for spraying the water from an elevated level. You can also insert sprayers directly into the main water delivery line (1/2″ poly tubing) and spray from a few inches off the ground.

When to Water

Using a battery timer installed at the faucet is essential for a drip system to operate efficiently. These easy-to-program timers will save you water. You can also program the timer to water for the exact amount of time you want and at the best times of day. You can set it and forget it, even if you choose other styles of timers like wind-up or solar.

Generally, you will want to water your plants every couple of days, allowing the soil to drain but remain moist. Your watering schedule may vary depending on rainfall and the types of plants you are watering.

Another huge advantage of a drip system is the ability to fertilize as the system operates. You can do this by using a fertilizer injector. Simply install it directly in the mainline poly tubing. Fertilizer added to the injector will slowly disseminate as the water runs to the plants.

The most popular drip irrigation products:

  • 1/4″ Soaker Dripline: This product is versatile and easy to install. You can use it almost anywhere. It comes in rolls of 50′, 100′ or 500′. That makes it ideal in small to medium raised garden beds, around bushes and shrubs, and in containers on a deck or patio. This 1/4″ tubing has factory emitters spaced every six, nine or 12 inches. It works well down to two psi, a very low water pressure, and disperses water evenly up to 30 psi.
  • 1/2″ Emitter Tubing: This 1/2″ tubing has factory-installed pressure-compensating emitters inside the tubing spaced every nine, 12, 18, 24 or 36 inches apart, according to your needs. It greatly reduces installation time for your system and spreads the water evenly over long distances and hilly terrain. Many gardeners run their 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch mainline past a garden bed or fruit tree and then “T” off the mainline to circle each plant a few times with Emitter Tubing. For even flow, the pressure range is 10 to 50 psi.
  • Aqua Traxx Drip Tape This tape is perfect for uniform water delivery over long (100 yards or more) rows for small or large farms. You can install this drip tape above ground, mulched or buried. It is great for low-pressure systems down to four psi. Pressure regulators are recommended to get the best results.

Visit for more information about what products are best for your situation, including how-to guides, a chat room, a library of blog articles and a free catalog. If you would like to speak to our knowledgeable and friendly staff, they are available to help you at (800) 522-3747.