Drip irrigation for roses

edenh(z9)March 17, 2014

I would like to set up drip irrigation for my roses. I am not quite sure what kind of dripper to use and how to incorporate fertilizing with the irrigation. Can anyone help?

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diane_nj 6b/7a

I started with what is now the Dripworks Standard kit for Roses and Shrubs. It uses what they call "shrubblers", emitters on a small stake. I extend the system with parts from Dripworks or comparable parts from a local hardware store.

In the past, I have used the EZ-FLO injector, which I connected into the irrigation system via quick connectors, to aid in distributing liquid fertilizers. Since I now primarily use dry, organic fertilizers, I no longer use the EZ-FLO. If I do apply any liquid fertilizer, I just mix it up in a 32-gallon trash can, and use a gallon jug to apply to the plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dripworks

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:26PM
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The one thing that I did when I installed my system was to use 1/4" tubing between the dripper and the main feed 1/2" line. That way I can move the dripper as needed.

They make drippers that you can adjust the volume from off to 1 or 2 gallon/hour. However, I find the 1 gal/hour are just as good. (You don't have to check each to make sure the volume is correct)
They also make volume controls that can be inserted in the 1/4" line so where a lesser volume is needed just install one. Install it next to the feed line as once buried under mulch it will be hard to find.

If you have a chain length fence that you have your roses attached to I suggest you run the 1/2" line along the pipe with 6 foot 1/4" lines coming off it. Use tye-wraps to hold it in place. You can have a lot of drippers attached to the same feed line -- 300 or more-- so don't worry about overloading it.
The EZ-FLO injector is okay but all of your plants on the same feed line will get the same amount of whatever you put in it, which may kill them.

Here is another link that may be helpful: http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/

This post was edited by Toolbelt68 on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 16:13

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 4:08PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

If you have hard water, avoid weeper tube as it gets clogged. Small spray heads can also get clogged eventually (a few years) if your water is super-hard. Emitters that just drip, drip, drip don't seem to get clogged as often, but they don't spread the water out as much.

Make sure you check your drippers every so often for leaks, clogs, overspray, underspray, etc. I try to check a zone or two at a time--just turn it on, look around, turn it off. Sometimes a rabbit will nip off an emitter, things like that. After you get familiar with it, it's pretty easy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 4:41PM
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Hi, thanks for the replies. I have 0.5G and 1G inline drippers. I am using the 0.5G drippers for my annuals and perennials, set to water at every other day. However I am not sure what type of dripper to use and how much water should I give for the roses. They are in 7 G pots and some in 3G pots. I have to fertilize every weeks because my soil is very sandy and yard is just too big to amend all at once. Also we have a lot of rain in central Florida in the summer. I also have the volume control knob but they dont seem to work well.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Get one of those water meters you stick into the soil and check each plant on 4 sides at the drip-line. Record the data. Lot of work for sure but you will know how the water is soaking into the soil so you can make corrections. Check it before and after the water timer come on and/or off. If you have Excel on your computer use it so you can sort the data for each plant.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:21AM
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I also use the Dripworks kit with the "shrubbers". I have had great success with them for a few years now.

I don't incorporate any ferts into this. I just use RoseTone once a month during the growing season. Since it's a once a month application, I didn't want to be bothered with any sort of mechanical.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:55AM
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john_ca(CA US9/SSZ14)

I have several hundred roses on over an acre and have them all on drip. I live in a rural area and can buy half inch drip line from local irrigagtion supply companies that sell large quantities of supplies to growers having hundreds of acres. I can get a 1000 foot roll of drip line for around $50. I buy the majority of the other fittings from etailers like mr drip. Rather than using a single emitter, I buy rolls of quarter inch drip line that has emitters embedded every 12 inches. I cut a 5 foot length of drip line and insert the ends into a quarter inch barbed "T" fitting. The loop with the T is then inserted into the half inch feet line near each rose. Water is applied evenly around all around the plant. I use the same system with my fruit trees but use larger loops as the trees grow larger. Here is a link to a company that I buy my fittings and quarter inch drip line: http://www.mrdrip.com/Dripperline_c_606.html
I have used this system for over 2 decades and it has worked very well. I recommend using a filter at the hose bib, especially if you have your own well, like I do.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:07PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

How many pots? If you search the Dripworks site, they have set-ups for pot watering. As for how much, that would depend on how much drainage occurs from the potting soil used. These seem like small pots, so I don't know if it is worth setting up drip, but your mileage may vary.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:22PM
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I used rain drip emitters, 3 ghp. I planted some new bare root last year and the planting instructions recommended hand watering. I had 4 plants and now I have 9. I have continued to hand water. It's getting to be a pain so I will set up a drip watering system. I will use two emitters per plant.
I'm using rain drip, because I have the emitters and tubing.

I can't give a good recommendation because even though I have soft water, the emitters get plugged and need to be inspected regularly. For my established roses, I use a sprinkler and water once a week. The new roses will need to be watered more frequently. It gets hot here.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 9:24PM
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To Diane_nj: I have about 25 pots of roses and many in-ground annuals & perennials . However, I am planning to get more roses but due to nematode problems, they all have to be in pots. I travel quite a bit, thus the irrigation.
To John_ca: I like the idea of the ring. I only have one dripper at the base of each plants but now that I have so many plants I think I will buy the tubing with emitters for the in-ground annual and perennials as well. I would like to know how do you fertilize your so many roses?I might be able to use granular fertilizer with the "shrubbler" but if I go with the dripper, I might need to use the fertilizer injector.Right now I am fertilizing every week (very diluted) because my soil is very sandy and organic fertilizer doesnt seem to be enough for the roses.
To Nicholas: I dont see rose-tone at my local big box store. Will plant tone work just as well? I will try it out one one or two roses just to see how well it will work.
hoov is right . The lines do come off,especially because I got tired while setting it up and didnt push the barb far enough.
My main line is about 300ft and I am using 25PSI regulator. I am not sure if the pressure is strong enough. I have used up about 500ft of 1/4" tubing so far.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:20PM
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If the drippers are dripping the pressure is okay.

BTW, you do have a back-flow preventor installed, right? Make sure it is at the highest point in the line.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:40PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Espoma Plant-tone will work just fine for roses, and your other plants as well. I use Espoma Holly-tone.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Thanks for reminding me of backflow preventer. I took if off because I was trying to figure out the order of installing different parts. I woke up one night at 2am to what sounded like rain only to find out that it was the water spraying out from the backflow thingy. I bought a new one but forgot to install it.
OTOH, the emitters are dripping but at 1G I probably need to put it on for 1 hour for the roses that are in 7 gallon pots.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 10:16PM
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