Drip Irrigation for container/raised beds

Anthony(7a)February 9, 2013

I have a small veggie garden, mostly herbs and some container pots for other veggies/herbs.

Not a lot by any stretch. Maybe 12 to 15 containers and one 4x4 bed right now. Eventually I'd like an 8x8 bed with rows, but not now.

This year I'm doing a couple peppers, cherry tomatoes, radishes, greens, and about a dozen herbs.

I wanted to try drip irrigation, as I'm on travel off and on and the wife doesn't share my hobby. :)

Any drip irrigation systems you all like for such a small install? I saw DripWorks and a few others had container kits. Also, a recommended timer that's reliable would be nice too.

Thanks. Looking forward to trying this!

Anthony

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lehua49

arc,
Here is an interesting read from a past GW thread:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/okgard/msg0813510426468.html

Find the easiest local source for your system. Talk to local irrigation supply store reps for more info. aloha

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:13AM
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lazytexan(9b)

I have a garden with about 10 raised beds totaling ~1000 SF including walkways. It is in the country and I only get there every couple of weeks so I needed an automatic irrigation system.

I purchased a six zone irrigation controller and located all the zone valves in an above ground valve box next to my irrigation well. I ran 3/4" PVC lines underground and installed a hydrant valve at each bed. Several beds were served from a single zone because I needed a couple of the zones to irrigate some fruit trees.

At each bed I used 1/4" dripline which has drippers spaced at 12". The driplines are long enough to run back-and-forth the length of the bed three times so that I get pretty even watering. Any bed that is not being used can be shutoff at its valve and the other beds on that zone continue to operate.

I also have one dripline that I run across a number of individual pots. I originally tried running separate hoses with drippers on the ends of the hoses to serve each pot. However I found that using a single dripline is much more flexible since I am continually adding or removing pots.

I originally used soaker hose but found that the hoses only last about a year before they become hardened from exposure to the sun and the water emitted becomes very irregular. They also break easily after they harden.

I also found that it is very important to filter the water to keep the driplines from plugging. I started using one of the small dripline strainer/filters which has a small mesh metal strainer to remove particles. However I still had plugging from the small sand particles that got through the strainer. I ended up installing a household type water filter with a replaceable paper filter. It is installed between the well and the zone valves and has worked great. I need to dump the collected sand every couple of months.

The system has worked great and I have been able to have a garden under less than ideal conditions considering how little attention I am able to give it.

Your needs are probably less but the same concepts should apply.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:45AM
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