drip irrigation for perennial gardens
I want to make it easier to keep my plants watered and also conserve water. After some research, it looks like drip irrigation is the way to go, rather than soaker hoses.
The drip irrigation system is for perennial gardens, and some plants are 12" apart, some 18", some 36", and all measurements were done with the "close enough" method. There is also some ground cover spread throughout. I would have 100 feet of hose in the front and 100 in the back. They would both be split off the faucet on the side of the house, with garden hoses carrying the water to a "faucet on a post" that I would put near my gardens in the front and back yards.
I know I need backflow preventers, pressure regulators, and filters. I'm also getting timers. I think I'm getting 100 foot 1/2" drip line with Pressure Compensating Emitters. This, however, is where I'm still unsure of how to proceed. I can get emitters spaced 12", 18", 24" or 36". I can also get 1/2 gallon per hour, or 1 gallon per hour. Even at 12", It would be hard to get emitters really close to every plant, and in many spots I'd be watering nothing but the soil.
What's the best way to set up a system like this when plants are not evenly spaced and DEFINITELY NOT in a straight line? My concern is that i find conflicting information. Some people have complained that their drip irrigation seems to go straight down, without spreading much at all. Other sources list a spread of up to 18 inches or so. Would a faster flow (1 gallon vs 1/2) help or hurt the spread? Or maybe dry soil tends to go straight down?
Oh, and my soil is pretty good. Not clay, not sandy.
Thanks for any help, looking forward to happier, healthier plants. I sometimes forget to water until I see some stress, and often wind up doing it at the wrong time of the day (afternoons/evenings).