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Water Conserving Ideas ~ How to Build and Install a Drip Irrigation System


Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation or localized irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant.  ~ Read here




How to Install a Drip Irrigation System

Edited by Sainas, MA, Krystle, BR and 5 others
Drip irrigation is a very effective way to water your garden. It supplies the water directly to the roots of your plants, thereby reducing evaporation and water loss through wind flow. It also helps in reducing weed problems and fungal diseases like powdery mildew and black spot because the water only goes to where plants can use it, and does not sit and pool elsewhere. For that same reason, drip irrigation is a great source for water conservation. If you automate the irrigation, you won’t even have to think about it.


  1. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 1.jpg
    Select the area: Select the area where the system has to be installed. For example, a vegetable garden, shrubs around your house, flowerbeds on the terrace — these are some of the areas where drip irrigation works the best.
  2. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 2.jpg
    Determine the water source: Any outdoor nozzle can be utilized for a drip irrigation system, but make sure you attach a Y-shaped valve hose-pipe connector. Attach it in an upside down position, such that the bottom of the Y-pipe attaches to the nozzle. Joint one arm to the garden hose-pipe that will deliver water into the system and the other arm to the auxiliary garden hose-pipe for other watering needs.
  3. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 3.jpg
    Design the garden layout, showing the plants you want to irrigate and how far they are from each other. Each plant will get an emitter (small sprinkler) for its own watering needs, and they all will be attached to the water outlet with a network of drip irrigation lines, 1/4″ and 1/8″ plastic tubing that runs from the main hose-pipe to your plants. You’ll need two emitters for the plants that need more quantity of water.
  4. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 4.jpg
    Gather the equipment: For an automated drip irrigation system you’ll need a battery–operated timer. This timer can be set as a clock to automate water timings. A back-flow valve or pressure regulator is important to prevent drip irrigation water from ruining your household plumbing. Filters help a lot to in keeping away the rust and dirt out of the drip line.
  5. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 5.jpg
    Assemble the the drip lines: Cut the 1/4″ tube with the cutter and push the ends into the connectors to lengthen the lines towards the plants. Make use of 1/8″ emitter lines to connect the main lines to the emitters.
  6. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 6.jpg
    Connect the system. All you have to do is to connect the remaining materials from the nozzle in this manner: Y-pipe, timer, pressure regulator, hose adapter garden hose-pipe, another hose-thread adapter and drip irrigation line. Now your water supply is linked to your main 1/4″ drip line irrigation system.
  7. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 7.jpg
    Test the system: Initially set the timer on manual and then set it on. Now turn on the switch, so that the water will run from the nozzle to the drip irrigation system. If everything is attached and done properly you’ll see that the emitters start to shoot out like small tiny fountains. Now adjust the amount of water accordingly by adjusting the flow from the nozzle. The water flow should be proper not to bursting neither too slow nor flat.
  8. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 8.jpg
    Leakage checking: When you are done with the water flow adjustment, turn off the timer but keep the nozzle on. You will hear the water stops running if that is not the case then this indicate some leakages in the drip line. This might be because of wrong adapter, so use hose-tread only. A minor leakage can be fixed by applying a tape round there.
  9. Install a Drip Irrigation System Step 9.jpg
    Set the water timer: Start experimenting with different timings for watering the plants, once you get the best suited time wherein your plants are getting enough moisture you are done with the setting. Normal 15 to 20 minutes a day for most locations.


Ollas: Ancient Low Tech and Low Cost Sub-Surface Irrigation System

ollas irrigation


6 responses

  1. I LOVE ollas but as a penniless student hippy type they are well out of my price range. I love this post. I have to get my entire veggie garden mapped out and garden beds built (slowly as the money becomes available) but a trickle/drip irrigation system that delivers the water straight to the root zones is where this little black duck wants to be ASAP. The heat of our summers is intensifying and water isn’t something that we can throw around with gay abandon any more. It actually used to be free here in Tasmania!!! It still is in parts of New Zealand. I have worked out something similar to the large system above but I am building it in smaller bed sized sections that are completely separate from each other so that when the bed is fallow, or when I am growing a green crop etc, I can unclip that section and only water where it is needed. I eventually hope to be watering all of my veggie garden with soaker hose and large drums of water elevated so that I can use gravity to feed the hoses…that is going to take some moolah 😉

    February 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    • good idea though, love soaker hoses versus watering plants from above, much more efficient and less plant health issues as well 😀 … good luck !

      February 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      • I figured that if I could unclick parts of the watering system and only use the water needed for whatever particular crops were growing it would be a much more efficient system. Now I just have to work out the logistics of doing it “my” way now! 😉

        February 10, 2014 at 12:07 am

      • i am thinking some kind of ball valve shut offs like i have used in milk houses would work

        February 10, 2014 at 12:08 am

      • Possibly… a good idea! 🙂

        February 10, 2014 at 12:57 am

      • 😀

        February 10, 2014 at 12:58 am

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