Table of Contents
- What is a drip irrigation system?
- Best drip irrigation system
- How to make a cheap drip irrigation system
- The Best Drip Irrigation Kits for Beginners
- How to set up a drip irrigation system?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation?
- How long should a drip irrigation system run?
- Drip irrigation system for cannabis
What is a drip irrigation system?
The kind of irrigation system that saves a potential quantity of water, nutrients, and inputs for growing crops by delivering water slowly and directly to the roots of plants using underground pipes, valves, emitters and tubing to stop the water from evaporating it into the air. Drip irrigation system becomes more beneficial than any other irrigation system due to the underground movement of water and saves more than 70% water for the successful growing of crops, vegetables, and Cannabis in the field and the home garden. It is a type of controlled irrigation method that delivers directly into the roots where it is needed using a slow and steady technique with precision using multiple arrangements such as water reservoir, piping, valves, emitters in a row with or without involving gravitational force for the movement of water. Precision involves the delivery of water right into the place of need, at the accurate time and in true amount for the optimum growth of the targeted plants in a diversified environment. Farmers are capable of producing high-value crops that lead to gaining maximum yield with a reduced cost of fertilizers, pesticides, and other related inputs and earn more compared to the conventional farmers of similar farming nature in their locality. Drip irrigation systems are becoming more and more popular for row crop production especially in the localities where water resources are limited while their popularity for the home & organic gardeners has also considerably increased in the last few years in the US and Europe where home gardeners have attained drastic success in producing organic microgreens, vegetables and Cannabis for their personnel use.
Best drip irrigation system
Based on the performance, customers feedback and reviews these irrigation systems are considered the best for the small home gardening of vegetables, microgreens and Cannabis in the US climate;
#1 KORAM 100-Feet 1/4″ Blank Distribution Tubing Irrigation Kit
Ever best system if you want to save money and cover a broader area for raised beds, flower beds and hanging arrangements in your garden including the potted plants of all types. Very easy to install and operate in any garden space while its wide coverage to 25 square meters can water roots of the plants without any wastage and spillovers.
soft tubing is great when you have to make loops or need to change the configuration to work up to 25 PSI. Exposing the system to higher pressure may be a challenge for the newbies but can be configured easily for watering individual plants to provide the true amount of water they need or to meet the irrigation needs of multiple plants growing in your garden.
#2 Orbit 69525 Micro Bubbler
Easy and quick to install that takes around 15 minutes only and you can start watering your gardening greens immediately after that saving more than 70% water after installing. The system works best under drought and limited water resources using flexible tubing and professionally designed emitters that convey water directly to the plant roots rather than open spaces and stops weeds growth.
Micro bubblers are the added advantage in this system. Orbit micro bubbler is sufficient for an area of 25 square meters of your garden to water potted plants, raised beds and line sowing of fruits, vegetables, and Cannabis plants.
#3 Raindrip R560DP
A fully automated watering system that answers all needs of watering your containerized plants, raised beds and hanging floral basket arrangements indoors and outdoors together. The watering principle remains similar to all drippers to save more watering and avoiding the spillover and wastage in the unwanted areas.
The System comes with 5 years limited warranty and easy to install manual and material that resists weathering effects and wear and tear of the system. additionally, directing precision-controlled watering to the root zone of the plants saves them from building grey mold and powdery mildew on your precious plants and there are fewer chances to develop leaf spots caused by overhead watering to plant foliage. The system is fine with 20 plants whereas it has the added advantage to customize the system according to your requirements.
#4 Rain Bird GRDNERKIT Drip Irrigation
If you are new gardeners, you have the chance to learn how to assemble a watering system easily to extend its operation across your green scape while you are growing microgreens, vegetables and Cannabis in row planting or the raised bed.
Powered to save up to 40% irrigation water the 50-piece kit and user manual for spot watering emitters including soft distribution tubes and installed the regulator. No digging or plumbing is needed. Simply connect to the faucet to cover 75 feet working length in your garden where you are supposed to grow herbs, microgreens, vegetables, fruits, and Cannabis plants. Very durable system while no clogging is seen during its constant use.
#5 Flantor Garden Irrigation System
It is the best system for watering indoors potted plants, fully automated with the ability to water your plants for 30 days. Its programming features allow you to regulate water to plants while you are away on long holidays with simple 4 AA batteries or alternate USB power.
A small but smart system allows you to water multiple plants as per their needs with adjustable emitters and a timer to run for 30 days worry-free watering.
How to make a cheap drip irrigation system
It is quite an easy process to make small cheap drip irrigation that doesn’t need anything to buy from outside where you can water your plants 24/7 using this system.
- Take a transparent empty water bottle and punch a hole on its base that fits the size of the soft tube to reach near the roots of your plants.
- Place a flow regulator drip set near the base of the bottle at the start of the tube.
- Seal the sides of the tubing at the hole with some gel or sealant and check for leakage.
- Use a small capillary emitter at the end of the soft tube and place near the root zone of the plants.
- Fill in the bottle with tap water and hang above 1.5-2 meters from the surface of the plants so that water flows with the gravitational force to the roots of the plants.
- Regulate droplet size and flow rate. Generally, it is 1 drop per 5 to 7 seconds in summer and 10-12 seconds for 1-drop in winter for leafy greens and vegetables.
- Water-bottle may be replaced with a watering can or bigger reservoir if you intended to water more plants. It would be a better choice to use a separate flow regulator for each plant.
You are all done and can switch on and off your device from the regulators anytime depending on the need of the plants.
The Best Drip Irrigation Kits for Beginners
Since, most beginners start with containers or pots in the process of growing microgreens, vegetables and Cannabis in their gardens so the best system they can use easily is made by Drip Depot for their containers at Desks, greenhouse or patios.
#6 Drip Depot Irrigation Kit for Container Gardening
That can water up to 80 plants simultaneously in any containerized garden with the flexibility to install and operate easily containing step by step instructions to connect the standard hose to the water faucet.
It’s a low maintenance system that saves more than 70% water and runs through 25 PSI in the hose.
How to set up a drip irrigation system?
In most of the countries, where summer is hot and blazing, continuous supply of water is required to keep your plants and flowers up and alive. The decrease in the underground water level in summer creates a shortage of water supply of these plants on their own. Plants having deeper roots can extract water from deep underground, but summer heat can cause them damage too.
In cases like these, everyone with a gardening hobby should know how to install a drip irrigation system. This irrigation system helps in beating the heat by its micro-level irrigation system, which not only waters the plant continuously but also saves water from evaporating and the gardener’s time. Moreover, this system helps in supplying water right where it is required i.e. the base of the plants, into the root zone.
A drip irrigation system is an inexpensive tubing network, that can help in easing the difficult, and tiresome water chores of a garden. This system is quite useful for those gardens that have several flower beds, raised beds and vegetables and requires a lot of hassle to water them properly.
A drip irrigation system is easy to install and does not require much time either. Below mentioned are the steps that lead you to how to make a drip irrigation system with PVC at home.
#1 Plan the whole layout plan of your garden, that includes where and what tube size should be placed or used. (¼ inch or ½ inch).
#2 Connect one side of the tube end with a faucet and a vacuum breaker, from stopping the contaminated water’s backflow.
#3 Spread the layout of the perforated tubing under 18 inches of soil and connect them with unperforated tubes for supply.
#4 Hold these tubes in place by using ground stakes.
#5 For trees and shrubs use ¼ inch tubing and place them around the tree.
#6 Pierce a hole in tubes of ½ inch and connect a micro sprayer wherever there is dense planting.
#7 After the whole connection, turn on the water, so that all the dirt from the tubes are flushed out and then close the rear ends.
#8 Cover all the tubes with 2 inches of mulch from stopping water from evaporating.
Simple Polyvinyl Chloride pipes can be used for the whole process and piercing can be done manually. For piercing, first, place the tubes in sun, and when they are softened a little, make holes using a skewer or any sharp tool.
Moreover, a pressure regulator and controller can also be used for more efficient and accurate control of the watering of the plants.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation?
There are numerous benefits listed below, for installing a Drip irrigation system to your garden space where plants get a steady supply of water and nutrients round the clock while a few disadvantages that are also associated with installing such system include cleaning of the system, choking hazards and leakages issue that can be addressed easily if you are focused to boost the health of your entire garden.
Water is applied exactly where it is needed that saves evaporation and the surface runoff during hot and dry conditions. Plants are benefitted with every drop of water they receive from the system. Water-saving is more than 70% if your choice was the premium system of watering.
#2 Easy to install
Most of the systems come with easy to install instructions for the gardeners that can place their system tubing on topsoil layer with little dig outs while they have the options to replace and relocate their layout if they find some good option, alternatively.
#3 Fewer diseases and Pests
As the water is directed to the roots only, Diseases and pests don’t find suitable conditions to live and infest your gardening plants due to the absence of excessive moisture in the garden.
#4 No weathering effects
Since the system tubing runs under the layer of soil there is no effect of rain, winds or storms to the tubing and it runs successfully whereas it is also safe from such environmental extremes and runs for longer.
#5 Worry-Free Set up
Once you have successfully installed and run your system, you become worry-free knowing that it is working even in your absence and at the time when your away on vacations as well to keep your plants, vegetables, and Cannabis healthy.
#6 Reduced Cost of Inputs
As the quantity of the fertilizers and pesticides are used in a liquid state while their wastage is limited due to placing them into the reservoir to convey it to the roots of the plants, their costs are reduced to 70% or more in some cases.
How long should a drip irrigation system run?
If you want to know how long your irrigation system should run, you need to know the exact amount of water your system is delivering on your plants. Small emitters are capable of delivering up to ½ gallon or 4-gallons of water per hour for the systems installed in outdoor gardening. For this calculation, you may run your 1-gallon emitter for 15 minutes and multiply it with 4 to evaluate the actual water dispensed in an hour. Generally, 1-gallon emitters are enough for growing microgreens, vegetables and small plants in your garden but you need to increase the run time if you supposed to water fruit trees and bigger plants.
Drip irrigation system for cannabis
#7 Drip Works Economy Garden Bed Kit
This kit is capable of working in 3 beds having a size of 1.25 meters into 2.5 meters while each bed can be grown with 8-10 Cannabis plants. It uses regulator pressure up to 30 PSI and can be used to water Cannabis 24/7 in the raised beds. It is very easy to install and operate in any Cannabis garden.