Friday, August 12, 2011

Our DiG irrigation kit

One of the most time consuming parts of gardening is watering your plants. Crystal was spending hours every week hand watering all of the plants in the beds and ground, while I took care of the EarthBoxes.

We heard that vegetables like to be watered very slowly, so we decided to get a couple of soaker hoses at Home Depot.  On our way to check out, we ran across a drip irrigation kit from a local company named DiG.

At first the thought of installing drip irrigation sounded daunting, but the more I read the box I thought, "How hard could it really be?"  I figured if I screwed up, we still had the soaker hose option.

Our DiG Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation Kit
The kit we purchased was about $30 and it included a backflow preventer, a 25 PSI pressure regulator and a swivel compression adapter.

Hose faucet splitter, backflow preventer, pressure regulator and swivel compression adapter.
Our friend Sonny, from Sonny San Diego gave us a hose faucet splitter a few weeks earlier so I figured this would be the perfect application for it, so we can still use the hose to hand water plants without disconnecting the irrigation system.

1/2 inch tubing upper left and 1/4 inch drip line coiled.
The kit also comes with 50 feet of 1/2" tubing and 50 feet of 1/4" drip line with  .5 gallon per hour (GPH) drippers every 9" apart.  

Tool to punch holes into 1/2" tubing
Basically, the 1/2" tubing is used as the backbone from the faucet to the planting area.  Once you are near the planting area, you need to punch a hole into the tubing and attach the 1/4" drip line with the included hole punch .

Punch hole in 1/2" tubing
After you punch a hole into the tubing, you will need to use the included 1/4" barbs to connect the 1/4" drip line tubing to the 1/2" tubing.

1/4" barbs
Attach barb to drip line
Attached drip line to 1/2" tubing
Next, roll out desired length of drip line next to your plants.

Roll out 1/4" drip line
Get the holes on the drip lines near your plants
Cut the drip line when you have rolled out the desired length.

Cut the drip line
You will then need to plug the end of the drip line with the included goof plugs, which can also be used to plug holes in the 1/2" tubing punched by mistake.

Goof plugs
End of drip line plugged
You can also use the included 1/4" stakes to help keep your drip lines in place and elevate them if needed.

1/4" stakes included
Use the included figure 8 hose ends to close the end of the 1/2" tubing

Use figure 8 hose ends used at the end of the 1/2" tubing.
DiG even sells 1/4" tubing that doesn't include drippers, so you can use individual button drippers also sold separately.  The button drippers come in three different flow rates:  .5 GPH, 1 GPH and 2 GPH.

Button dripper (not included)
Ultimately this irrigation system will save Crystal and me a lot of time watering our plants.  I am going to try using the button drippers to water the EarthBoxes, so that we can water everything, which can then be hooked up to a timer for automated watering.  But first we need to figure out how much water to use.

We'll keep you posted on how it is working.

Gidget is exhausted and dreams of installing an automated bird catching system.


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