Today I’m going to show you how I installed a drip irrigation system in my raised beds using only 3 materials. I don’t have a background in anything technical. Most of my adult life I have been a middle school teacher and tennis coach, but this system was very simple and setting it up was easy. I’m going to show you exactly how I did it, and of course I took plenty of pictures so you can have examples to look at.
- 25 ft Waterwise Drip Hose by Thombo
- 20 ft Connection Tubing by Thombo
- Hole Punch (included with connection tubing)
- Pocket Knife or Garden Shears
- Pliers (optional)
Step 1- Cut the Drip Tape
The first thing I did was cut up the Waterwise Drip Hose by Thombo into the sections I needed for my raised beds. The drip hose has drip emitters spaced every 1 foot along the drip line. So I used the drip emitters as a guide to help me cut the appropriate length I needed. When I did cut a piece off, I made my cut in the middle of drip emitters.
If I had a larger section to water I could have chosen a larger drip hose, but this project was small so I went with the 25 ft size. After I cut the drip tape to the size I wanted, I laid the pieces in the position I wanted them to be. The pieces ended up being 4 feet long and I used 3 pieces in one bed and 3 pieces in the other. I used up a total of 24 ft and had 1 ft left over.
Step 2- Close off the Ends
Next, I needed to close off the ends. To do this, I cut one inch of drip hose from the ends to use as a clamp. I then folded the remaining end two times in 1 inch sections. After folding the ends I need to bend the ends into a U-shape so that it is easier to slip the 1 inch end on over the folds. I continued to this process on all of the ends.
Step 3- Attach Drip Hose Using the Connection Tubing
I needed to attach the drip hose pieces so that water can pass between them. I attached the drip hose by using the connection tubing. I used a sharp pocket knife to cut the connection tubing into the lengths that I needed. I think that sharp garden sheers may have been easier to use though. When you cut the connection tubing make sure you have enough connection tubing to be inserted into the drip hose about 5 inches. Also, when you cut the connection tubing make sure you cut it at an angle.
Next, use the hole puncher to poke a hole into the end of the drip hose. Be sure to prop open the drip hose so when you go to poke a hole in it you won’t poke through to the other side. Also, make sure you poke slowly. It is easy to poke all the way through the drip hose if you are not careful. Also, do not make your hole too big. If your hole is too big water could leak out. You could even have your hole a little on the small side, that way when you insert the connection tubing into the hose, the tubing can expand the hole to the appropriate size.
Here I am connecting all the drip hose pieces using the connection tubing. I make sure that I insert the connection tubing about 5 inches into the drip hose.
I am also going to connect the two beds together using the connection tubing. Since the beds aren’t very far from each other nor are the beds up very high, I can get away with using the connection tubing for this. If my raised beds were higher or much further away I would needed to use header tubing to make sure a good flow of water got to the other bed. But in this instance, I’m good! I also plan to bury the connection tubing so that I will still be able to mow between the beds.
Step 4- Connect to a Water Source
Connect your system to a water source and turn on the water. When the drip hose starts to fill up with water, it is much easier now to place the hose where you want it to be since it is heavier. Also, your entire system can be buried. I could bury it all under the dirt if I wanted to, but I plan to put straw mulch over it.
This system was extremely easy to put together. Even with taking pictures, I got this system finished within 30 minutes. The only part I see being difficult for people is closing off the ends of the drip hose. I’m a pretty strong girl so it wasn’t too much trouble for me to make the u-shape bend with my hands. However, I could see how it would be difficult for some people. One way to get past this is to use some pliers and a piece of cloth to get the bend you need to slip on your one inch end.