Friday, April 13, 2018

How I put together my drip system

A few times I have been asked how I put together my farm drip system because there is very little available on the net that goes into details.

I have a few beds with Dripeze tube but I didn't like it as it is too rigid and doesn't lie straight, so now I use Netafim tube (13mm, pressure regulated) which I love. It never blocks and is easy to use. The individual, inline drippers put out 2 litres per hour each. I generally put on the irrigation for an hour, 3 times a week in the heat of summer, and twice a week in cooler weather.

An over all view: All my rows are around 100m long and contain around 50 beds that are 20m long and 1m wide. The bed count is not higher because there is a wide laneway going up the middle of the block, as well as a fence.

Each bed can be watered separately by opening a valve, and each row has a fertigation unit to make it easier to fertilise plants when they get tall.

Each bed has two drip tubes, though if there is a single row of plants, such as melons then one of the tubes is turned off because a singe tube puts out enough water for a single row of plants.

 I drill a 11mm hole in the main water line (Usually 25 mm poly, but here I show 19mm (1/4 inch) as I put in my first line in that size before I realised I needed a bigger size).

I put a Grommet in the hole (Philmac grommet double flange 8mm I.D.). This allows me to remove the drip tube when I need to work a bed.

Next I put a Dripeze take off adapter 8x13mm  into the end of the drip tube.

After that I cut the drip tube and install a greenback valve in the tube so I can turn off the water as I need to - if the bed is not in use, or the plants don't need watering at that time.

The tube is popped into the hole and all is good. This is fairly sturdy but you will need a pressure regulator at the main tap so there is not too much pressure in the pipes. You don't want to blow the drip tubes out. In any type of drip system you have to have a regulator and filter anyway.

The Philmac Grommets - you should be able to get these in your local irrigation store, or maybe your hardware store can get them in.

The Toro Dripeze take off adapters. Your irrigation store can get these.

If you make a booboo in your hole placement, or you just want to remove a tube permanently you can buy these stoppers on Ebay or Aliexpress which plug up the holes admirably.

At the end of each drip tube I just fold over the end and put a cut off piece of main line poly pipe over it to hold it closed. This allows you to easily flush out your system if you need too - just take off the bit of pipe and put it back when you are finished.

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