Irrigation Made Easy: Here's how you install irrigation

A lot of people find irrigation a bit daunting but Josh loves it so he has some tips for making it simple.

For the vegie garden, which needs a lot of water, he has chosen dripline piping that has 4 litre-per-hour holes spaced every 20cm.

Josh’s vegie beds are 3 metres long, which means there will be 15 dripper holes per run of pipe. Josh will space each row of dripline pipe 30cm apart, which will give him 5 runs of pipe for each garden bed.

The gives him 15 x 5 drippers per bed = 75 drippers in total.

Each dripper will deliver 4 litres of water per hour, so the whole bed will receive 75 x 4 = 300 litres of water per hour.

Graphic with text ‘Drip Line Irrigation’ Vegie bed with drip lines ‘Total = 75 drippers x 4 litres ph = 300 litres p/h per bed

Across his five beds, that translates to 1500 litres of water per hour. Because Josh estimated his water supply at 2250 litres of water per hour, he knows that his tap can easily supply that amount and keep the driplines in each vegie bed full of water and operating properly.

How to construct bed irrigation:
John has already set his garden up with 20mm PVC supply pipe running underground to each garden bed via an isolation valve, where you can turn the water on or off. From this he runs a header line across the top of each garden bed.

Use a tape measure to measure and cut the header line into 4 x 30cm lengths. You will need a smaller piece to attach the first T connector to the isolation valve so that it sits 10-15cm away from the edge of the bed.

Connect the first four pieces together with a T connector; it can help to soften the end of the pipe by placing it in hot water before fitting it over the connectors. Fix the pipe in place by placing plastic clamps over the pipe where it joins the connector and tightening it with pliers.

The final dripline is attached with an ‘L’-shaped connector.

Now cut the driplines into 3m lengths (or slightly shorter, depending on the length of your bed) and connect these to the T connectors. Josh seals off the end with more isolation valves so he can occasionally flush out the lines, but you could also use stoppers to seal off the ends.

Tree Irrigation
Fruit and nut trees also need irrigation but are kept on a different watering schedule – and a smaller, 19mm line – to the one servicing the vegie beds. Josh likes to create a ring of drip irrigation around each tree. He plants a new macadamia and connects a circle around it, with a plug at the end of the dripline that can easily be replaced by a link if the pipe needs to be extended as the tree grows.

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Irrigation Made Easy: Here's how you install irrigation

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