With Austin still facing watering restrictions, finding more efficient ways of keeping lawns and gardens green makes good economic and environmental sense. One of the best options is to install a drip irrigation system, which not only reduces water bills but also avoids wasted run-off.
Step 1: Sketch out your garden
On a piece of graph paper, mark out the shape of your garden. Use different colored pencils to sketch in different symbols that will represent small, medium and large plants. When you’re done, connect the dots of your drawing to form the shortest route for your tubing and for the most efficient use of water lines.
Step 2: Scan drawing for large plants
Use separate lines for bigger plants that will need larger amounts of water. These plants should be marked in the same color pencil on your irrigation system sketch so they’ll stand out. Remember: putting too great of a demand on a single line will deplete the necessary pressure to force water all the way to the end of the line.
Step 3: Begin actual measuring
Measure out the distance from your water source to the area to be irrigated. Plan on attaching a backflow control piece, controller, timer or control valve, filter and a pressure regulator, in that order, between the faucet and the line that will conduct water to your garden.
Step 4: Lay out tubing
Use your sketch to help you lay out the route of your irrigation line. Use ¾ inch tubing for the main run of your water line. You can plug emitters directly into the ¾ inch vinyl tube line or you can plug in lengths of ¼ inch drip line to function as branch extensions instead. You can add emitters in-line along the smaller tubing or place an emitter at the end of each smaller branch.
Step 5: Check emitters
Examine the GPM (gallons per minute) or GPH (gallons per hour) marked on your emitters and choose the higher volume emitters for larger plants. Use drip irrigation sprinklers to cover areas of low-growing ground covers. The volume of water you’ll need at each emitter will depend on how quickly your soil drains as well as plant size.
Step 6: Test system
Turn on the water to look for leaks. Keep checking your lines and the emitters on it regularly. Drip irrigation systems can clog over time.
At South Austin Irrigation, we believe that you can have a beautiful landscape and save money and resources. Whether you need service on an existing irrigation system, we’ve got what you need when you need it. For a greener outdoor environment that spares your wallet and the earth, contact us today!