Basics of a drip irrigation system

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If you’ve never used or set up a drip irrigation system before, it can seem intimidating. The best thing to do starting out is first to decide what you will be growing, how many plants, and where the system will reside. Then look at a drip irrigation kit that approximates your needs. Get a kit that has slightly more than what you need. You can buy under need, and supplement with additional parts too, but often it is cheaper to just buy a slightly larger kit.

I highly recommend Drip Depot.  Not only do they have any and every kind of drip irrigation system you could need, but their staff is very knowledgeable and helpful, to answer any questions you might have. I am an affiliate of there’s, but also a customer. I would recommend them regardless.

You can run a drip system with our without a fertilizer injector. If you don’t use a fertilizer injector, some type of supplemental plant food is necessary, such as slow release Osmocote 14-14-14, or other amendments. A fertilizer injector has many benefits, including precise control over the rate of release, and ability to stop and start feeding easily. The downsides are added complexity and cost.

The basic components of a drip irrigation system are the following in order, from the faucet:

  1. Timer (optional) – this is to turn the system on and off. I use the Claber Video 2-cycle water timer.
  2. Backflow preventer
  3. Inline filter
  4. Pressure reducer
  5. Fertilizer injector (optional)
  6. Mainline 1/2″
  7. Drip line – 1/4″
  8. Drip emitters

You’ll also need connectors for each mainline, and drip lines, These will all be included in a kit.

If you cost compare, you’ll see it’s much cheaper to purchase a drip irrigation kit starting out.

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