It has been really dry this year in our area so I’ve had to get out my homemade PVC irrigation system. This system works very well and is relatively inexpensive compared to regular drip irrigation setups. It works especially well in my rectangular four foot wide, twenty foot long wide-row beds.
I use the PVC irrigation system mainly for the tomato plants as these are the prize of our garden. The system works equally well for cucumbers, cantaloupe, beans, corn and larger vegetable beds. The system is easy to setup and break down at the beginning and end of the season. It is also easy to reconfigure as needed and move around the garden.
Here is the parts list. You can find all parts at a home warehouse store.
- 3/4” standard PVC pipe (I use 10 foot lengths)
- Slip couplings (used to connect pipe lengths)
- Slip 90 degree elbows
- Slip T fittings
- Slip caps (used for the end of line)
- Female adapters both slip adapter and garden hose adapter
Below are pictures of the various fittings.
- 3/32” drill bit
- Pliers or wrench to screw in garden hose adapter
Initial steps to prepare system:
- Cut pipe lengths for connecting long lines to each other according to your garden configuration. I have several different lengths depending on how I want to connect the long lines
- Drill 3/32” holes in the long lines about 8 to 12 inches apart down the length of the pipe. I mainly use 12 inch spacing.
- Slip on caps at one end of pipes that will be the end of the line.
- Slip on couplings, tees, elbows and garden hose adapter based on your configuration setup.
That’s it! Pretty simple.
For the fittings, you can just slip these on by hand and they don’t have to be super secure since there won’t be that much pressure on the system.
Once you have your system set up in the garden, connect your garden hose to the adapter. Remember to point the holes in the pipe down toward the soil. On the end of the garden hose, I put a valve fitting to easily regulate the amount of water flowing through the system. I like to have a slow soaking flow to ensure deeper watering of the soil.
What kind of irrigation systems do you use?