If you love gardening, then you understand that one of the keys to a lush, beautiful, and thriving garden is adequate water. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, rainfall can be unreliable at the best of times, so a well-placed irrigation system can save your plants and boost your productivity.
Setting up an agricultural irrigation system doesn’t need to be complicated. With Maker Pipe connectors and fittings, we can help you create the ideal irrigation system for your garden as well as many other agricultural projects.
Drip irrigation systems are an efficient method for watering your garden. Because they can be automated, they save you time. They also reduce the risk of foliage disease by focusing water on the roots of the plants, while the slow-moving water minimizes soil erosion.
Drip systems work by using a system of hoses connected to a mainline and faucet, which uses a series of valves to control the flow of the water. The hoses are positioned directly at the bases of the plants, with a small hole or emitter to distribute the water.
A commercial drip irrigation implementation
Many companies sell complete drip systems and may even send technicians to come and handle the install. However, they can be costly. So, why not design your own simple drip irrigation system?
Putting together a drip irrigation system isn't as complicated as you think. It's all about organizing a few simple parts into one system that works.
To create a simple drip irrigation system, you need a high-quality faucet, a Y-connector, a timer, a filter, and a pressure regulator. These components reduce water pressure, filter the water, and allow you to control the system with timer settings.
You also need mainline tubing which carries the water to your garden or lawn. Set up the mainline tubing by snaking it through your yard discreetly around landscaping, plants and bushes, and along fences.
To customize the structure to suit the layout of your garden, you can use a selection of Maker Pipe connectors to attach peripheral tubing to the mainline tubing system.
Raised garden beds are a great way to construct a neat, tidy garden, and make the most of a small yard. However, they offer unique challenges when it comes to automated irrigation. While the added height of the beds allows you to control the level of drainage you get from your soil, it also means that standard pipe irrigation may not easily reach the base of the plants where it is needed most.
Workaround this issue by creating structural supports for the irrigation system from EMT conduit and Maker Pipe connectors and fittings.
To create a simple frame for your irrigation system, measure the height of your raised beds and cut two pieces of EMT conduit three inches higher than the bed. Cut a length of conduit slightly less than the length of the bed and connect it to the two vertical pieces using a T-connector. Insert the frame into the soil and secure the irrigation hosing to the frame using zip ties.
Consider applying shrink wrap to your conduit pieces before constructing your frame for added waterproofing.
Overhead irrigation aims to provide water to plants in a similar way to rain. This type of system is a much simpler method for watering plants and is best suited to microgreens, lawns, and flower beds.
Installing an above-ground sprinkler system isn't difficult, and you can purchase simple sprinkler systems that do not need to be installed by professionals. You can also customize your overhead sprinkler systems using Maker Pipe connectors, tubing, and EMT conduit.
Before installing your above ground sprinkler system, you need to assess the layout of your garden and make accurate measurements of the length and width of the space available for planting.
Next, dig an 8-inch trench along the edge of your garden bed. The sides should slope at about 45 degrees.
After creating your trench, install the valve manifold. Then, connect one end of the valve manifold to your main water supply.
For the other end of the connection, we suggest using custom length hoses that is best tailored for your garden’s needs. Black hose may be preferable, as the dark color makes it less visible. If applicable, you can also stick them in your flower bed to make them even less visible.
Make sure you use female and male hose mending pieces. Brass mending pieces are suggested because they offer more durability than those made from plastic.
The next step involves installing the risers where each sprinkler should stand. To do that, you'll want to use our 90-degree connectors.
Finally, install the sprinkler heads and timer. For a sprinkler system that offers wider distribution, try installing the sprinkler head on the end of EMT conduit pipe using Maker Pipe connectors.
At this point, your system is ready for testing.
Note: Make sure to incorporate a backflow preventer in your system. A preventer ensures that agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers don't contaminate your drinking water.
A backflow preventer used for a drip irrigation system
Installing an underground sprinkler system eliminates the need to move the system from time to time. Simply set up a subsurface sprinkler system and program it so it waters your garden at specific times. Also, you can program your system, so it waters your garden for a sufficient amount of time.
You need 10" trenches for the mainline and branch lines. While you can install the piping by hand, it's more efficient to use a pipe-puller. Fortunately, you have options to rent a pipe pulling machine.
Begin by dividing your garden into zones. Then, install an above-ground valve for each zone. Each of these valves should connect to your underground piping, and they should also have drains.
To connect your sprinklers to the underground pipes, use a 90-degree connector. The connector should have a female thread on one end and a barb fitting on the other. Where you don’t need drainage, connect each sprinkler to a 90-degree connector. Then, connect a riser to the connector's other end. But if drainage is required, a 90-degree drain connector should solve the problem. Remember, you should position the connectors with the threads at the top.
At that point, you can use a riser (a threaded one) to link a sprinkler head to the connector. Alternatively, you may use a swing-pipe connection.
Make sure to observe your local plumbing codes while tapping into your water system. You'll also need a ball valve right after the tap. The valve lets you service your system's backflow preventer without shutting off the water flow into your house.
Looking for more info? Here's a detailed tutorial on how to install an underground sprinkler system.
You can really think outside the box when you’re building your own irrigation systems. In this featured build, our customer used a combination of conduit and our structural pipe connectors to create an unconventional water source!
A great way to conserve your overall water consumption and still keep your garden well-watered is with a greywater system. This eco-friendly irrigation system reuses wastewater from your kitchen, laundry, and shower to water your plants. There are many types of greywater systems; however, most use a system of pipes to divert water from safe greywater sources to a storage tank where it can be filtered and treated before being used on the garden.
From the storage tank, use Maker Pipe connectors and hose to create a system of pipelines that allow you to pump treated greywater directly from the storage tank to the garden.
If you want to use greywater more efficiently, try setting up an overhead sprinkler system using EMT conduit pipes and Maker Pipe connectors to attach the sprinklers. However, greywater sprinklers are usually only recommended for highly treated greywater, or for gardens located away from the house to minimize human contact with the wastewater.
Having the right equipment and tools is vital to the success of any agricultural project. Maker Pipe connectors can help you create versatile and efficient irrigation systems from your garden to maximize your yield and make gardening more enjoyable.
For technical advice, support, or inspiration, contact us so we can help you make your dream garden a reality.