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Old 10-30-2011, 07:32 PM   #1
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


My former gardener did not do as we agreed he would do for what I paid him to do! ( A drip irrigation system )
Yet I don't want talk about him....

I want to do what I originally wanted in the 1st place myself, but I have no clue how or where to start?

So looking for info so I can start buying the parts I need.

1/2 my hedges are dying from lack of water & I wonder can I use the current worthless for hedges sprinkler line to add my Drip System to?

Or do I need to tear it all out & start over again?
I am a 1st time home owner of 11 months now, so everyday is a learning experience that I've grown to love.

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Old 10-30-2011, 11:51 PM   #2
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


Can you post some pics of the suffering hedge plants I have been designing drip irrigation systems for people for ages. PM me. I will post basics here tomorrow also. Can you sketch out and scale your yard for me so I know where you want drip irrigation? No charge. You should plan on hiring a licensed plumber for the connections I will suggest. You might want an electrician to look over your irrigation timer situation. The rest is DIY duck soup.

Bless your for wanting to put water where you need it for your plants. I was a Northern California landscape designer for ages. When we were put on water rationing so you LaLaLanders could wash cars and fill swimming pools with our water we had to turn creative.

Save for the plumbing connections as sophisticated as you want and whatever bells and whistles you want for your drip system? It is just about punching holes in tubing and pressing the right emmitters into the holes.

Do be thinking about something though. When you water off the end of your garden hose you spit forth somewhere in the range of 8-10 gallons per minute (GPM). Your current irrigation system works in GPM also.

Drip works in gallons per hour (GPH) and is as much fun to watch in action as paint drying.

Do tell me what you know about your existing irrigation system? California has some of the hardest water in America. Us Northerners would pour a glass from the faucet and know we had to wait minutes for the cloudiness got go away and you could pour sidewalks with the stuff left in the bottom of the glass.

Are you spraying this sort of water on the leaves of your hedges from lawn sprinkler overspray by chance?

You should keep on with conversion to drip for all irrigation but turf. Let's make sure lack of water is the problem with your hedges though? Believe it or not, I have seen plants become nothing short of pot bound in California clay soil. The roots may be wrapping around each other just as if you put them in a clay pot. I can tell you how to fix this for a $30 purchase and your local nursery or garden store. They will sell you a piece of tubing with a pointed end and tiny holes on that end. On the other end will be a female hose fitting. You plug your hose to it, crank the pressure up as much as you can and you penetrate the wrapped up root ball to the point you violently explode it underground. It works most of the time.


Last edited by user1007; 10-31-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Can you post some pics of the suffering hedge plants


I've also considered a soaker hose run at the trunks of the hedges would probably be much easier?

As you can see from these pics that the theres green & not so green & the not so green are not getting the same water the greener ones are.

My Former gardener swore to me it would be fine & I said NO! How the heck are they all gonna get even water?
Especially once the hedges grow they will block the flow of spray & keep it right at the sprinkler!
& of course I was right & now need to fit the issue.







I took both the healthy & not so healthy leaves to my nursery where I got the plants & he told me its lack of water & the pictures show why.


Last edited by Telfair; 10-31-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


This seems like an Ideal set upto convert my current set up?
What do you think?

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Old 11-11-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


Those at the sprinkler conversion kits are clever I guess but in my opinion you are asking for trouble putting the pressure regulator and hopefully a filter out in your yard somewhere. And then capping off or other wise disabling your other sprinkler heads but still letting water flow at high pressure through the underlying pipe.

The 1/2 tubing key to drip in your situation is not expensive, especially if you get it online or from an irrigation supplier. If I were you, I would put the pressure regulator and filter near the existing valve you have now which I am guessing is near your house. Just disable the spray heads for your hedge or shrub from there. Sever the pipe and cap it off. Then come up to ground level with whatever you need and start your new drip run from there. There is no reason you cannot run a drip system from a hose end fitting if you want. It's nice to have it on a timer controlled irrigation valve though.

I am not a big fan of either the pre-drilled tubing or running the 1/4 spaghetti laterals out in the yard. The tubing is great if you want to run in to potted plants though.

Near as I can see from the photos all you need for your hedge is a run of 1/2 tubing snaked around the trunks of the hedge plants so they have room to grow. As shown, use some yard stakes to hold it in place.

I would lay out your 1/2 tubing and provide a fitting to get water into the tubing. Then punch holes as shown in the video but put your emitters, 2 gallons per hour would be great if the hedge is the only thing you will have on one drip circuit, directly in the 1/2. Get the most simple self-cleaning ones you can. Once you are done, flush the system out. Then install a simple flush valve at the end.

With the pre-drilled stuff you may not get water just where you want it. And if you do have a situation where some of your hedge plants are getting dried out faster than others? Doing it yourself allows you to punch an extra hole and add an emitter where needed.

You are done!

By the way, you have two choices for fittings. There is the compression type shown where you force the tubing into the fitting. The other type is a barbed end fitting where you work the tubing over the barbs. The latter are a bit cheaper. But your yard is small and you do not need a lot of fittings for this. Drip emitters are cheap too.

Last edited by user1007; 11-11-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:45 PM   #6
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


I sorta know a landscaper guy that hangs out at this bar & grill I hang out at & I'm gonna have him come out & look at everything & get some estimates.

I'm hoping its cheap enough to pay him to get it done right the 1st time instead of me going through trial & error.

Because I also have the back yard I wanna start from scratch with..
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


Sounds like a plan to me! The person should be able to make all the basic plumbing and electrical connections for you. No reason you cannot install the emitters once that part of things is done if this is acceptable to the person.

You may find it help in communicating to take some time and scale out your yard 1/8=1 foot on graph paper or something. Your yard is small enough it can be eyeballed I guess but even crude drawings can come in handy.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:35 AM   #8
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How do I properly set up a Drip Irrigation system?


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Originally Posted by Telfair View Post
This seems like an Ideal set upto convert my current set up?
What do you think?

I'm not a professional but that looks perfect for your setup. I have no idea about the pressure issues though.

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