This article is intended to help build your confidence when working with irrigation professionals or when installing drip irrigation yourself. You can also watch several short drip irrigation videos on The Gardening Tutor YouTube Channel! (click on the video to the right)
When you hire a professional it is not automatic that they will install your drip irrigation emitters in a way that is best for your plants or for you. There are industry standards to guide installers but these standards are not law. I have noticed that each installer has their own style when it comes to drip irrigation installations; unfortunately some styles do not follow industry standards and can create future problems. You can prepare beforehand by learning from The Gardening Tutor about how to install drip irrigation to industry standards. Then you'll know if you want to do it yourself or hire out and you'll know the questions to ask and that it's ok to ask for examples and explanations of how they intend to install your drip system. Also, be home when they install (at least during the beginning so you can be assured you and the installer are on the same page).
Three of the most unfortunate thingsthat I see with drip irrigation installations are: the emitters (the little fittings where the water comes out) are installed directly in the mainline instead of using 1/4" driplines; the emitters are installed on the top of the mainline making them easy targets to step on and break off; emitters are placed too close to the stems and trunks of plants creating possible crown rot in the future.
Here are some things to keep in mind, whether you install irrigation lines yourself or you hire someone to install a system for you:
Pros of installing emitters directly on top of the mainline:
Cons of installing emitters directly on top of the mainline:
Pros of installing emitters with 1/4" dripline tubing:
Cons of installing emitters with 1/4" dripline tubing:
When deciding what to use to keep the emitters in place, remember that there are small metal hooks available that are much easier to push into any type of soil then the plastic type. Plus, the plastic 1/4" line holders easily break when stepped on after they have been in the soil a while.
There is so much more to know but here the topic is focused on 1/4" lines with emitters on the ends; inline emitters have another set of things to know. To learn more get started by scheduling a consultation with Mary today.