Okay girls, installing a water drip line is easy peasy! You can do this! Drip lines are great for water conservation and if you need to water more than once a day it saves a ton of time. When we moved into a home with no backyard a few years ago I decided I wanted grass (and trees and bushes and…). I thought, “sprinkler system, how hard can it be? like big legos right!?” Well, kinda. But I sure learned a lot installing that backyard with a baby in a bjorn and two little boys in tow. It turned out beautiful. There are a million different ways to configure a drip source to your garden, I have done it in a few different ways, but here is a tutorial for one of the easiest.
- Water Source
- Drip-A-Long preset drip line (about $2 more than piecing it together yourself, if you’re a beginner bite the two bucks and buy the kit!)
- Connector piece for the poly pipe to the drip a long
- Thread adaptor
- End cap/plug fitting (comes in the drip-a-long kit)
When I’m doing sprinkler stuff for some reason I’m always humming that song in my head, “the leg bones connected to the hip bone… the hip bone is connected to the…” remember that one? Oh my. So here is the order in honor of that ole tune: The water source is connected to the threaded fixing… the threaded fixing is connected to the connector piece… the connector piece is connected to the drip line…
1. You need a water source. This could be a PVC pipe that connects to the sprinkler system, poly pipe (what I have) that connects to the sprinkler system, or even a spigot (fyi PVC pipe and poly pipes might be the same in diameter, but the connecting pieces are usually not interchangeable.) We built our garden box around a water source sticking out of the ground.
2. Before you connect anything to your water source flush it with water, that’s sprinkler guy talk for turn the water on to clean out any rocks or debris. If you don’t do this, debris might get jammed and you’ll have to start over (and rebuy the parts that you jammed). It’s a lesson you’ll never forget, one I learned for you, just flush the baby out!
3. If you’re using poly pipe, the great thing about it is that pieces are held together by pressure, you don’t have to use glue like you use with PVC pipe. The connector pieces have a little lip on the edges so when you put it together if you try to pull it backwards (or pressure is applied) it never comes off. In the picture below is the connector piece. You connect it to the poly pipe by just pushing it on as hard as you can. Nice and scientific. (If you’re using a PVC pipe buy the coordinating fitting and glue.)
4. Whenever you have a thread on sprinkler parts you need to wrap it with pipe thread seal tape. Also known as plumbers tape. It’s basically just white tape that helps seal the parts together so nothing will drip. It’s not sticky, (so why do they call it tape? hmmm) but just wrap it a few times with a little pressure to get it to stay.
4. Apply a fixing onto the threaded piece wrapped with plumbers tape to the drip line, like below.
5. The drip line comes with holes in the pipe so you don’t need to worry about adding additional holes for a drip. The line is connected the same way the first one was, pressure with a little lip in the piece. Just push it on. (hard)
6. Now, the fun part (well I think the whole thing is fun!) Weave the drip line in and out of the plants, or where the plants will be. Try to position the holes near the plant base for optimal watering.
7. The line can be secured into the ground using Shepard hooks, sold individually or in packs of 50 or 100.
8. Last step. Old school way: you can actually bend the end of your line where you want it to end and tighten it with a zip wire. That works okay if you’re going to bury the line and it won’t fry in the sun. But one day it will pop and then, flood… boo. (You can also use a figure 8 piece… but for this little line I couldn’t even find a figure 8) This drip line kit comes with little plugs you just add to the end. You can cut the line anywhere and add the plug.
Some people bury their drip lines. I do this by bushes for sure, it just looks better. But in my garden I like to see where the water is coming from, so I usually leave it exposed and I can adjust when needed.
BAM! Done. Easy right!?